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What’s blooming- February 25th, 2014

25 Feb

Spring is in the air… The winter flowering stuff is mostly getting that ragged, I’ve been blooming forever and am done look, and the spring stuff is slowly starting to bud out and shyly open…

(Andromeda polifolia- neighbors)
(Camelia japonica- neighbors)
Cardamine hirsuta
Claytonia sibirica
Clematis cirrhosa
Dactyl orchids glomerata
Draba verna
Grevillea victoriae
Helleborus foetidus
Helleborus orientalis
Iris reticulata
Lamium purpureum
Lonicera standishii/fragrantissima
Mahonia aquifolium
Mahonia bealii
Narcissus ‘Tete te’
Mahonia x media
Oemleria cerasiformis
Primula acaulis hybrids
Push kinks libanotica
Sarcacocca humifusa
Viola adunca
Viola x wallichiana

Another day of nice weather, and I think the first buds of Ribes sanguineum will be opening too… Maybe tomorrow if the weather forecast is accurate.

Salvia elegans (Pineapple Sage)

26 Oct


This spectacular fall and winter blooming salvia was bought on sale from the 1/2 off bin at one of the big box stores. Not bad for a once half dead little wilted cutting. Hummers love it too… Bit it does bloom late, and here in Seattle is kind of half hardy. It survives some winters. It not others. Luckily it’s easy to replace.

The cultivar ‘Tangerine’ I got this spring is not nearly so big, but does have the advantage of blooming far longer- it started in July and is s going strong. I like them both, but kind of prefer the earlier blooming one. If this big one crashes, I may or may not replace it. Probably will depend on if I see em in the sale bins at dirt cheap prices again, lol.

Plectranthus ‘Velvet Elvis’

26 Oct

This was bought as a color spot “annual” this spring, one of those premium foliage plants that makes everything else look good.


It started blooming about the same time I brought it in, which is a shame, since I was looking forward to seeing if the hummers would like it. As a tropical perennial, it shouldn’t be hard to overwinter. This is closely related to the old fashioned “Swedish Ivy” (which of course is neither Swedish, nor an ivy, lol), so I am not anticipating any great difficulty in overwintering the main plant.

I got it because I loved the leaves- richly felted dark green above, nicely pleated along the veins, and with an amazing deep purple reverse!


Now I have to admit, purple is my favorite color, but on this it is quite stunning, and I keep wondering what it would look like in a hanging basket with the sun shining through its dark leaves. Maybe next year I’ll plant some that way and see.

I have one cutting going already, and by spring I may well have several more. I may even try this bedded out in the rockery, to let it do what it wants with the salvias and such out there. Come to think of it, the dark leaves would set off the flowers of the tiny Fuchsia campos-portoi, and the Salvia ‘Cerro Potosi’ too. Looks good with the orange Cuphea ignea and Lantana camara I have them mixed with now, too, so lots of possibilities. Only flowers in fall, though… Too bad, as I would love to see these blooming all summer. Can’t have everything though, huh?

Watering the Orchids

26 Oct

So a few years back, Beth started getting or hide from her kids at school, for a while it was the favorite thing to give as a teacher’s gift. We got one or two ourselves, when we figured out that for whatever reason they like our house and have an extraordinarily long bloom time. Now most months there are one or two Phaelenopsis or hide in bloom around here.

On one of them, the care suggestion was to water once a week with an ice cube. Now of course, I’m not that much on a schedule and prefer to check and see if they need water first, and I usually give them more than one at a time… But I think this is a genius idea for watering something like an orchid or cactus that generally likes to dry out between waterings, and worse, grows in a medium that is not always easy to re-hydrate.


With ice, since it slowly melts, the water is gradually added and given time to penetrate into the bark chips or moss that these are all planted into. Works great! I’ve even been thinking of making some fertilizer ice in individual trays for them, since I really haven’t been doing much ferts for them so far. The oldest one is starting to look a little piqued… Probably needs repotting, but I also wonder if a shot of fertilizer would help.


Everything’s Inside Now…

15 Oct

So all the “temperennials” (half hardy or tropical perennials that won’t survive outside over winter, but might have a chance inside), are now inside in the living room. Makes it a bit of a jungle in their, but there is a bunch of stuff I don’t particularly want to loose, and next year there may not be a budget to replace most of this stuff either.


This Plectranthus was JUST setting its first flowers when I brought it in last week, now it’s looking rather spectacular with the soft orange Lantana camara ‘Lamdmark Peach Sunrise’. This is a pretty lantana for sure, but I won’t cry overmuch if it doesn’t make it. No pollinators to speak of visited it much this summer, not even bees. I may see if I can get seed of the wildlings from someone in the Deep South…


That Cuphea ignea is one of the main things I want to keep alive, and I know from past experiences, if it dries out once its toast. I’ll probably be propagating it continuously over the winter if I can, to give me as many chances with it as possible, plus I’m thinking if I have enough starts to mass plant it under the apple tree next year. The hummers love it, and it would be beautiful there.


This Persian Shield- Stronilanthes dryerianus, is pretty spectacular foliage wise, but I never noticed how nice the flowers were too. Unfortunately, like the Plectranthus, it mostly seems to flower in late summer and fall, about the time I need to bring it in. Hopefully it’s as easy as most mints to propagate, and doesn’t mind being in the house for the winter.


This Cuphea cyanea ‘Carribean Sunset’ was a late summer bit with the hummers, and the Abutilon also got some attention, so I decided to bring them in even though in July I was thinking I’d let them go. The Abutilon is supposed to be hardy here, though I’ve never gotten them to pull through. I have cuttings of each of these as insurance, but I’d ideally like to see especially the Abutilon get bigger and see if that makes a difference in hummer usage here.

And finally, a pic of the big Jade tree, just for grins 😉


And of course, the fog burned off just as I went to take the photo… Still, it has a nice silhouette!

What’s Blooming September 30th, 2013

30 Sep

Abutilon megapotamicum
Achillea millefolium
Agastache ‘Apricot Sprite’
Agastache ‘Grape Nectar’
Agastache ‘Orange Nectar’
Aster subspicatus
Bacopa monieri
Ballotta nigra
Begonia boliviensis
Campanula persicifolia
Celosia ‘New Look’
Chaenorhinum origanifolium ‘Blue Dream’
Chlorophytum camosum
Choisya ternata
Chrysanthemum partheniacum
Claytonia sibirica
Convulvulus arvensis
Cuphea cyanea ‘Carribean Sunset’
Cuphea ignea
Cuphea llavea ‘Flamenco Samba’
Cuphea llavea ‘Tiny Mice’
Cyclamen hederifolium
Dahlia coccinea (Bishop’s type)
Dahlia (white cactus flowered)
Dicentra Formosa
Echinacea purpurea
Epilobium ciliatum
Fuchsia campos-portoi
Fuchsia hatschbachii
Fuchsia magellanica ‘aurea’
Fuchsia magellanica ‘molinae’
Fuchsia magellanica (Patrick’s)
Fuchsia magellanica (Gram’s)
Fuchsia magellanica (plant swap)
Fuchsia triphylla ‘Gartenmeister Bonstedt’
Fuchsia triphylla ‘Mary’
Fuchsia ‘Auntie Jinks’
Fuchsia ‘Billy Green’
Fuchsia ‘Display’
Fuchsia ‘Juellia’
Fuchsia ‘Marinka’
Fuchsia ‘Princessita’
Fuchsia ‘Whiteknight’s Amethyst’
Gazania ‘Daybreak Garden Sun’
Impatiens capensis
Impatiens noli-tangere
Ipomoea multfida
Medicago sativa
Mina lobata
Nemesia ‘Aromatica White Improved’
Nemesia hybrids
Kalanchoe blossfieldiana
Lapsana communis
Lavendula angustifolia
Lobelia erinus
Lobularia maritime
Lonicera japonica ‘Pink Lemonade’
Lonicera sempervirens ‘Major Wheeler’
Mentha himalayensis
Mentha ‘Chocolate’
Nicotiana mutabilis
Oenothera missouriensis
Pentas lanceolata
Plantago major
Salvia coccinea ‘Forest Fire’
Salvia coccinea ‘Snow Nymph’
Salvia darcyi ‘Pscarl’
Salvia elegans ‘Tangerine’
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Salvia leucantha x ‘Phyllis Fancy’
Salvia microphylla ‘Cerro Potosi’
Salvia patens ‘Cobalt’
Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’
Sedum spectabilis ‘Autumn Joy’
Sedum spectabilis (Heronwood variegated)
Solenostemon scuttelariodes ‘Kiwi Fern’
Solidago Canadensis
Strobilanthes dyeriana
Tagetes signata ‘Starfire’
Tagetes ‘Disco Orange’
Tagetes ‘Disco Yellow’

Anna’s Perambulations, Sept 26th, 2013

26 Sep

Cuphea llavea ‘Tiny Mice’



Fuchsia x ‘Billy Green’


This is the first time I had seen them use this particular fuchsia, and she must have really liked it since she hovered at each flower for several seconds to get every drop, while the Cuphea was a short probe into each flower…

Cuphea l. ‘Flamenco Samba’


Mina lobata


Dahlia coccinea (Bishp’s type)


Fuchsia x ‘Display’


Oddly enough, she completely ignored the Cuphea ignea that had been a favorite all summer, as well as Salvia ‘Hotlips’, ‘Cerro Potosi’ and ‘Wemdy’s Wish’ which are all blooming as well, and were favorites earlier. Maybe the cooler weather favored the plants above somehow?

She ended by landing in the Rosa gymnocarpa in her favorite spot. They may not like the flowers of this native (not that it’s blooming now, it usually only blooms in late spring), but they sure like hiding and resting in it!

Hummer Banquet

7 Sep

Cuphea ignea and Fuchsia magellanica “Whiteknight’s Amethyst”


Impatiens noli-tangere (yellow), and I capensis (orange)


Fuchsia magelanica (Gram’s heirloom, probably ‘ricartoni’), and Salvia elegans ‘Tangerine’


Cuphea (cyanea?) ‘Carribean Sunset’ and Abutilon megapotamicum


Fuchsia x ‘Display’ and Lobelia erinus (yes, the annual, I have no idea if the birds were actually finding much in them or not, but bees have also been going over these)


Cuphea ‘Flamenco Samba’


Mina lobata


The tangle…
Salvia darcyi ‘Pscarl’
Aster subspicatus (not a hummer flower, but lots here)
Salvia x ‘Wendy’s Wish’
Ipomoea multifida
Lychnis coronaria
Salvia coccinea
And others…


Salvia patens ‘Cobalt’ and Cuphea ignea


Impatiens capensis, I. noli-tangere

28 Aug

Aside from the typical annual Impatiens, my first ‘wild’ impatiens was one I picked up at Mercer Slough. I loved the tall annual with the dusky pink flowers that hummers would visit a bit till the bumbles got into them, and I adored how the bumbles would crawl all he way inside the odd flowers, then buzz their way backwards to get out, lol. Unfortunately, it was t long after I had them well established that I found out that particular species, I. glamdulifera, is an official no joins weed. It certainly seeds itself well enough to be one, for sure.

A few years after that, a good friend of mine gave me seedlings of one she got at the MSK Rare Plant nursery in Shoreline. Although this species, Impatiens noli-tangere is native to the northwestern counties of Washington up into British Columbia and east, the seed for this strain originated in the Northeast US. It’s bright yellow hooded flowers are smaller than the above policeman’s helmet, but similar, and with a nice long spur. Till this year, I had never seen. Hummer visit, only the abundant bees, bit a week or so ago I watched a female Anna’s visit nearly every flower open on a handful that survived the summer drought in the back.

Now it may be that my most recent acquisition, Impatiens capensis, has given he birds a heads up? Hard to say, but the orange speckled flowers of this species are otherwise very similar in shape to the noli-tangere I already had. I got six small seedlings from Patrick on the hummingbird forum, and though they were planted rather late, and there hasn’t been a lot of top growth, there are quite a few flowers on several of them.

I’m still hoping to find one of the native species, Impatiens ecalcarata in particular, but they seem to be rather overrun with I. capensis these days. It probably should be a noxious weed, really, but at least it is really popular with the bees and hummingbirds. I imagine something eats those big succulent seeds, too.


Anna’s Perbulations, August 16th, 2013

16 Aug

Around 1:10 in the afternoon

Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’

Cuphea ignea (tall form)

Salvia patens ‘Cobalt’

Ipomoea multifida

Nicotiana mutabilis

Mina lobata

Although she went to the Salvia first (that I saw at least), she clearly preferred the Cupjea, going back to it several times before moving on to the vines.