Thursday, May 31, 2007


A busy bee enjoying some Pink Chintz Thyme. It was a cold day when this was taken. On sunnier days I've witnessed up to 10 bees per square foot. Pretty cool!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


This Berberis parents are native to Asia and Japan and has been cultivated because of its yellow-chartreuse coloured foliage. A great plant for full sun I choose to grow mine with some light afternoon shade to keep the foliage from burning. It complements well with its larger leafed neighboring plants of Huecheras, dark green and lime stripped Hostas, black Mondo Grass, pale pink Bergenia, and dwarf hot pink Rhodys. In some parts of the country Barbarries have become invasive but this hybrid doesn't really set any seed and my clump of 3 plants has only reached two feet high and four feet across. Not bad for almost 5 years in the ground. It's a wonderful plant that really requires no special care. Certainly a keeper.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Of all my Alliums this is the showiest. Allium giganteum 'Globemaster' is a hybrid of giganteum and has all the wonderful attributes of it parents but in a smaller package, only topping out at 30 inches. The parents usually are up to 6 feet and are sometimes difficult combine in the garden. 'Globemaster' easily nestles in amongst other late Spring bloomers. The foliage always looks tired by the time they bloom so place behind shorter perennials and shrubs to cover up. Mine are ready to divide this Fall, so I know I'll make some fellow gardeners really happy. They make a great cut flower and are bee magnets (something we gardeners should be cognoscente about). They are a great combined with Lupins, Peonies, Oriental Poppies, and Bearded Irises which all bloom at the same time.

Monday, May 28, 2007


Took a stroll after work this afternoon to see what was blooming in the neighborhood. It seemed that all the late season rhodys were putting on a show. Rhodys are very common landscape plants in this area. Some gardeners will not use them because they are too common. I really like them. Always have. I remember when living in Central California having two in my garden and just babying them to get just a few flower clusters on each shrub. Fortunately the Seattle area is ideal for many types. So now I can enjoy them with much less work.

Friday, May 25, 2007


I only have two types of Bearded Irises in the garden right now. My favourite is Iris pallida variegata. The main reason I grow it is for the foliage which creates strong vertical lines in the mixed borders. The flowers are an additional bonus. I grow it with a little afternoon shade so the leaves look fresh through September (if grown with all day full sun the leaves crisp in summer). Its so easy to grow every gardener should make a small spot for them. Months long of a visual pop with very little effort. Differently a keeper.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I first planted my Akebias (Akebia quinata) about 4 years ago to cover some unattractive chain link fence in my front garden. Its covered the the 40' fence (just 2 plants) almost completely now and is a wonderful backdrop for some of the mixed borders in front of it. The best attribute about this vine besides its beautiful foliage is its fragrant flowers, which fills the entire front yard for weeks in April and early May. The aroma is that of a cross of vanilla and jasmine but its not over powering. The white flowering hybrid is 'shirobana', the mauve is a unnamed cultivar. Its one of my favourite vines, and even though it can be aggressive its easy to control with occasional pruning. I understand in some areas of the U.S. that its considered to be a weed but in my area it's not.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Here are 2 photos of last Saturday evening. The top picture is of my Coral bark Maple (Acer palmatum 'Sango Kako'). And lower picture is of a rainbow that evening. In lower Issaquah Heights we get a lot of rainbows. The lighting Saturday night was especial great for photography, so I did what I could to capture some good shots.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


A Stachyurus in bloom at one of the local botanical gardens. It has amazingly graceful branch structure with strong vertical lines created by this plants spring hanging blossoms. I really love this plant, but unfortunately I don't have any room for it in my garden. Maybe you do in yours :)

Saturday, May 19, 2007


A unique perspective of Ramapo Rhody's through Magic Carpet Spireas and Rose Glow Barberries.

Friday, May 18, 2007


One of my favourite Spireas in the garden is Spirea thunbergii 'Mellow Yellow'. This photo was taken in mid-march. The flowers are produced along the entire length of the branch and are followed by bright yellow green leaves. I keep them in a location of morning sun and afternoon shade because the foliage can burn in summer. Yearly light pruning after blooming keeps at its best shape.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


A shot taken about a six weeks ago of the beautiful leafless form of a Laceleaf Maple at Bellevue botanical Garden in their Japanese Garden. Now all the Laceleafs (Acer palmatum 'Dissectum') are leafed out.