Thursday, April 26, 2007


Here's a shot of the Forsythia that bloomed in the yard a little over a month ago. I have it located with drifts of daffodils and P.J.M. Rhody's giving a great mid-march show. Once it finishes blooming it leafs out and blends in to the back of the border letting the late Spring and Summer shrubs and perennials show off.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Begenia is wonderful very hardy perennial that I planted in some of my shadier locations in the garden. It has a sculptural quality and contrast nicely with many of the finer textured shrubs that are planted next to it. Spring brings bright pink flowers ( there are also white and rose-red hybrids available) surrounded with large, almost leaf lettuce like, foliage that turns red-burgundy in fall. Occasional dividing is needed in early spring to keep it at its best and you have to have the snail/slug bait handy because they will munch on this plant ( as you can see in the picture).
Native to mountains of China and the Himalayas it is remarkably hardy for such a tropical looking plant. Bergenias are no to picky about soil as long as it drains well and preforms best with a light fertilization twice in spring.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Some pots of yellow Primroses to brighten up our
gray days here in the Pacific Northwest.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Years back I used to plant hundreds of tulips, especially when I lived in Central California. Up here in the Pacific Northwest I have reduced my tulip addiction to smaller quantities. All are planted in pots because it's the only way to keep the voles from getting to them. My first year in Washington I planted several hundred in large drifts throwout the garden. In perfect timing (for the voles), when the tulips were about at their peak, I started noticing large clusters leaning over and drooping. Under careful inspection I realized the problem. In a matter of 2 weeks over half the bulbs had been eaten.
So now I enjoy all my tulips in containers. Eliminating one of there favourite food sources, the voles for the most part are gone.
The past couple of years I've planted Greggii and Kaufmanniana tulips. They are shorter and stockier then many tulips and they have beautifully mottled foliage adding unique interest even when not in bloom. The above hybrid is a Kaufmanniana named 'Ancilla'.

Monday, April 09, 2007


PJM's have to be one of my favorite rhody's. It's an early bloomer, blooming around the time of the daffodils and forsythia ( all making a great combo for March colour), has smaller leaves, looking more delicate than traditional rhody's, and only get to about 4 feet (making a great foundation plant). Mine are nestled in the mixed borders giving much need winter foliage in a landscape that has gone dormant. PJM's are very cold hardy ( one of the hardiest of all the rhody's) and turn a beautiful mahogany-purple during the coldest months. After blooming the plant produces bright green new foliage contrasting harmoniously against the darker green mature leaves and have an added bonus that when crushed smell like limes.
Whats not to love about the plant.
I have also grown a white cultivar of this plant, but found it to be less vigorous.