The real reason I am posting tonight is because I want to remember the names of the plants I planted today. I’m terrible at remembering the names of plants!I often revert back to my blog and the archives to look up the names of plants. After awhile, it comes naturally, but the initial memorization is not easy for me.
It is why I carry several field guides with me every time we go out into the woods or desert:I look up the same thing until I have it memorized, and then I look it up because I want to reinforce to myself that I know what it is.
We made our annual drive up the Willamette Valley yesterday to visit our favorite garden nurseries. We started at Nichol’s Garden Nursery where we have purchased garden seeds for over 30 years, usually by mail but sometimes by making the drive to Albany. Nichols is nested up against ATI Wah Chang, in a unique clash of commercial and concrete and the peaceful hazel-nut mulch lined paths through the herb beds behind the little red house that serves as the store for Nichol’s.
Rose Marie Nichols McGee was signing books. She’s a delightful soul and while she wouldn’t recognize me from one year to the next, I always find her warm and genuine. And quite knowledgeable. I pointed to an unique purple plant growing in her beds and she said, “Cerinthe retorta. We don’t sell the plant, but you’ll find the seeds indoors.” I bought the seeds.
We spent $24 at Nichols before heading on over to our other Albany favorite, Garland’s Nursery. They have one of the largest Bonsai collections around. They also usually have a lot of gift items and a plethora of plants I simply cannot live without. For whatever reasons, this year we left Garland’s empty-handed. We saw some interesting ideas, but nothing that jumped out at us, begging to be purchased. We’re not in the market for large shrubs or trees at the moment, and they have a wonderful collection of those.
We turned around and headed back south on I-5 until 99E splits from the freeway. Then we meandered down 99E to Woodburn and Al’s Garden Center. They also have a collection of unique and interesting gift items, acres of trees, and a very small Bonsai collection. They are outstanding for perennials. I spent more money at Al’s, but I didn’t buy the beautiful clematis I’ve been dreaming of. I didn’t have enough money for that.
Today I planted my plants.
I placed the Erysimum ‘Bowles’ Mauve in my prayer garden where it can grow tall and spread out. (Open the link to see what it is going to look like when it matures – it’s a beautiful purple flower!)
This Armeria “joystick lilac” is called “Bellarine Lilac”. I purchased one a few years ago that is a different color and is thriving in the same general area as the new one:
It makes an excellent cut flower and that was my goal this weekend: to add to the perennials that I can cut and cut and cut to enjoy indoors all summer long.
This is one of two salvias I fell in love with at Al’s. Don actually picked them out. “May Night Meadow Sage” or Salvia nemarosa ‘Mainacht’. Blooms May- August as long as you keep it “dead-headed.
I could scarcely not notice the strong sage aroma from this beauty as I put it in the ground: ‘Hot Lips’ Sage (Salvia ‘Hot Lips’). Those delicate red-and-white flowers will be a welcome addition to bouquets throughout the summer!
Strange mushrooms popped up in the garden under the New Moon (or maybe it was the Solar Eclipse that brought these out?)!
This is a transplant from Nevada. I found him in a shed behind my father’s old house. I remember my mom loved him and so I hauled him north. All he needs is a load of hens & chicks to feel useful. I’m pretty certain I can find some of those!
I didn’t plant these today. The two on the right are survivors from last year. It’s just my favorite garden yard sale find. This wall sconce and …
This one (filled with Sweet Allysum).
A project I’d like to tackle this summer: my own natural garden arches. (Nichol’s Garden Nursery)
Hm. I need to remember to try to make some Faerie villages in my garden. I am not really into the Victorian Fairy theme, but no one says you have to populate a Fairy Garden with “The Beautiful People” of Faerie-dom. The ordinary folk are quite sufficient.
A bin full of over-priced faerie furniture. Ideas, ideas, ideas. And thank God for the “no flash” setting on a good digital camera.
My helper. He had a bad experience at Home Depot today. He loves to walk through HD, but he hates it when I have to stop and buy something. He also hates all the head pats and people oohing over him. So this woman says, “He’s an unhappy dog.” Really?
And I said, “No, he just wants to be walking. He hates it when I stop.”
She also lectured me on how fat he is. Hello?! I know: that’s WHY we’re walking at Home Depot. Sometimes people are too nosy for their own good.
Harvey started wagging his tail again when we left the store.
I have to share this. Several years ago, my husband dug up a vine maple and brought it home for the garden. The roots were entangled with a very young yew tree and a number of other wildflowers. This one took off.
It is Douglas’ Meadowfoam (Limnanthes douglasii) or “Poached Egg Flower”. It only lasts a short while in the Spring and I enjoy every moment of it. O have to keep it fenced off because the dogs like to curl up on it!
Oh – remember why I was posting this particular post? So I could remember the names of the plants I bought? I like to add the Latin names here and there to make myself sound smarter than I am. I look them up. My husband memorizes them; I look them up.
Last but not least: that solar eclipse that happened when the New Moon crossed in front of the sun.
That was as good a view as I got of it. Maybe next time.