Posts Tagged ‘fothergilla’


This is killing me. We had a wonderful warm spell when all the peonies grew rapidly and buds began to form, and then (as usual) – cold spell and days of rain.


The peonies hover on the edge of blooming, teasing me. It will be 80 degrees (F) on Wednesday next week, and they will suddenly open up in profusion, the whole lot of them, and I am afraid I will miss the glory because I will be in the office, working in my little corner cubicle.


The honeysuckle is really “hovering”. JUST BLOOM ALREADY!


This is my Fothergilla that I purchased two years ago at the the Clackamas County Historical Society Plant Sale. It is gorgeous this spring! I cannot wait for it to be a full sized bush that I no longer have to protect from male dogs.

Last year, I drove by the Plant Sale on some other errand and realized I was not going to be able to peruse the offerings. I didn’t even know it was about to happen and I felt cheated. It’s like an annual yard sale that might have good things and might not. I always spend at least $5 there. It isn’t where the proceeds go (although I love the Historical Society and the museums here in Oregon City, the End of the Oregon Trail), but it’s that most of the offerings have been dug out of someone’s yard and I am so touched that they would share their abundance so cheaply.


My Oriental Poppy from two years ago is about to bloom. Another Historical Society find.


Columbine I bought from the “ladies” of the Society.

Sure, much of the offerings are things I could dig up and haul down to offer, too: irises, wild strawberries, Shasta Daisy – things you can’t kill even if you have a black thumb. There are the hellebores (I lost count of how many I have purchased from the Society, but one actually lived and is blooming profusely in my garden even now). Roses – I’m not ready for roses, yet. They require a well-tended bed, full sun, free of weeds. I know where I’m going to put them when I am ready for them, but I’m not ready.

They had Italian prunes this year. I wanted an Italian prune. I just have to decide where one is going to go. I love Italian prune plums. I’m not a fan of other plums, but these deep purple, almost black, ones are the best. I had to Step.Away.

I missed the sale this year, too. We were on the way to a funeral when I saw the signs. DAMN. But the funeral ended with plenty of time for a stop at the plant sale and I dragged my husband to the Stevens-Crawford House. (That was a really lucky link to come on to! I was thinking “Wikipedia” and got someone’s actual review of the museum. It’s really pretty cool.)

We spent $17.


The strawberries were purchased elsewhere. : Bachelor Buttons, wild ginger, Ladie’s Mantle, and Solomon’s Seal. Now, I know you can plant Bachelor Button seeds. My father considered them a weed. He made us dig them out of the strip of land between our sidewalk and the city street. I hated him for it. they are beautiful flowers. (So are Hollyhocks, another “weed” he made us dig up.)

I will plant the wild ginger back in the back corner, in my prayer garden.


I bought the Solomon’s Seal just because of these flowers. This is a mature plant. Beautiful!


I don’t know why I bought the Lady’s Mantle. I had to google it. I love the leaves. I know I will explore this treasure some more after my brief search on the Interwebs.


I do have flowers in bloom. Chrystal threw a bunch of seeds off the deck many years ago and I still get the plants every spring. I call them “Honesty” plants, but others call them “Money Plants” or “Dollar Plants”. They make great cut flowers.


Both lilacs are in full bloom. This leads to a digression. I have a coworker who grew up in the Ukraine. She’s probably 20 years younger than I am but we share a lot of common “folk” knowledge and plant knowledge. Recently, I took a bouquet of lilacs to work: wonderful, fragrant, lilacs.

My coworker commented that they had lilacs in the Ukraine. I asked her if they ate the blossoms? We always picked the little purple florets and ate them – sweet, sweet delight. She told me something that I did not know.


Most lilacs have only four petals on the florets (or eight, on the doubles – I have a double, not pictured). You don’t eat the four-petaled florets. You look for the ones with five petals.


Then she showed me. Lo and behold. A “lucky” lilac floret. That is the one you eat.

Isn’t that a cool bit of trivia?


Now, if only these would get with the program!!


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Darn. My wallet is lighter this evening because I saw two perennials I just “had” to have for my garden. It’s an addiction.

First off, I want to say I did not intend to buy any plants this weekend unless I stumbled upon some sunflower starts. For some vague reason, my sunflowers are not coming up (again) this year. I had the same problem last year but I thought it was because I came home on Memorial Day weekend and I didn’t get any sunflower seeds in the ground until then. This year, I have planted sunflower seeds several times and nothing comes up. Either it’s too cold, the birds are getting my seeds, or…?

I only browsed the plants at the grocery store because I was looking for possible sunflower starts.

And this caught me eye. It’s beautiful. It’s a perennial. It was $6.99.

It’s a mullein and it is going right here, next to where the sunflowers are supposed to be coming up in my front yard. I lost the little plastic name tag, but I *think* it is verbascum ‘Southern Charm’. It’s beautiful.

I then stopped at the Farmer’s Market. I was looking for the hazelnut mulch stand. Yes, it is time to start buying bags of hazelnut mulch and finish mulching all my flower beds. I figure if I buy 5 bags at a time, I can manage this little project of mulching my garden all by myself.

I was only two booths in when I saw this.

Honeysuckle. A gallon plant for $10. I love honeysuckle. One of the first rentals Don and I lived in had an old honeysuckle vine over the front door. They smell amazing and hummingbirds love them.

I have looked for one off and on over the years. Usually, I haven’t had the money to buy one. Or I simply can’t find a mature-enough plant to make the purchase worthwhile. But there it was: a ten dollar mature honeysuckle.


I picked up the hazelnut mulch, too.

Then I came home and hoped it wouldn’t rain.

I edged and weeded and dug and planted.

I planted my fothergilla in the back yard. I mulched it, too.

This is the flower bed I worked on Saturday. Too bad the Shasta daisies are not yet in bloom and the Oregon grape is past. I don’t know about that Oregon grape: I planted it expecting low shrubs and I got these huge commercial variety of Oregon Grape that seem to go viral. They are over 6′ tall!!

It’s peony season in my garden. Just a few of them are in the island flower bed. I have a lot more in peripheral flower beds.

This double-peony is stuck up against the garage. The photo doesn’t do it justice: it’s a soft purple shade that somehow translated to pink in the camera.

This double bloom translated nicely to the camera.

A single pink peony.

I have yellow, pink, burgundy, red, salmon, red-and yellow, single, double, triple, plain and tree peonies.

One can never get enough of peonies.

Except they are done blooming mid-June.

Another plant I love. I transplanted a few wild foxgloves (pink and white) to my garden. I love the wild ones, not the commercial ones. Foxglove is a biennial, meaning that the first year it is only a lot of leaves, but it blooms the second year and thereafter. It’s a great cut flower, will bloom all summer if you do cut it, and the bees go nuts over it.

Idaho blue-eyed grass. No, I do not know why it is named “Idaho” because it is an Oregon native as well. Not a great cut flower: the blooms are there in the day and close up at eventide. But the fragile beauty that is blue-eyed grass is appealing to me.

And, yes, I really have an old hanging basket frame turned upside down over the plant. That way, I know where it is. Doesn’t everyone mark their plants like that?

This lovely insect (according to my Audubon Field Guide to Insects & Spiders) is a Cottonwood Twig Borer (Oberea quadricallosa). I included the scientific name because when I tried to do an online search for the same insect, the Cottonwood Tree Borer came up with several different scientific names.

Whatever: it doesn’t harm peonies. It’s just tucking in for the night.

A dead wasp in the peony bud. No doubt there is a spider behind a petal.

Spider: 1. Wasp:0

A blood-red Lady Beetle. No doubt she is looking for an aphid snack.

Are there male Lady Beetles?

That was a rhetorical question.

I love the seed pods of my tree peonies. The bloom is past and the petals have fallen: this funny little item is what is left. They harden when they dry out.

All I can tell you about this critter is that it is a moth. It is most likely a bark moth of some sort. It is probably not a beneficial insect, but it is trapped inside my house and not in the litter under the rhododendrons. I usually find bark moths under the rhodies where their caterpillars have no doubt been wreaking some sort of havoc. I bear them no grudge since any apparent damage they do is minor.

At least as far as I can tell.

Last night, just as the sun began to set, the light graced the trees with a yellowish tinge. The dark clouds over Vancouver, Washington, were just beginning to build up and slowly roll southward. Shortly after all turned dark and we were settled down in front of the television to watch a movie, that cloud rolled over Portland and dumped an inch of rain in an hour’s time.

It dried out again today and I spent the afternoon digging, edging and mulching. It’s a full-time job that I love.

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