Friday, April 30, 2021

Patio Pots With Prickles and More

 This week, while Tom was doing the hard work of crawling around in the bushes and on the ground. pruning salal and pulling binder weed, I got to stand up and play with pots. 

Some years ago we started collecting more unusual plants, long before succulents became the rage. We have hardy succulents in our garden, but we began collecting tender varieties that have to live in the greenhouse over winter. Then we found other interesting plants to go with them, with names like Echeveria, Aloe, Agave, Haworthia, Crassula, Aeonium. 

Each spring I would refresh some of the pots with things that didn't winter over or got too big, or just looked ratty. Tom made cuttings of many of the rejects to replenish the supply, and we would find a few new treasures in our nursery tours. 

This year it was time to redo almost everything. With some pots I started over, with others I edited severely. We had enough supply of plants that we didn't have to buy much. 

On Thursday, pots planted, I washed them down and Tom helped me move them to the patio and arrange them along with the bigger pots of Cana, grasses and Brugmansia that Tom had already moved out.

Here is how it all looks now, ready for summer on the patio, 

Below, two special pots, the funky shaped hypertufa pot I made in a garden club class, and a cool faux stump pot with bark like texture. 

In the center, holding that sharp toothed maybe aloe is a folded pot I got from my sister Ilene's garden. It was just right for the too big plant I removed from another pot. 

You always have to be aware of the sharp spines on the Agave when you are working here. Ouch!

This old birdbath holds less tender succulents. 

I could just put one kind of plant in each pot but I can't resist creating an arrangement of color and texture in each. 
The Abutilon ( flowering maple). Purple Heart, and purple Wandering Jew also came out of the greenhouse to finish off this pot. 

And here you have it. Flowering annuals just don't do well here on this patio because of lack of enough direct sun, but there is enough heat to keep these guys happy, and they make me happy. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

April in the Reeder Garden

 As I look at the calendar I see that April is almost over. The expression goes, "April showers bring May flowers." But here in our neck of the woods, so much happens in April. 

Daffodils give way to tulips. Camellias bloom. Leaves pop out of their buds and cover trees. Flowering shrubs blossom. And so here is a look at what's going on in the last two weeks of April in our garden. 

Tulips, camellias, blue bells, carpet of snow.

The primroses don't want to quit. 
Apple blossoms, tulips, heuchera, and feverfew. 

One beautiful bloom on our Bergenia, and the Columbines are starting to bloom. 

The maple trees suddenly have leaves, and there are colorful new leaves on the shrubs. 

We are getting things cleaned up, and refurbished. I just replaced old plants with new Heuchera in these pots. 
Our Full Moon Maple is glowing.

The bloomin' wall is blooming. 
Plants that overwintered in the greenhouse are now getting potted up and learning to live outdoors. Soon they will find their summer homes. 
New purchases await planting.

My next big job will be to rework all of my tender/tropical plants to have them ready for summer on the patio. 
I always enjoy this view as I come through the gate and past the greenhouse/shed. 

All of Tom's bonsai are out from under their winter protection and showing new growth. 
On the kitchen table, flowers are no longer from the grocery store. 
And there you have it, a sampling of lovely April here in our little paradise. 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Farther Afield

 There were open tulip growing fields at Roozengaarde, but because the bulb crops have to be rotated to different fields every three or four years, this year the blooming fields were a far hike away. I was not up to it. 

We had arrived in the Skagit Valley early, well before our 11:00 entry time, so we had time to have coffee and drive around a bit. We knew we would be going to Christianson's Nursery later, but as we drove by it early, we saw that Roozengaarde had tulip fields open right across the road from the nursery this year. We could park next to the fields.

After lunch in Mount Vernon, we went to tiptoe through the tulip patch.

I was happy to see this old barn still standing. I has been a favorite backdrop for many tulip photos. 

Then we went plant shopping. We only get to Christianson's Nursery when we come to the Skagit Valley for the tulips, but it is a favorite of ours. 

Yep. We bought plants. We did have specific things we were looking for and were happy to find some of them here. We like to support independent nurseries. 

Then we left the valley and drove across the bridge to Fidalgo Island and south, across the bridge at Deception Pass and on to Whidbey Island, where after driving down island we finally arrived at our family cabin, home for the night.
The too warm weather was quickly baking the life out of our tulips here, but we still had plenty of color in our cabin garden. 

We've been back home now long enough to do more nursery shopping, collect the plants we want to add to pots and plantings, and have started working on our garden. It's cooler now, with a bit of rain, but we'll be spending time each day in the garden, planting and primping. 

It's time for spring gardening.