Berries, Vines, Seeds, and a Giant Impatiens


This past Friday evening I went for a nice long walk. Once part of my weekly routine, I’ve been too busy recently to add another 6 miles onto my week—at least not on that day. So I was happy to wander around for several hours as the city came alive with its nightlife and the Blue Moon rose up over Portland.

Sambucus nigra.

Not far from home I ran into this gorgeous black elderberry shrub. It was all dressed up for the season.

Sambucus nigra.  

Seeing it reminded me that summer is really over. It’s too bad we didn’t have much heat at all, but I’m grateful I barely had to water this year. With all of the walking and activities too, I’ve barely taken care of my plants. For a long time I felt poorly about that, but the exercising has truly improved my health a great deal.

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata.

Not far from the elderberry I saw the difficult-to-miss berries of a porcelain berry vine. An Asian plant, it’s considered invasive in much of the Eastern US though here in the NW it doesn’t seem to be taking anything over just yet.

I just love those candy-colored berries though.

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata.

According to one site the vine was introduced from Asia in 1870 as an ornamental and landscaping plant. This must have been really pretty beside some lovely Victorian home.

Euphorbia lathyris.

Back at home I have a few plants that are blog worthy. First off is this caper spurge or mole plant. I’ve been meaning to write about it for some time.

Loree from over at Danger Garden noticed several of these popping up in my garden last spring and she knew what they were immediately. I had no idea at first, but then I remembered I’d ordered some special Euphorbia seeds at some point.

When things don’t germinate, I often just toss the seed starting soil out into the garden. Well, this is what happens when you do that.

It’s like Christmas to me. I won’t lie.

Impatiens tinctoria. 

Another great plant I have is the giant Impatiens tinctoria. Its blooms are amazing, but I have to admit I’ve neglected this African rainforest plant a bit by not mulching it enough this year. At least I still get the blooms though and it’s been hardy in my garden now for at least a year.

Impatiens tinctoria.

You can see that the leaves did get a bit scorched. It probably should be moved to a more protected spot.

Actaea pachypoda.

Lastly, there’s my doll’s eyes (or white baneberry) plant. The Actaea is native to the Eastern US and I have to say that the plant’s common name thrills me with its creepiness. It’s by far one of the best plants to get me in the mood for Halloween.

Probably not a bad thing to start thinking about as we shift gears and move indoors more and more.

Passiflora ‘Blue Crown’ as it makes a run for it.

6 thoughts on “Berries, Vines, Seeds, and a Giant Impatiens

  1. All those berries are beautiful. Around here, people use elderberries to make jelly and wine.
    I would have gladly shared some heat with you this summer. It was a hard year on anything living (plants and gardeners). We're enjoying more reasonable temperatures now and had a good rain last week.
    Sorry I haven't been by lately, life just keeping me running. You have a lovely new profile photo. Enjoy those chances to take long walks!


  2. I wish we could have had a bit more heat but so it goes. I am so glad you've had some relief too and that the temps are dropping. Don't worry about not having dropped by since I haven't been stepping out much past my own blog recently. I hope to start reading everyone else's again soon too. I think that we're all super busy so I understand. It's ok!


  3. Les, I am a bit surprised that is hasn't been a problem here at all. I'll have to ask a few friends about this because I'm curious. It reseeds easily and since our climate is so mellow you'd think it would go crazy. Maybe all the invasive English ivy we have has strangled it out! Lol. Now that's an invasive!


  4. Oh how I wish I had a bucket full of those elderberries! I have been drinking the elderberry syrup in the winter these last couple of years and I swear it keeps the colds at bay, but it does get expensive. If only I hadn't squandered all my elderflower blossoms on cordial;-)

    And that euphorbia is amazing–love those tones of green and mint.


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