Berries, Vines, Seeds, and a Giant Impatiens

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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‚ÄĒat 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.

Those Last Minute Fall Plant Sales!!

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I am such a sucker for the Fall Plant Sale, and by that I mean the plant sales with deep discounts, the ones that often have the sad plants that look like Charlie Brown Christmas trees. Maybe it’s the foster parent in me, the girl who has always been on the side of the downtrodden, sad, and neglected in life, or maybe it’s the fact that I have an incredible amount of patience that is backed by this drive in me to study things over a long period of time. Who knows but at least I am not alone.
I already have a Monstera deliciosa thriving in my entry, so I knew I could resist this amazing Monstera deliciosa¬†‘Albo Varietgata’ but I won’t lie, I wanted it! That frosted, glazed donut look gets me every time!

This year I limited myself to two sales and the first one I went to was at Al’s Garden Center¬†in Woodburn. When I saw that they had Woolly Pockets¬†at a deep discount, I had to go! I’d wanted one ever since I first saw them in an amazing glossy ad, but then I promised myself I would resist all the other stuff!

One more way to stuff African Violets into your home.
A frilly edged Asplenium nidus, or Bird’s Nest Fern.
Crocodile Fern, Microsorum musifolium.
Mounted Staghorn Ferns aka Platycerium.
I was so proud to have made it past all the ferns, but then it was this display of Bromeliads that ruined me. I saw all of them and thought, “Maybe I should keep working on this group. I bought one last winter and didn’t kill it so maybe I could expand on that success!” (For such a cynic, I truly can sound ridiculously positive.)
From left to right: Phlebodium aureum ‘Mandaianum’, Vriesea ‘Splenriet’,¬†Dracaena ‘Green Stripe’, Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Moonshine’.

Lucky for me I was able to find a Bromeliad on the clearance rack. At that point, after crumbling, I couldn’t buy just one plant from the sale rack, so I bought the group shown here and brought them home with me.

Moving out to the perennial sales area I came across this tulip blend and the idea of a ‘Wine and Cheese’ tulip mix really cracked me up. Maybe this loosened me up too much though because I continued to select a few more items to purchase.

Delphinium ‘Sweethearts’.

At least I was able to convince my friend to purchase this amazing Delphinium. I am not fond of pink, but I do love dusty rose. From afar, this plant really stood out too.

Doll’s Eyes or White Baneberry, Actaea pachypoda.

As if by fate, while standing there trying to convince my friend to buy something, I saw these Doll’s Eyes staring at me. This North American native is one I’ve wanted for a really long time.¬†I bought one of them too and, of course, I quickly harvested its seeds.

The second sale I was able to commit to this year was the annual Cistus Nursery¬†parking lot sale. Due to my rather challenging foster child that weekend we were a bit late, and many plants had already been purchased by people who’d shown up with trailers, but we had a good time anyway and found plenty of plants.

Our cart filled up quickly with plants that were very different from the plants we’d found last year! You just never know what you’ll find at this sale. That’s what makes it so much fun.

This year there were a number of Windmill Palms (Trachycarpus fortunei) so I picked one up.
My husband and I were never really sure about planting palms, but after seeing them in Japanese gardens in photographs shown during a lecture last winter up in Seattle, we felt more comfortable about adding one to our berm area.

I picked this one after the tag tugged at my heartstrings. It was grown from Portland seeds. Awhhhhhh!

Myrtus communis ‘Ann McDonald’.

There was also a Myrtle so I bought it even though I already have a small one in the backyard. Myrtles fascinate me and the blooms were so pretty I couldn’t resist.

Spider Plant ‘Gold Nugget’ (Chlorophytum ‘Gold Nugget’).

I also bought two plants from the nursery that were not on sale. This Spider Plant ‘Gold Nugget’ is one I’ve been wanting for awhile, and since it looked like it had some seeds, I was even more sold on the idea of it. I am curious to see how those grow. I know this must sound funny, but I really am curious.

Spider Plant ‘Gold Nugget’, (Chlorophytum¬†‘Gold Nugget’) seed heads.
Jasminum parkeri.

This cute little Dwarf Flowering Jasmine also caught my eye. The smell was nice too.

Has anyone else been to any great sales? What deals did you find this fall?