April 2018, a Month of Action!

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IMG_1815Highlights from last April include the publication of this piece I wrote for the HPSO (Hardy Plant Society of Oregon) Bulletin.

There was also a much needed trip to the coast. I was able to walk in the ocean a bit, and later I ate some fresh oysters. I also got to see the alder tree at Dad’s house that had fallen into the river during the winter.

A few plants were purchased. At the annual Portland Orchid Society sale I found an Anthurium scherzerianum ‘Rothchildianum’. At another local plant sale I discovered Iris ‘Kinky Boots’. At my Gesneriad Society group I was able to get some seeds. At Hortlandia I volunteered at one of the HPSO booths and I bought the new edition of the PNW butterfly book by Robert Micheal Pyle.

Back at Cistus Nursery there was much going on. Year round there are plants blooming but in April things really begin to take off. We still had Aristolochia californica going and the Trillium kurbayashii were showing their beauty in the garden border. The Gasteria glomerata you see blooming was likely the one at Sean’s old house but these bloom off an on at work in the greenhouses. They’re one of my favorites. Preparations were made for seed germination. I continue to learn as the months tick by. There is still so much to learn and there are so many seeds out there to germinate. I propagated some Bergenia ciliata, and sniffed the most gentle of Mahonia. I potted up a Claytonia parviflora ssp. (I think) and that Ceanothus arboreus ‘Powder Blue’! Wow! Wow! Wowzers!

The garden at home suffered a bit due to my busy schedule. The Eccrecarpus bloomed all winter. The Darlingtonia californica found a perfect home. The front area of the house was still a mess. (Much as it is now. I just cannot tame that area.) Geranium phaeum ‘Sambor’ continued to impress. The Dodecatheon I’ve had for years continued to bulk up and the community garden plot definitely needed some love after months of neglect.

Lastly, there were the cats. Oliver really started to enjoy his spot on the back roof overlooking the living willow area, and Felix finally got to get out on his leash a bit. For the first time he visited the nursery while a group of us were on a plant-shopping field trip BEFORE Hortlandia. Yeah, I know, I’m bad! I don’t think I bought anything that day—or did I? A shout out to meeting an online friend too for the first time. Jason Chen is a designer and wonderful person who lives down in SoCal. I had no idea I’d be seeing him in Portland for Hortlandia and imagine my surprise when Felix jumped into his lap and fell asleep.

Last April was a really fun month.

HPSO Hortlandia Plant Sale—Better late than never…

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Back at the start of the month I was a bit nervous about going to the rather large Hardy Plant Sale, but after a walk around the garden early that morning, I put aside my ongoing concerns, and marveled at this Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica in bloom. I’m not sure why I suddenly felt better about things, but after waiting years for this vine to bloom, I really felt happy. It was beautiful.

I’d purchased it back in 2008 when Chalk Hill Clematis shut its online plant store. It has slowly been growing year after year with little fanfare—that was until now. It’s technically called a winter-blooming Clematis, and it’s evergreen as well, so that makes it even better. I think it’s by far one of my favorite vines in the garden.

Purchased as Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica. Not sure, but this could be ‘Freckles’.

Walking past the garden art vendors at the show I was drawn to the table of special new additions to the plant world from local growers. I’m not sure if they’ve placed this table out front before, but it was interesting. I’ve always wanted to hybridize something and the process does interest me. These were really pretty too.

Sign under these read: 5 New Split Corona Daffodils Hybridized By: Steve Vinisky of Cherry Creek Daffodils.

There was also this most amazing blue Primula.

Primula acaulis x hybrid ‘Blueberry Swirl submitted by Steve Vinisky, Red’s Rhodies/Cherry Creek Daffodils.

There is no bog garden here at home, but this Sarracenia made me want to make one. It was gigantic.

Sarracenia purpurea purpurea. (Courting Frogs Nursery)

Some part of me now wishes I had this Magnolia laevifolia out back instead of the the others I planted. I guess they are still small enough to move though, so maybe I shouldn’t start complaining too much.

Magnolia laevifolia-large form. (Cistus Design Nursery)

This Ribes really caught my eye too but with spikes on it I am not yet confident that I wouldn’t hurt myself.

Ribes roezlii var. cruentum ‘Dixie Glade’ . (Cistus Design Nursery)

Sorry that I don’t have more pictures from the show. I have to admit that I was carrying plants and was with a friend so I was too busy talking and shopping. The show was great though, and I am really glad I went.

There are those of you out there who regularly ask what I bought, so here goes…
Juno Iris, Iris bucharica. (Wild Ginger Farm)
Syrian Bear’s Breeches, Acanthus syriacus. (Joy Creek Nursery)
Cape Restio, Rhodocoma capensis. (Xera Plants)
Mukdenia, Mukdenia rossii ‘Crimson Fans’. (Siskiyou Rare Plant Nursery)
Grass Widow, Olsynium douglasii. (Humble Roots Farm and Nursery)
Arching Japanese Holly Fern, Cyrtomium fortunie var. Cliviola. (Not sure what the nursery was since the name wasn’t on the tag.)
Golden Saxifrage, Chrysosplenium davidianum. (Far Reaches Farm)
Mouse Plant, Arisarum proboscideum. (Edelweiss Perennials)
Dwarf Himalayan Willow, Salix lindleyana. (Siskiyou Rare Plant Nursery)
Mediterranean Sea Holly, Eryngium bourgatii. (Joy Creek Nursery)