Friday, April 5, 2013

Sammy gets a haircut and other goings on in the garden…

This spring has been a joy, after several cold and wet springs in a row here in Portland we’ve finally been blessed with wonderful gardening weather to kick off the season. I’ve been moving so many projects forward that keep having to remind myself it’s only the first week in April, last year at this time I was still working on the Bishops Weed project. That project, a late start to the season and the unexpected Rhody removal meant I never got around to some of the mundane maintenance chores, like giving Sammy (my tall Yucca rostrata) a haircut.

I know there are many folks who wouldn't dream of trimming the old leaves off their trunking yucca; I’m not one of them. What’s the point of a trunk if you can’t see it? Isn’t this much better?

lil’ Sanford got a haircut too…

While it was an unpleasant job (spiders and earwigs love setting up home in those old leaves) I must say having the right tool for the task made it much easier than in the past. In prior years I’ve used my bypass pruners and the hook made it challenging to get in under the leaves flat up against the trunk. This year these snips from Corona Tools made quick work of the job (relatively speaking). No this isn’t a paid advertisement for Corona Tools, but I did receive them free in a swag bag at the NWFG Show “tweet-up”… and I’m telling you about them (and my gloves too it seems) because they might make your gardening work easier!

So did you notice that giant arm of the Echium trying to get in the photos above with Sammy? Well it and the main trunk (which in turn was just a tiny arm off last year’s blooming trunk) appear to be getting ready to flower (photo taken before Sammy’s haircut)…

The trunks (there are three) are all shooting up, turning dark burgundy, and starting to get little buds on them.

And what looks like a blooming tip is starting to emerge…

Can you imagine what three blooming spikes are going to look like? I’d better fabricate a brace to support the weight. (*update...I discovered that loopy arm on the right broken off this morning...perhaps the added weight of the rain yesterday was just too much for it?*)

In other developments…I can’t quite believe I managed to plant this ‘quicksilver’ Hebe right on top of my Eremurus without disturbing them. Not that I intended to create this frightful mess, I forgot they were there!

The ‘parrots beak’ (Clianthus puniceus) blooms are starting to open!

New foliage is always exciting to see, especially when accompanied by little flower buds like on this Podophyllum peltatum.

Aucuba japonica ‘Longifolia’

Metapanax (Nothopanax?) delavayi…isn’t this fabulous!?

And of course who doesn’t love Syneilesis aconitifolia?

I think this might be record growth for the Gunnera in first week of April.

And the mild winter has me a little afraid of the Acanthus mollis, it’s huge already!

Unfortunately not everything is experiencing happy new growth, the Blue Atlas Cedar continues its downward spiral. Knowing that I caused this is a knife in my heart every time I look at it!

How about some flowers to cheer us both up? This is my favorite stage with the Euphorbia rigida blooms, when the orange bits appear.

And the new growth pushes out all full and lush.

The Ceanothus ‘Dark Star’ blooms are starting to open…

And here’s a confession, a plant I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned having, lilac! I have a childhood fondness for these shrubs (Spokane, WA, where I grew up is the Lilac City). This poor plant was so shaded out by the big Rhododendron that it hadn’t bloomed forever, and I kind of forgot about it. Well since the Rhody’s gone it’s decided to show off…

The first (almost) flower on Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’...

And Disporum cantoniense ‘Green Giant’…

Its new growth looks a little like bamboo…

And finally Verbascum bombyciferum 'Arctic Summer'… I love it at this stage!

But I have a feeling it’s fixing to bloom and that will mean the end.

Ah well, change is good…especially in the garden.

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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