U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Surprise In a Little Grey Box

I like to have dry plant material on my potting bench in fall and winter.
When I clean the garden, I select nice looking pieces and leave them on the bench. 
Poppy heads are my favorites.
I watch them changing their color from light grey to almost black during the winter.
In spring, they usually go to the compost pile.
Recently, I was cleaning my potting bench and reached for something on the back of one of the shelves.
I knew there were poppy heads there, but what I saw made me pause.
I've never seen anything like that - an explosion of life from the old grey boxes!

The poppy heads still had seeds inside. They got enough moisture and with some warmth started to germinate.
Here they are, two seedheads looking like green hedgehogs.
What a will to live and grow!
I divided heads into several parts and planted them in the garden. 
It was impossible to separate individual seedlings, so I planted them in bunches.
We'll see what happens. They usually don't grow well when crowded.

Even if they don't grow into good plants, it was a nice surprise.

Happy Easter to you!

***Copyright 2014 TatyanaS

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Garden in the Beginning of April

In April, every day brings something new to the garden.
Here are some pictures. 

Forget-me-not is a star of the early April garden:

Camellia growing in the big pot:

This Euphorbia is the smallest of all my euphorbias.  I'd say it's very small.
I can't figure out what she needs.

Herbacious peonies are doing fine:

Meanwhile, my tree peony got some frost damage and lost several buds.
Hosta (Thank you Jim!) in the tall pot. I hope slugs are acrophobic and won't reach it so high.

Blackcurrant has pretty small  flowers and  fragrant leaves which I  add to my tea:

Magnolia is finishing its bloom, and now, there is a carpet of petals beneath it.

Monarda never disappoints me:


Hostas surprised me with how fast they emerged from the ground and began to grow!

Hooray! Blue poppies look very promising:

Schisandra chinensis is famous for its shade tolerance, but you can see how much it enjoys sun.
I see some buds. It means I might have berries:

All astilbes in my garden came from the same mother-plant, but different plants are on different stages of growth. Some have unfurled their leaves already, but others are still looking like aliens:

Edgeworthia is a newby in my garden. I bought it at the NWFGS in February:

As I said before, forget-me-nots can be seen in different parts of the garden:

I need to keep these boxwoods in control.
The potager garden doesn't need them to be too high:

Japanese maples are slowly opening their leaves:

This one is growing in a container. I found a seedling in the back yard, and now,
I'm watching as the little ugly duckling is turning into a beautiful swan:

Pieris was planted under the huge fir trees without any hope for long lasting.
It replaced other shrubs which didn't make it competing with firs.
But it looks wonderful!

The dogs have a shady spot near the utility area:

Japanese forest grass is spreading nicely:

I am pleased to see native dicentra spreading.
I planted one or two plants brought from our friends' farm, and look how many are here now:

In terms of speed of spreading, Labrador violets are competing with forget-me-nots::

All in all, I am pleased how the garden is emerging after the winter. The only frost victims are pink cordyline and a young gunnera.

I hope your garden brings you only good surprises!

***Copyright 2014 TatyanaS

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Beautiful Spring at the Campus of the University of San Diego

Spring break is over. Friendly California pampered us with gentle sun, pleasant breezes and bright blooms that I still miss in my garden.
One of the pleasant surprises of our trip was discovering the beautiful University of San Diego (USD).
If you are visiting San Diego, I recommend touring the USD campus and enjoying the elegant 16th century Spanish Renaissance architectural style, beautiful gardens and views. 
These are some pictures from our tour.

Masses of daylilies in the Garden of the Sky.

Lily-of-the-Nile, roses, rosemary, bird of paradise, society garlic, trailing lantana, agave
are also growing in masses. 

The Garden of the Sea is a great spot to view Mission Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
With its reflecting pool, flower beds and sculptures, it's a wonderful place for meditation.

Copley Library

Bougainvillea, trumpet creeper, Japanese honeysuckle, Chinese wisteria, Carolina Jessamine 
and other vines can be seen on campus. 

Courtyard of Founders Hall

Annuals on campus include blue star creeper, lily turf, ivy geranium, periwinkle, small-leafed iceplant, etc.

Hughes Administration Center

Some of the trees planted  on campus:
white alder, king palm, floss silk tree, Liquidambar, magnolia, Lombardy poplar, California fan palm, 
Mexican fan palm, Canary Island date palm, evergreen pear, goldenrain tree, London plane tree, Italian cypress, rubber tree, Jacaranda, crape myrtle, Monterey pine, Chinese pistache, etc.

The Immaculata Church

Azalea, camellia, gardenia, Japanese aralia, sword fern, kafir lily, philodendron, star jasmine 
are among shade loving plants.

These succulent planters on the terrace stole my heart.

Among natives planted on campus are: Torrey pine, California sagebrush, California buckwheat, California poppy, wild lilac, rock rose, Catalina cherry,  California sycamore, coast live oak, lemonade berry, black sage, Mexican elderberry, coast barrel cactus.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures.
Here is the USD website.

***Copyright 2014 TatyanaS

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