Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Plant Binge

We've obviously been on a plant binge this year. Sharon bought two more trays of clearance plants from Santa Rosa Gardens for the backyard. Sharon just couldn't resist the 50% coupon off clearance prices. When ordering, she did choose the least expensive varieties because we just wanted to bring in some color and ground cover in that drab unplanted area.
This order was composed of ten Ajuga Mahogany, six Heuchera Plum Crazy, six Heuchera Watermelon; all were only $2/ea for 3" pots. Plus ten Athyrium Metallicum, which were $2.50 each. These plants have been planted throughout the lower backyard around and under the red oak.

We also went out to One Green World to pick up two more kiwi plants for the pergola (and, of course, left with additional unplanned purchases).
The Ken's Red Hardy Kiwi we put in in spring 2016 didn't make it. It sort of limped along the first year without putting on any real growth, and then died by the second spring. The Anna Hardy Kiwi is doing well. We're going to have a few kiwis this year for the first time!
The Anna Hardy Kiwi has finally reached the pergola roof.
Anna Hardy Kiwi fruit
The Kiwi Male Hardy has made some good progress in covering the pergola.
This visit we chose two new varieties of kiwis:
Those were both planted today in the two open corners of the pergola.

While we wandered around to the front entrance to check out with the kiwis, Sharon spied this beautiful little plant covered with red and yellow lantern-shaped flowers. With minimal research to make sure it could survive in part-shade, she brought one home. It is an Abutilon megapotamicum, called a flowering maple or Chinese lanterns. It will likely end up in the Hidden Garden.

We also decided to try two Pawpaw trees under the black walnut. After some research, we discovered they could withstand living under a black walnut and would tolerate shade. These are the varieties Jeff chose:
They aren't in the ground yet, it will be a few weeks yet. There's quite a lot of junk in the way of planting these. Planting these trees is probably an August project.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Hidden Garden Redo

After spending more than a week studying which areas were sunny, and which were shady behind the garage, Sharon realized she had originally made a number of wrong assumptions and there is actually more sun back there than she expected. So, that called for a major rearranging of the plants.

Plus, after spending more hours sifting through locally available plants, Sharon was able to weed out plants that either needed too much sun or too much water. Now, virtually all these plants will tolerate drought as we do not love routine hand-watering. We'd like to water no more than once a week, once they're established.

This is the rough arrangement as of now.  Obviously, not all these plants will be in flower at once.
This obsessive detail is mostly for ourselves because until this year we'd plant an area and then a few months later, we couldn't remember what we planted. The blog has proven to be a pretty good way to archive information like this. Working from the top left:
  • Hemerocallis 'Stella d'Oro' (Daylily Stella d'Oro): These want full sun to part shade. These bloom in early-mid season. This was a really inexpensive clearance item from Santa Rose Gardens.
  • Aquilegia oxysepala (Oriental Columbine): These want sun to partial shade and will presumably flower in spring, like our other columbines. Sharon is actually going to try and start this plant from seeds as none of our local nurseries carry them (that we've found).
  • Heuchera ‘Cajun Fire’: These will tolerate everything from full sun to full shade. They also change colors from red in spring to burgundy in summer. It has insignificant white flowers in late spring. Sharon already bought these on clearance from Santa Rosa Gardens.
  • Athyrium filix-femina (Lady Fern): The lady fern is such a pretty plant. They like partial shade to full shade. We'll probably relocate most of them from one of our many rain gardens.
  • Helleborus x hybridus 'Apricot Blush' (Apricot Blush Lenton Rose): This plant wants partial to full shade and it will bloom in early spring. It's being placed in the shadiest spot behind the garage which only gets maybe an hour or two of sun a day. Sharon is hoping to pick up this plant from Petal Heads in West Linn once they have both plants we want back in stock.
  • Polystichum munitum (Western Swordfern): These are evergreen and prefer shade. We'll probably move most of these from our over-crowded rain garden by the house. 
  • Helleborus 'Red Sapphire' (Red Sapphire Lenton Rose): This plant wants partial to full shade and it will bloom in early spring.
From the bottom left:
  • Coreopsis 'Jethro Tull' (Tickseed Coreopsis Jethro Tull): Most websites say this wants full sun, but Santa Rosa Gardens said it would tolerate some shade so Sharon decided to try it. This is the sunniest spot, so it will hopefully be fine. It flowers from late spring to late summer.
  • Hemerocallis 'Burnin' Down the House' (Burnin' Down the House Daylily): This was the most expensive daylily Sharon ordered, but she couldn't resist the colors. It also starts blooming in early-mid season (June?). She already ordered this from Shreiner's Iris Gardens in Salem, Oregon and expects delivery sometime this fall.
  • Heuchera villosa 'Caramel' (Caramel Coral Bells): This tolerates full sun to partial shade. This was another selection Sharon was able to purchase on clearance $2.99! We've already received them and they've been repotted into gallon pots, awaiting planting in a couple of months.
  • Heuchera 'Cajun Fire': We ordered 7 of these, so there will be quite a few interspersed through the area.
  • Adiantum x tracyi (Tracy's Maidenhair Fern): We planted some of these in the front yard and have really liked them. They claim to be evergreen. They prefer shade. 
There will be bulbs interspersed throughout the sunny areas.
  • Crocus x Luteus 'Mammoth Yellow': It's wonderful when crocuses come up in late-winter as they provide the first glimpse of spring. These bulbs want full sun to part shade. Sharon ordered 10 of these bulbs from the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn, Oregon. 
  • Hyacinth 'Gipsy Queen': These were also ordered from the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm.
  • Tulip 'Apricot Foxx': These want full sun to part shade and bloom in early spring. Also ordered from Wood Shoe Tulip Farm.
  • Tulip 'Blushing Apeldoorn': These want full sun to part shade and bloom in early spring. Also ordered from Wood Shoe Tulip Farm.
The fence view is very busy. Most of the plants are repeats, but there a few new ones. The two shrubs against the fence are 
  • Ribes odoratum ‘Crandall’ (Clove Currant): Full sun to part shade. It blooms yellow flowers in March/April. The flowers are followed by large black, sweet edible fruit in summer which probably the birds will mostly get.
  • Berberis x lologensis ‘Apricot Queen’ (Barberry): Full to partial shade. It blooms in May to June followed by some sort of fruit in July-August. Sharon is still not 100% committed to this shrub because it has thorns. Pruning a pokey plant is never fun.
The four flowers in front of them (from left to right) are
  • Iris 'Red Velvet Elvis': This was actually a speculative purchase from the bargain bench from Santa Rosa Gardens. I don't know if it will survive our conditions. It wants full sun to part shade, but since it's a Louisiana iris, it may need more water than we'll be willing to give it long-term.
  • Iris x pacifica ‘Tawny Meadow’: This is a cross of two native irises. It wants full sun to part shade and once established will tolerate no watering throughout the summer.
  • Iris 'Avalon Sunset': It prefers full sun to partial shade and blooms late mid-season. This was ordered from Schreiner's Iris Farm in Salem, Oregon.
  • Hemerocallis 'Ledgewood's Jumpstart' (Daylily): This blooms early-midseason. Full sun to partial shade. This was ordered from Schreiner's Iris Farm in Salem, Oregon.
We're trying to keep the area between the stepping stones planted with shorter plants and groundcover. The only plant shown, not already identified is  
Aquilegia caerulea 'Swan Pink-Yellow' (Swan Pink-Yellow Columbine) which was purchased on clearance from Santa Rosa Gardens.

Sharon is still considering options for which groundcover to use around the stones.
The shrub to the left of the existing maple tree is Camellia x williamsii ‘Night Rider’: This camellia tolerates full shade and is drought tolerant once established. It blooms early in March to April.

The Japanese maple is Acer palmatum 'Sherwood Flame'.  Websites conflict about whether it prefers sun or shade; we're going with part shade. Hopefully, it won't get too big.  Websites say it will get about 8' in 10 years. We'll surely be long gone by then. 

There are only a few new plants in this view. 
  • Achillea 'Desert Eve Terracotta' (Yarrow, Bloodwort, All Heal): Full sun to part shade. This was another speculative clearance plant from Santa Rosa Gardens. Yarrow is a native in this area so Sharon figured this would probably do okay in our yard.
  • Aquilegia 'Ruby Port' (Ruby Port Columbine): Surprise, Sun to Part shade.
  • Epimedium cantabrigiense or Epimedium x ‘Supernova’ or something else, if we find a good deal. These are for the full shade areas behind the large maple. These will probably be purchased next spring so we can see the color of their flowers before we buy them.
  • Hemerocallis 'For Aunt Marian'. (Sharon almost didn't buy this daylily because it has such a stupid name, but she liked the colors.) Already ordered from Schreiner's Iris Gardens.