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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Social Media

Iris 'Peresh'

I failed to mention a few lovely ladies in yesterdays ramblings, Karen, Betty, Janice, Gail.....the more I think back the deeper the list gets. Thank you all for setting me on " the path". I'm sure I will add more here as time goes on.

Iris 'Theseus'

Why social media for the title? I was thinking about the loads of information available to us now and how its made the plantsmans life so much easier. I'm not that old, but when I started, you still had to find esoteric books on alpines and rock gardening, remember card catalogs? The best way to do it was find a knowledgeable old timer and glean them for tips and tricks. Nowadays, you Google around and you find anything so easy, I verify names in my greenhouse, get pictures and cultural information beamed into a phone smaller then a cassette tape, remember those?

Anyway, this could ramble on forever, as I sit in my greenhouse typing this onto the flat screen of this cassette tape size computer that calls itself a telephone.

The point I'm getting at is that I think I was lucky to come up before the days of social media and the internet, where you had to learn the art of asking questions. I did glean so much knowledge as a neophyte from the older generations willing to share it, nowadays sharing is something that mostly happens on a Facebook page.

Thanks again to all those willing to share, knowledge, plants, and locations. I'll be sure to pass it on to the next, if they don't come asking, then they will hopefully find some traces of it here.

Primula involucrata ssp. yargonensis

Speaking of sharing, that little primrose is from a share of the 2014 North American Rock Garden Society's seed exchange. You wouldn't believe the heavenly perfume that puts out, and I have a dozen of them thanks the seed ex. Another example of passing the torch. Share hour seeds, I know I can do better at that.

Thunderstorms and hail, heavy rain and sun..high of 60, low of 39..yes, its April in Oregon now.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Stunning isn't it?
Erythronium hybrid in the garden of Diana Reeck.

I've had the fortune in my career to meet some truly inspiring plant people. Today I had the greatest fortune of reconnecting with someone who inspired me from my early days propagating plants for a Portland Botanical garden.

Diana, the owner of Collectors Nursery, was always at the biggest sales with incredible arrays of supremely grown plants. She always challenged me to be a better grower.

These are her raised beds chock full of an amazing assortment of hybrid Erythroniums. She is doing breeding work and with this kind of genetic material it will be fun to see what more comes in the future.

Its always fun to catch up with someone you haven't seen in some years, today was a fun walk around the garden, despite the blustery wind and spattering rain, Diana filled me in on plans for her urban backyard garden and such and such a plant that needs to get moved and trials of growing under water hungry cedar roots. Check out her radio show on KMUZ. Lots of neat plant and garden topics.

Thank you Diana for inspiring me, and thank you to all the strong women growers and gardeners who challenged and inspired me throughout my journey to Jane, Diana, Christy, Gretchen, Molly, !Happy, Kimberly, Lucille, the seed ladies at the berry garden, bless there souls, I can t remember there names.

Cheers to all of you! Thank you so much for the life lessons and for sharing your art.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Country kid in the big city

Fritillaria orientalis

I've never understood why this one isn't a hot seller, seems like I always have some left over at the end of the season. Its a great pot specimen for sure.

The kiddo and I at the Garfield park conservatory, this past week. Yes, I survived a week in Chicago. The Field museum, the art institute, the Sears tower, a live taping of NPR's news quiz show, and seeing family was spectacular.

A couple of Californians. Fritillaria liliacea in the foreground and F. agrestis in the background. Interesting cultural note. I lost the liliacea growing in pots I'm the hoop house, but F. agrestis is doing great both in the hoop house and outside in the raised bed. It really goes to show that you should always have back ups to the backups..I think in sports terminology that's called depth of field, or maybe that's photography? Anyway, you get my drift.

Fritillaria acmopetala 'dark form'

Sunny and 66 today, storm clouds rolling in off the Pacific as I write this.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

On a Sunday morning.

Fritillaria kotschyanus

This one seems to do so well in the quart pots, almost as if it appreciates a restricted root mass to flower better.

The Erythroniums and Colchicums at the driveway entrance are filling in nicely.

Rainy and blustery today.

Sorting through some stickered incense cedar that has been drying for several years now. Ran across this mother bear and for reference that is a 4x4 its on.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Break 2015

This is officially the start of Spring Break!

This year it's gonna be a good one.

The raised beds are starting to mature again nicely after the staggered, multi year harvest.

The Frits are filling out in the greenhouse as well.

Rain.....a rare thing these days, returned with some microburst clouds over my little hilltop valley. The Austrian field pea green manure crop is germinating thick in the veggie garden.

Rain, and 60 today.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

March 19th, 2015

Fritillaria agrestis reaching perfection.

I made a visit to Jane's house this week. Visiting her garden is always a recharger for my horticultural soul. So inspiring is her plant collection and knowledge.

The Narcissus in the raised bed. I kept thinking the little white N. wateri was perfuming the air, but it was the N. romieuxii next to it. I should have some of both in this years offering for those daffodil breeders.

The frits are popping up everywhere now and the mild winter has been especially good for the raised beds with no cover.

Sunny and touching 60 today, it was 31 when I left the house at 6:30am.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March 4th-The Winter that wouldn't Show its Face.

My seed grown Fritillaria affinis from the Rogue River.

This plant always takes me back about 8 years. I hiked the 30 miles from Graves Creek to Foster Bar with my old brother in law. Found some seed pods somewhere between Paradise and Mule Creek Canyon.

Seems to be a good strong grower, now that it has matured

Loving these primroses from last years NARGS seed EX.

I've been collecting the primroses because I'm putting in an actual rock garden this year, pond feature and I'm gonna work on some really cool boggy areas to feature sprawling primrose beds with bulbs above on the rock features! Now I just have to win the lottery to make it happen.

Sunny, highs in the 60's, supposed to be in the 70's this weekend... no winter this year.