Seeds!

Blimey! My seeds arrived today  and I am dead chuffed!

I mean, just look at them all. I’m picturing all the bloom and things that buzz.

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These are all native wildflower and grass seeds so they’ll go straight onto the soil.

There’s Roemer’s Fescue, Tidy Tips, and Baby-Blue Eyes.

Blue Gilia, and California Poppy  (orange, red, and white).

And…two new books courtesy of Amazon Christmas gift card.
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Who’s a happy girl?

Giddy with excitement here!  (can you tell?)

 

2019 Bloom Where You’re Planted

Remember the whimsical art of Mary Englebreit with captions such as “Bloom Where You Are Planted?” The image (which I don’t have permission to use here, but you can Google it) came to my mind as I was thinking about gardens I’ve seen and then about my own, which is far from you see in the magazines. It’s a “work in progress” I keep telling myself. Anyway, the notion of ‘blooming where planted’ resonates with me. So often we start off with the ideas of what we have to have, work like mad to get it, only to find later that we don’t need it as much as we thought we did.

When I was in college I lived on the 3-acre remains of an old farm in Walnut Creek CA. with college room-mates. We had goats, chickens, and a very large vegetable garden. I was 19 years old and thought for sure that one day I’d have 20 acres and be one of those organic gardeners living the dream in my Birkenstocks and long skirts. The goats were mine and to this day I have a special fondness for goats.  But you know what they say about life getting in the way of plans.  I ended up moving to London for a year to live with my grandmother. Living there introduced me to the “English perennial border.”

We lived near Kew Gardens so I was able to wander there quite a lot. I went to the Chelsea Flower show although back then it was not the event that it is today.  And then I returned home, finished college, got a job, got married, and gardened where ever we rented. For a few years I was able to take night classes in horticulture at Merritt College in Oakland which only whetted my appetite for plants.

 

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Lilium regale in my garden

 

After our son was born we made the choice to leave family, friends, and jobs behind and move up to WA state. We rented a dreary little house on a bramble filled field of sorts and lived off our savings while my husband looked for a job. It was a challenging time. The economy was not the best and I remember eking out a few dollars for daffodil bulbs, I was so desperate to have something cheerful to grow. It was tough to put dreams on hold, and tough to learn how to bend with events.

Thirty years and two houses later I’ve figured out a few things.  Not only will life events throw a curve ball in those garden dreams but so will terrible soil, invasive Himalayan blackberry bramble, that creepy invader ivy, difficult slopes, and crazy neighbors who spray Round-up on your plants (yep, happened to us). And of course, lack of funds!  It is what it is for most of us but with some resourcefulness we can work around those challenges. I think we’re all called as stewards to take the tumbledown, derelict, and neglected and bring it all back to life.

I hope for all of you that 2019 will be a year of making garden sanctuaries no matter how humble or grand.

 

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Springtime down our back slope

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A few weeks ago I wrote about posting a note in my neighborhood Next Door website to get local gardeners together for an informal meet up at Marcell’s Pie Shop.  We had several interested people turn up, and lots of conversation. One request that came out of the group was to start a Facebook Group page and so I have done just that.  It is called Gardening in the ‘Couv; Vancouver WA USA. The focus is on gardening in urban/suburban Vancouver. All in “the “Couv” are welcome from novice to experienced gardeners, and especially those who are thinking they might like to garden but don’t know where to start. We’ve all been there, yes?

Our next garden meet-up is Sunday, January 6 at 3 PM. Location is again Marcell’s Pie Shop, 3100 Columbia in the Carter Park neighborhood. We have an area reserved for us so bring your catalogs, books, seeds, and what ever you may want to share.

 

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Erythronium ‘Pagoda’ on a terrace

June Garden Events

My apologies for being late on this.  Here are some local events in June. Click on the links for more information. Don’t forget to check your local nurseries for classes they offer!

Master Gardener Foundation of Clark County Educational Meeting
“Great Plants Adapted to Pacific Northwest Climates”
with Amy Campion, freelance writer & photographer
Tuesday, June 5, 2018  – 7 pm
CASEE Center, Bldg B, Rm 202/205
11104 NE 149th St, Brush Prairie WA
Free and open to the public

Mason Bee Introductory Workshop
Saturday, June 9, 2018  – 10:30 a.m.
Location: Battle Ground Community Library,
1207 SE 8th Way, Battle Ground, WA, 98604
Cost: FREE! No registration necessary.
For more information:(360) 397-6060 x5738

International Herbal Adventure
Presented by Garden Delights Herb Farm
Saturday, June 16, 2018 – 10:200 a.m.
CASEE Center, Bldg B, Rm 202/205
11104 NE 149th St, Brush Prairie WA
Free for Naturescaping members/$15 for non-members
Register at info@naturescaping.org or call 360.737.1160.

Roses in the Garden at Joy Creek Nursery
Sunday June 17, 2018 – 1 p.m.
Joy Creek Nursery, 20300 Watson Rd, Scappoose OR 97056
503.543.7474

“Mike Smith, co-owner at Joy Creek Nursery is passionate about his roses. He has collected many species and old-fashioned favorites, most of which were selected for disease resistance, fragrance and bloom in our gardens at Joy Creek Nursery. Join Mike in his enthusiasm for roses, an old garden favorite that when selected carefully can enhance even the most contemporary garden space. Free and open to the public.”

Ft. Vancouver Rose Society Rose Show
Saturday, June 23, 2018, 1- 4 p.m.
First Evangelical Church
4120 NE St. John’s Road, Vancouver 98661
Free and open to the public

Recycled Arts Festival
June 23 & 24, 2018. Saturday 9 – 5. Sunday 9 – 4.
Esther Short Park, Vancouver WA
For more details click on the link
(Lots of garden related items!)

Master Gardener Foundation Mother’s Day Sale Coming Up

Want an alternative to Mother’s Day brunch?
Come out to one of Clark County’s largest plant sales!

For sale will be vegetable starts, hostas and shade plants, perennials, houseplants (orchids, succulents, etc.),  trees, shrubs, and natives.

I’ve bought some fabulous plants here. Many come from private home gardens which are donated for propagation.

Dates: Saturday, May 12, 2018, 9 AM – 4 PM
Sunday, May 13, 2018, 10 AM – 3 PM
78th Street Heritage Farm, NE 1919 78th Street, Vancouver WA 98665

Parking is on a grassy field so keep that in mind and wear appropriate shoes. It’s a good idea to bring a wagon or cart but if you don’t have one there will be some wagons to use while you shop for plants.  A plant holding area will be available for your convenience while you shop.  See you there!

 

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May Garden Events

UPDATE: I’ll be adding to this list as I am notified of events.
I just went to the Hudson Bay High School sale and they have loads of plants: lots of geraniums and impatiens for containers, some pretty neat agave and succulents, some way cool orchids from Nepal, and some native shrubs (native roses, Ninebark, Twinberry, Penstemons) amongst many other plants.

Naturescaping is extending their Bare Root sale to May 5th with discount prices.

Here is an article from The Columbian on local plant sales this month.

Vancouver School District Plant Sales

I want to give a shout out to the high school horticulture teachers and students. Many of these kids will choose to go into some form of plant related careers; floristry, market gardening, landscaping, and related fields. These are the future gardeners and plant geeks. How I wish horticulture had been offered in my high school! So swing by one of the schools listed below and support the kids.

From the Vancouver School District

It’s time for Vancouver schools’ annual plant sales! Visit these sales for quality perennials, annuals, trees, shrubs, vegetables, hanging baskets, fruit, orchids, cactuses, native plants and more. All proceeds support FFA and programs that teach kids job skills, work ethics and so much more!

Columbia River High School, 800 NW 99th Street
April 28, 9 AM – 5 PM, April 30-May 4, 8:30 AM – 2 PM

Hudson Bay High School, 1601 E. McLoughlin Blvd. (near Clark College), Vancouver
May 2, 7 AM – 7 PM
May 3, 7 AM – 7 PM
May 4, 7 AM – 5 PM

Ft. Vancouver High School, 5700 E. 18th Street, Vancouver
May 2, 3, 4, 7:30 AM – 7 PM

Vancouver Flex Academy, 2901 General Anderson Avenue, Vancouver
May 10 and 11, 4:30 PM – 7 PM
May 12, 9 AM – 3 PM

Battle Ground School District Plant Sales
Battle Ground High School, 300 W. Main St. B.G
May 5 and 6, 9 AM – 2 PM
Over 15,000 pots including over 1000 hanging baskets, perennial flowers, bedding plants, vegetables, berry plants and nursery stock. Cash or check only.

Prairie High School, 11311 NE 119th Street, Vancouver
May 5, 9 AM – 2 PM
Hanging baskets, vegetables, flowers, grasses, herbs, succulents

Composting With Confidence Workshop
Saturday, May 5, 10 AM
Battle Ground Community Library
1207 SE 8th Way, B.G.
FREE, no registration necessary

Lilac Days: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily through May 13, 2018. Tours of the Victorian farm-house, gift shop and plant sales. Cut lilacs for sale on weekends. Quilts of yesterday and today will be on display in the farmhouse. Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens, 115 S. Pekin Road, Woodland; $5, children under 12 free. 360-225-8986 or lilacgardens.com

Creating Fabulous Containers for Small and All Gardens:
Sunday May 6, 2018 1 p.m. Learn to make the perfect container to enhance your home. Talk about suitable plants for various situations (hot, dry, shade, etc.) and discuss things like color, texture, form, seasonality, scale and personality. $10; 503-543-7474 to RSVP. Joy Creek Nursery, 20300 N.W. Watson Road, Scappoose OR

Master Gardener Foundation Sale
Mother’s Day week-end. May 12-13, 2018
Held at the Heritage Farm on 78th Street, Hazel Dell WA.

Mother’s Day Rhododendron Show and Sale
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, Portland OR.
Across from Reed College. May 12-13, 2018, 9 AM – 5 PM

Community Garden Club of Camas and Washougal Plant Sale
Saturday, May 19, 2018 9  AM – 3 PM
Camas United Methodist Church
706 NE 14th Street, Camas WA

Clematis Tour of the Gardens at Joy Creek Nursery
Sunday, May 27, 2018 1 PM

Join nursery co-owner Maurice Horn for a tour of the many species of clematis in the gardens at Joy Creek Nursery to learn which is best for your garden. Over the last twenty-seven years, Joy Creek Nursery has been fortunate to be associated with many wonderful clematis hybridizers and collectors.   As a result, the nursery garden contains a wide variety of both climbing and herbaceous forms of clematis from many parts of the world. This is an opportunity to learn about many clematis that are rarely if ever seen in the trade. Free and open to the public. Joy Creek Nursery, 20300 N.W. Watson Road, Scappoose OR
Maurice Horn, co-owner of Joy Creek Nursery has served on the board of the International Clematis Society and was a founding member and vice-president of the Pacific Northwest Clematis Society which became the Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection.  Clematis have been a life-long passion. He has been fortunate to work with several hybridizers and to introduce their plants to the gardening public.  Recently, Joy Creek Nursery has introduced several of their own clematis.

 

 

This week in the garden

A few days of sunshine makes all the difference.
Here’s a few photos around the garden this week.

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Smilacena on the left and Rhododendron ‘icannotrememberii’ on the right.

 

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Rhodie with Osmanthus ‘Goshiki’ behind it.

 

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Rhododendron ‘Honey Butter.’

 

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Rhododendron ‘Seaview Sunset.’ This is getting some leaf damage from the Azalea Lace bug. I’ll dig this up and move it when it’s finished blooming.

 

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The Camas lilies are coming up.

 

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Rhododendron ‘augustinii’ in the back woodland area. Photo does not accurately show just how purple they are. These were in more sun up front and being attacked by azalea lace bug. According to an OSU report drought stressed rhodies in sun are nearly twice as likely to be infected. So, I’ve been moving my rhodies down the slope to a shady area to see if that helps.  Stay tuned.

Another Garden Weekend Coming Right Up

Rain is in the forecast for the weekend so if you can’t work outside you might as well go plant hunting instead!

Friday – Sunday, April 27-29 is the Clark Public Utilities Home & Garden Idea Fair at the Clark County Fairgrounds.
Entrance is free, parking is $6/car.
For those of you in search of plants here is a list of the plant vendors that will be there.  Guest Speaker Schedule

What you need to know:

Hours:
Friday, April 27: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, April 28: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, April 29: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location:
Clark County Event Center
17402 NE Delfel Road
Ridgefield, WA 98642
Just 9 miles north of the I-5 bridge at exit 9.
More detailed information here.

Saturday-Sunday, April 27-28, 10 AM to 3 PM is the Bare Root Trees, Shrubs, and Perennials Sale sponsored by Naturescaping’s Wildlife Botanical Gardens in Brush Prairie.  The CASEE students (Center for Agriculture, Science, and Environmental Education) will also be there selling native plants. This is an excellent time to visit the gardens as well. Click on the links below to open and print off the information flyer and the plant list.

2018 Bare Roots Flyer
2018 Plant Sale List

Meanwhile, over in Camas WA…

Container Gardening
April 28, 2 PM
Camas Public Library, 625 NE 4th Ave. Camas WA 98607
Join Laura Heldreth, WSU Clark County Extension Master Gardener and winner of the 2016 Fine Gardening Magazine container contest, for an inspiring and educational experience. Free. Click on link for more information.

From the Vancouver School District

It’s time for Vancouver schools’ annual plant sales! Visit these sales for quality perennials, annuals, trees, shrubs, vegetables, hanging baskets, fruit, orchids, cactuses, native plants and more. All proceeds support FFA and programs that teach kids job skills, work ethics and so much more!

Columbia River High School, 800 NW 99th Street (Hazel Dell)
April 28, 9 AM to 5 PM , April 30-May 4, 8:30 AM- 2 PM

(More coming up in May to be listed in future post)

Bloom Day- April 15th

It feels like a longer slow stroll to Spring this year but maybe we are just resuming the wet springs we used to have.  I took a walkabout this afternoon to see what was blooming in my garden.

 

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I think this is a “Honey Butter’ Rhododendron. It just opened up yesterday.

 

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Erythronium “Pagoda” has been blooming about a week. I planted these from bulbs a few years ago and now they are colonizing in patches throughout the garden.

 

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Fritillaria meleagris, new this year for me. I’ll be planting more bulbs in the fall.

 

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Hyacinth…previous owner had these everywhere. I’ve been gradually replacing them with Camassia. Still, they are pretty in their own way.

 

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I love the miniature daffy-down-dillys. This is Narcissus “Tete a Tete”

 

 

 

March of the Walking Dead…nettle that is

Saturday, April 7

April is finally here and my inner garden engine is revved up and ready to go. Each evening when I return from working in a windowless stuffy office I take a look around the garden. It’s amazing how much can happen in just a couple of days, weeds and all.

As I was admiring how the Erythronium was coming on  I turned and came upon an army of Dead nettles, not to mention all the Herb Robert and Shot weed lurking in corners.

Dead Nettle

Looks like I’ll be spending some time weeding this weekend in between visits to Xera and Joy Creek nurseries.  At least the soil is soft and it’s easy to pull this invader out. Weeding and nursery hopping always seems to coincide and conflict with the precious little time I have to play in the garden.

 

But enough winging.
Here are some photos of what’s appearing in my garden today.

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Some may think Corydalis is weedy but I think it’s a welcome sight in a natural garden. It certainly dresses up the chain-link fence.  I brought up starts and seeds of this and of Corydalis lutea from the Bay area decades ago. I used to live minutes from the Berkeley Botanic Garden and I believe I may have gotten the seed there.

 

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These are wildflower seedlings (California poppy, Baby Blue Eyes and Phacelia) I scattered a few weeks back. They are hiding beneath that army of the walking dead nettles.

 

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Now this is what I’ve been waiting for; the Erythronium ‘Pagoda’ is finally beginning to take off and colonize. The Forget-me-nots are something I’ve just given in to and now I think they look quite pretty with the butter yellow of ‘Pagoda.’

 

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I tried this purple Fritillaria meleagris for the first time ever this year and I love it. Note to self to buy heaps of bulbs this fall and plant out with the Erythronium.  Lily of the Valley is poking up in the mix. I only planted a few pips, forgot about ’em, and now they are coming up everywhere. No worries. I’m hoping they’ll out compete the Bishop’s Weed which was inherited from the previous owner.  That grassy clump on the right is Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Northern Lights.’

 

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A terrace planted with erythronium which has started to colonize.  This will be up for much of the month and then it will simply melt away until next spring. I have scattered these around various parts of the garden as they are such a welcome sight in spring, plus they mix in with other native and non-native plants so well. Erythronium comes in other colors, mostly pink or white. I hope you will want to try some in your garden.

Here’s hoping some are able to get out and spend some time gardens on this blustery day. Next week: Hortlandia!  I’ll be at the Reference desk. Stop by and say hello!

April Garden events

The garden season is in full swing!  Get out your calendars – if you can’t make one event there are plenty of others. Click on the links below for detailed information.  And, check the resources page as many local nurseries are now offering  classes on the weekends.

Master Gardener Foundation Educational Meeting
April 3, 7 PM
CASEE Center, Bldg B
11104 NE 149th St. Brush Prairie WA 98606
Topic: Integrated Weed Management

Vancouver Farmer’s Market
Open every Saturday  (9-3) & Sunday (10-3) through October
6th & Esther, by Esther Short Park, downtown Vancouver WA

Rhododendron & Daffodil Show and Sale
April 7 – 8, 9 AM – 5 PM
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
5801 SE 28th Avenue, Portland OR

GardenPalooza
Saturday, April 7, 8 AM – 4 PM
FirPoint Farms, 14601 Arndt Rd., Aurora OR 97002

Hortlandia HPSO Plant & Garden Art Sale
April 14-15, 10 AM – 3 PM
EXPO Center, Portland OR
Admission free, parking is $8 per car

Leach Botanical Garden Plant Sale
Saturday, April 21, 9:30 AM – 2 PM
Floyd Light Middle School
10800 SE Washington St., Portland OR
(near Mall 205, free parking)

Auduban Society Native Plant Sale
April 21 -22, 10 AM – 4 PM
5151 NW Cornell Road, Portland OR 97210

Clark Public Utilities Home and Garden Idea Fair
April 27-29
Clark County Event Center
17402 NE Delfel Road, Ridgefield, WA 98642

Container Gardening
April 28, 2 PM
Camas Public Library, 625 NE 4th Ave. Camas WA 98607
Join Laura Heldreth, WSU Clark County Extension Master Gardener and winner of the 2016 Fine Gardening Magazine container contest for an inspiring and educational experience. Free. Click on link for more information.

Naturescaping of SW Washington Bare-root Trees, Shrubs, Perennials Sale
April 28-29, 10 AM – 3 PM
11000 NE 149th Street, Brush Prairie WA 98606
(CASEE center students will be selling NW native plants)

Vancouver School District Plant Sales
Some are in May but you might want to get these down on your calendar now.
Fantastic place to pick up veggie starts, Mother’s Day baskets, etc.  and support the  students’ FFA programs.

Columbia River High School, 800 NW 99th Street
April 28, 9 AM-5 PM , April 30-May 4, 8:30 AM- 2 PM

Hudson Bay High School, 1601 E. McLoughlin Blvd.
May 2, 7 AM – 7 PM
May 3, 7 AM – 7 PM
May 4, 7 AM – 5 PM

Ft. Vancouver High School, 5700 E. 18th Street
May 2, 3, 4, 7:30 AM – 7 PM

Vancouver Flex Academy, 2901 General Anderson Avenue
May 10 and 11, 4:30 PM – 7 PM
May 12, 9 AM – 3 PM

Battle Ground School District Plant Sales
Battle Ground High School, 300 W. Main St. B.G
May 5 and 6, 9 AM – 2 PM
Over 15,000 pots including over 1000 hanging baskets, perennial flowers, bedding plants, vegetables, berry plants and nursery stock.

Cash or check only.

Prairie High School, 11311 NE 119th Street
May 5, 9 AM – 2 PM
Hanging baskets, vegetables, flowers, grasses, herbs, succulents