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.



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?)


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.


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.



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.



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.’



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.’



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!


It is late January and I am on a seed-ordering binge.

This year I have decided to try native wildflowers not only for their beauty but also for local pollinators. I have some sunny borders, a grassy slope, and a shady area that I hope to turn into a woodland garden.

The grassy slope faces east and receives morning sun and some midday sun from the south. By afternoon it is in open shade. The top part of the slope is also the site of the drain field for the shower and dishwasher of our home. As I cannot plant anything whose roots will damage the drain-field I am planting Camas lilies (Camassia quamash) bulbs with annuals such as Baby-Blue-Eyes, Blue-Eyed grass and Arroyo Lupine. That’s a lot of purple, right? I think California poppy and Meadowfoam will be just the ticket to balance out all the purple. What do you think? I’m thinking ‘superbloom’ of the west coast hills and valleys.

Down the slope the area flattens out. Several years ago I planted four Coastal Redwoods, which are now becoming youngsters and creating an area of shady solitude. I’ve already been planting Redwood sorrel (Oxalis oregano) and sword ferns and this year I’ll add some hardy ginger and fringe-cups.

Closer to the house and patio are the sunny borders flanking a lawn. Originally I had more of an Asian theme in mind but last year I had an epiphany about supporting pollinators after reading books about plant communities so instead I planted Salvia caradonna, Nepeta “Walkers Low’, Mexican Feather Grass, fronted by geranium ‘Rozanne’ and Nasturtium ‘Golden Gleam’, a butter yellow variety.

And, of course, always willing to be distracted by plants, I have been captivated by the variety of ornamental grasses available now.  Lucky me, Shorty’s Nursery had several varieties still on clearance.

Here are some of the native seed companies I ordered from: Larner Seeds, High Country Gardens, American Meadows, and Willamette Wildlings.