late May 2023

Fresh clumps of healthy new leaves covering the ground, strong clear colors — I really like the direction the 2-year-old garden is taking in May.

New growth on Olearia x mollis ‘Zennorensis’
Foreground shrub is Corokia x virgata, possibly ‘Frosted Chocolate’ — takes to clipping well so will join the box balls in the clipping regimen. I’m on the hunt for an Eleagnus ‘Quicksilver’ to plant roughly in front of the green chairs
Pagoda spires of plush-leaved Marrubium supinum with blurry white flowers in foreground of Libertia ‘Nelson Dwarf’
Omphalodes linifolia obligingly reseeded into the rocks — wonderful grey-green leaves too
Stipa gigantea in its second year, such a strong early presence. Looking east, the biennial Hesperis matronalis was sowed last summer and transplanted all around the garden, and the effort has paid off — loves the wet soil, is sweetly scented, and covers the ground and blooms early in spring.
more hesperis, looking west
A few clumps of Eriophyllum lanatum ‘Oregon Sunshine’ started blooming this week. I’m thinking the dark-leaves are Lysimachia ciliata. Fence was painted black last weekend. The geums did not like recent temps into the 90sF but have recovered like it never happened — same for me!
I’m a fool for beschornerias. This one was plunged into the garden, pot and all, to be lifted next fall/winter
Milium effusum ‘Aureum’ is an early blooming, moisture-loving grass that I’d like to spread around. Lanky silvery leaves are of an overwintered Senecio candicans — maybe a spring cutback would have produced compact growth? I didn’t expect it to survive at all…
the lewisias are blooming fools
I’ve got a couple potted hostas and doubt I’ll be adding more, but they are fascinating as they unfurl their leaves from tight, pirouette-cookie shaped tubes into soft and beamy agave substitutes
Faced with so much bare ground last spring as stuff slowly filled in, several clumps of fast-growing golden oregano were deployed
tetrapanax making size. I like the leaves close to the ground and prefer that it doesn’t trunk

Have a relaxing long weekend (Memorial Day in the U.S.) and see you in June!

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7 Responses to late May 2023

  1. Kris P says:

    Two years already?! You’ve made tremendous progress with your zone 8b garden, Denise. It already looks settled. It has a wild note but still looks well-managed. I love the Hesperis.

  2. Elaine says:

    The garden is looking so great. One of the best things about the PNW is how fast things grow. The chairs in the second photo across the garden are a perfect placement against the dark fence. They really draw your eye. Your geums are so tall and floriferous, mine are super short and only throwing out one or two puny flower stems. I want yours.

  3. So will you be attempting to manage the tetrapanax and keeping it low with cutting? In my experience anything that messes with its ability to achieve the height it wants to be (like a freeze), causes it to send out babies. That Olearia x mollis ‘Zennorensis’ is gorgeous!

  4. Denise says:

    @Hi Kris, I love “wild but well-managed”! Just the kind of garden that feeds my soul!
    @Hi Elaine, that is so true about speed of growth. Everything feels like it’s been in stasis forever and then…zoom! The geums love this soil and normally cool temps, which is why I can’t stop adding them. When plants are happy, the gardener is happy!
    @Hi Loree, thanks for that input about the tetrapanax. I’ll watch and observe and do nothing to scare it into making more of itself!

  5. hb says:

    Looks excellent. Well done. Golden oregano, love the hosta–so exotic for a socal native.
    Eleagnus ‘Quicksilver’ oooh. Happy gardening, Denise!

  6. Jerry says:

    I have yet to try the larger leaf olearias. I saw several at Port Defiance Zoo and Aquarium last year and I’ve been waiting to try them ever since. We were just at a place yesterday that painted their fence black too. Reminds me of the houses in Scandinavia that are painted with creosote/pitch. Such a wonderful smell when the sun is warm. Your garden is looking fantastic as usual.

  7. ks says:

    I think you need some Sanguisorbas Denise ! Isn’t it great to discover all those plants that prefer like out of zone 10?

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