Tag Archives: Primula veris ‘Katy Mcsparron’

In Growth

27 Nov

Oh dear, I can’t believe I didn’t write anything for a whole growing season! I’m here to say that I am alive and the blog lives on, but I am hesitant to promise a more regular posting since I’ve made that promise a few times before without the best follow through.

One of my favorite little woodland plants, Maianthemum stellatum, looking fresh before the drought took its toll.

One of my favorite little woodland plants, Maianthemum stellatum, looking fresh before the drought took its toll.

Between the budding projects and responsibilities at work and the longest, hottest, and driest summer in Seattle history, there wasn’t much time left to write. (I really don’t know how other bloggers do it.)

Spring came incredibly early this year, so the Long Bed erupted into growth with amazing vigor.

Spring came incredibly early this year, so the Long Bed erupted into growth with amazing vigor.

My own garden suffered quite a bit, but this was the perfect year to leave the garden to edit itself. Anything what wasn’t well established or sited well would wither away allowing space for the more suited plantings to spread. Of course being a bit soft hearted I saved and doted upon a few select plants, but over all everyone had to make it through by their own devices.

Spring

Even before the normally reliable rains petered out the alternation of warm sunny days and mild rainy ones kept everyone looking quite good. Nearly everything bloomed all at once, so it was very difficult to photograph everything.

One of my favorite sights this spring was seeing the icy teal blue spruce and soft pink plumes of cherry blossoms against the wonderfully blue sky.

One of my favorite sights this spring was seeing the icy teal blue spruce and soft pink plumes of cherry blossoms against the wonderfully blue sky.

The (late) potted tulips sailed through the mild winter and began blooming a month early with a riot of color.

The (late) potted tulips sailed through the mild winter and began blooming a month early with a riot of color.

As usual the Bletilla orchids put on a great show though this year the chartreuse blooms of Euphorbia characias and ruddy flowers of Rosa 'Mutabilis' added to the effect.

As usual the Bletilla orchids put on a great show though this year the chartreuse blooms of Euphorbia characias and ruddy flowers of Rosa ‘Mutabilis’ added to the effect.

I received this Ranunculus ficaria 'Flore Pleno' from a friend in early spring...hopefully it doesn't have plants of garden domination.

I received this Ranunculus ficaria ‘Flore Pleno’ from a friend in early spring…hopefully it doesn’t have plants of garden domination.

I love the sweet smelling double flowers of Primula veris 'Katy Mcsparron' and despite the heavy blossoms the heads look up.

I love the sweet smelling double flowers of Primula veris ‘Katy Mcsparron’ and despite the heavy blossoms the heads look up.

The Long Bed always looks so verdant in spring, but if the lady ferns aren't well watered in the summer they crisp and brown terribly. I dig them out in late summer and planted other perennials in their place.

The Long Bed always looks so verdant in spring, but if the lady ferns aren’t well watered in the summer they crisp and brown terribly. I dig them out in late summer and planted other perennials in their place.

I find that the brooding blossoms on Geranium phaeum 'Variegatum' helps ground the splashy nature of its cream variegation.

I find that the brooding blossoms on Geranium phaeum ‘Variegatum’ helps ground the splashy nature of its cream variegation.

I love the long dangling pedicels of Mertensia bella - a lovely Pacific Northwest native.

I love the long dangling pedicels of Mertensia bella – a lovely Pacific Northwest native.

The only well-drained area in my garden is this long narrow bed about a foot wide. Everything Mediterranean lives here along with this lovely Iris 'Cloud Ballet'.

The only well-drained area in my garden is this long narrow bed about a foot wide. Everything Mediterranean lives here along with this lovely Iris ‘Cloud Ballet’.

After removing the Siberian irises back in February, I was happy to see that the fragrant Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus would bloom along side sweet Tellima grandiflora.

After removing the Siberian irises back in February, I was happy to see that the fragrant Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus would bloom along side sweet Tellima grandiflora.

Summer

This summer was quite the blur. I seemed like everything needed my attention, so I didn’t get many chances to photograph what was blooming. Plus most of the plants were stressed and ragged from the drought, so I spared them from the camera’s unflinching view.

I've been impressed with how hardy Osteospermum jucundum has been in my garden. I has survived at least four winters now, but unfortunately hasn't produced any viable seed while I've grown it.

I’ve been impressed with how hardy Osteospermum jucundum has been in my garden. I has survived at least four winters now, but unfortunately hasn’t produced any viable seed while I’ve grown it.

This is Taraxacum pseudoroseum, a pink flowered species of dandelion that I grew from seed and of course I was delighted by its first bloom this year. (Yes, I know I am a bit of a nut.)

This is Taraxacum pseudoroseum, a pink flowered species of dandelion that I grew from seed and of course I was delighted by its first bloom this year. (Yes, I know I am a bit of a nut.)

This is one of the flowers from an heirloom seed strain of carnations I started earlier in the year. Dianthus 'Enfant de Nice' is an old French variety with spicy clove scented flowers of mixed shades of red, pink, white, and purple.

This is one of the flowers from an heirloom seed strain of carnations I started earlier in the year. Dianthus ‘Enfant de Nice’ is an old French strain with spicy clove scented flowers of mixed shades of red, pink, white, and purple.

I started a bunch of dahilas from seed this year, but this seedling had the richest ox-blood red flowers which I can't capture on camera very well.

I started a bunch of dahilas from seed this year, but this seedling had the richest ox-blood red flowers which I can’t capture on camera very well.

Without a hard freeze over the winter Fuchsia magellanica 'Aurea' was quick to bloom this year.

Without a hard freeze over the winter Fuchsia magellanica ‘Aurea’ was quick to bloom this year.

It was my first year growing this black tomato (Indigo Rose), but the marauding deer didn't leave a single ripe one for me to try.

It was my first year growing this black tomato (Indigo Rose), but the marauding deer didn’t leave a single ripe one for me to try.

Rosa 'Julia Child' really need a rejuvenating prune this year, so after a hard hack and feeding in early summer it grow back and bloomed all the way through frost.

Rosa ‘Julia Child’ really need a rejuvenating prune this year, so after a hard hack and feeding in early summer it grew back and bloomed all the way through frost.

Pelargonium 'Attar of Roses' grew magnificently in the summer heat. It was a joy pruning back the rich rose scented sprawling stems.

Pelargonium ‘Attar of Roses’ grew magnificently in the summer heat. It was a joy pruning back the rich rose-scented sprawling stems.

Autumn

Autumn came late this year, but when it did arrive it was a drastic and noticeable switch. It was still quite mild and the sunny days were beautiful, but the cooler and damper weather gave many plants much needed relief from the straining summer.

Oddly the Rhododendron occidentale decided to blossom again in September. Maybe it was rejoicing the autumn rains

Oddly the Rhododendron occidentale decided to blossom again in September. Maybe it was rejoicing the autumn rains.

Another rebloomer was Veronica gentianoides 'Pallida'. I love the china blue veins on its porcelain white petals.

Another rebloomer was Veronica gentianoides ‘Pallida’. I love the china blue veins on its porcelain white petals.

As soon as Tricyrtis formosana 'Blu-shing Toad' started to bloom I knew it was the end of summer and the beginning of autumn.

As soon as Tricyrtis formosana ‘Blu-shing Toad’ started to bloom I knew it was the end of summer and the beginning of autumn.

Thanks to the late mild autumn, Chrysanthemum 'Apricot' had a beautiful display. The shimmering peach color brighten grey days.

Thanks to the late mild autumn, Chrysanthemum ‘Apricot’ had a beautiful long display. The shimmering peach color brighten grey days.

Here is Chrysanthemum 'Matchsticks' - a new acquisition - in a blaze of scarlet and gold.

Here is Chrysanthemum ‘Matchsticks’ – a new acquisition – in a blaze of scarlet and gold.

Apparently a few of my pollination attempts took on my Helwingia chinensis. How odd seeing little berries growing on a leaf.

Apparently a few of my pollination attempts took on my Helwingia chinensis. How odd seeing little berries growing on a leaf.

The over growth of the Long Bed wasn't looking too rough despite the drought this summer.

The over growth of the Long Bed wasn’t looking too rough despite the drought this summer.

I could never grow tired of smelling the sweet, yet fresh apricot scent of Osmanthus fragrans. It lives in a pot by the doorway where its wafting fragrance can be enjoyed.

I could never grow tired of smelling the sweet, yet fresh apricot scent of Osmanthus fragrans. It lives in a pot by the doorway where its wafting fragrance can be enjoyed.

In early November I took a weeklong trip to LA to visit a friend. While I was there we stopped by the Huntington Botanical Gardens for a look around.

In early November I took a weeklong trip to LA to visit a friend. While I was there we stopped by the Huntington Botanical Gardens for a look around.

The gardens were amazing, but I wish they were open longer. Four and a half hours was not enough to see the entire place!

The gardens were amazing, but I wish they were open longer. Four and a half hours was not enough to see the entire place!

The Pollination Garden

One of the many exciting projects I got to take on this summer was creating “The Pollination Garden” out in front of the University of Washington Botany Greenhouse. The container garden was designed to be a fun display for visitors where they are invited to enjoyed the flowers as they learn how to infer what pollinators each species of flower was trying to attract by looking at form, color, and scent. The garden doubled as a urban oasis for pollinators passing through both animal and human.

The garden was mostly a mixture of tropical plants and the majority of them were of straight species.

The garden was mostly a mixture of tropical plants and the majority of them were of straight species.

Here is a view of the main border.

Here is a view of the main border.

A close-up of a portion of the main border.

A close-up of a portion of the main border.

Here is the main border but looking towards the gate on a warm afternoon.

Here is the main border but looking towards the gate on a warm afternoon.

That’s all for today. Hopefully I be back around soon, but until then wishing you well and if you are in Puget Sound stay warm out there!

Bloominocity – Part I

9 Apr

GeumSorry for the mini hiatus! I always forget how everything garden erupts all at once in spring leaving not enough time to tend to everyone. Pruning, weeding, transplanting, seeding is on my mind and the precious free days I have are spent doing all of those things. For plants however, growing, blooming, and setting seed are on the top of their list. The mixture of cool rainy days and warm sunny ones has been a recipe for a rambunctious garden. So what’s been blooming? Let’s see!

The Oemleria cerasiformis in my garden is a male plant.

I love the chains of flowers on Oemleria cerasiformis in the early spring.

The Oemleria cerasiformis started out as a little sucker I dug up on the side of a road and in one year it shot up to 3 feet. It bloomed in early spring this year revealing male flowers. Though I was hoping for a female plant for the fruit, it’s a part of rolling the diecious plant dice. Some people find that the flowers smell like cat pee, but I don’t find its green fragrance deterring. (Its scent reminds me of hiking trails in early spring through the understory of the Pacific Northwest.)

Epimedium fargesii in early March.

Epimedium fargesii in early March.

On a gray day in early March, I spied this Epimedium fargesii at work. Its pale pink stellar flowers glowed in the gloom, and the airy inflorescence gave each flower enough room to hang and stretch out. It’s been about a month and it’s still blooming! There are even new inflorescences emerging along with the new leaves. The triangular leaves start of small, supple, and deep burgundy. As they mature and expand the leaves fade to a rosy bronze, then to a fresh apple green. Swoon! I am not usually one for Epimediums, but the effervescent flowers and delicate stems lighten the heavy evergreen leaves unlike some of its heftier cousins.

Epimedium fargesii about a month later. Look at those new leaves! Mmm!

Epimedium fargesii about a month later. Look at those new leaves! Mmm!

Bergenia ‘Bressingham White’ is reaching the end of its show, but not before putting on a pale blush.

Bergenia 'Bressingham White' aging quite gracefully for a white flower.

She’saging quite gracefully for a white flower.

Yet another plant I am surprised by: Erythronium oregonum. I received two from work as dormant bulbs and I planted them under my blue spruce without any expectations. The bulbs were tiny non-blooming size. I figured the voles would get the bulbs first and if they happened to dodge that bullet, the slugs would enjoy marring the leaves and taking bites out of the immature buds. Boy was I proven wrong! Every year the two have returned and flowered for the past few years. This year they are exceptionally lovely, though I wonder it the Sluggo had a hand in this…

I love the patterned leaves on Erythronium oregonum.

I love the patterned leaves on Erythronium oregonum.

I love the reddish bands on the base of each petal.

I love the reddish bands on the base of each petal.

Remember the Dodecatheon pulchellum on my past post? Well they are definitely up now! This is just the beginning, there are more buds on the way. It amazes that that all of these clumps came from three 4″ pots three years ago.

There are a few more blooming clumps to the left of this drift.

There are a few more blooming clumps to the left of this drift.

Dicentra spectabilis ‘Gold Heart’ is fully awake and beginning to flower. I hope one day to have a billowing mass of lacy gold foliage, but starting life as rescues in 4″ pots they are growing quite quickly and nicely.

Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart' with her graceful habit and beautifully contrasting pink and chartreuse colors.

Dicentra spectabilis ‘Gold Heart’ with her graceful habit and beautiful bright colors.

Our native Dicentra is also in bud. Yes, much more humble than his larger cousin, but it’s a (tough) friendly spreading ground cover.

Dicentra formosa is a few days away from blooming!

Dicentra formosa is a few days away from blooming!

Oh! Remember Darmera peltata? It’s sending up its first inflorescence! It won’t be long until the large lotus leaves are up and unfolding.

The inflorescence is a mere 4" tall, but I am still excited!

The inflorescence is a mere 4″ tall, but I am still excited!

The first Fritillaria meleagris is now in full bloom. I love their nodding flowers and that checkered snakeskin pattern. One of the few Fritillaria I can successfully grow in my clayey soil.

Looking so mournful, but beautifully so.

Looking so mournful, but beautifully so.

I could get lost in that mesmerizing pattern!

I could get lost in that mesmerizing pattern!

Alright, and now for the Primulas, are you ready?

Primula veris with some grass.

Primula veris with some grass…

Some more Primula veris amongst wild strawberries.

Some more Primula veris amongst wild strawberries…

And some more Primula veris still in their pots.

And some more Primula veris still in their pots.

Yes another Primula veris, but this time it's Primula veris 'Katy Mcsparron', a double form!

Yes another Primula veris, but this time it’s Primula veris ‘Katy Mcsparron’ – a double form!

 Detail of a single flower of Primula veris ‘Katy Mcsparron’.

Detail of a single flower of Primula veris ‘Katy Mcsparron’.

A bisected flower of Primula veris ‘Katy Mcsparron’. Someone's got junk in in their trunk - she's stuffed!

A bisected flower of Primula veris ‘Katy Mcsparron’. Someone’s got junk in in their trunk – she’s stuffed!

Primula 'Belarina Cream' doing her thing. Plus she is super fragrant!

Primula ‘Belarina Cream’ doing her thing. Plus she is super fragrant!

Here's a fragrant Primula acaulis hybrid blooming in my front door.

Here’s a fragrant Primula acaulis hybrid blooming in my front door.

Here is another Primula acaulis hybrid blooming in the back garden (this one is about 4-5 years old).

Here is another fragrant Primula acaulis hybrid blooming in the back garden (this one is about 4-5 years old).

Primula polyanthus 'Gold Lace' the dainty stature and bright yellow really highlights the moody, deep maroon.

Primula polyanthus ‘Gold Lace’ the dainty stature and bright yellow eye really highlights the moody deep maroon.

Primula denticulata such soft blossoms like lilac cotton candy.

Primula denticulata such soft blossoms like lilac cotton candy.

Primula bulleyana stretching out with tiered kumquat-colored flowers to follow in June.

Primula bulleyana stretching out and with tiered kumquat-colored flowers to follow in June.

Primula sieboldii 'Snowflake' will also bloom a little later. The flowers will look like paper cutouts of snow!

Primula sieboldii ‘Snowflake’ will also bloom a little later. The flowers will look like paper cutouts of snow!

Just waking up is Primula florindae, which is the latest blooming and of them all. The nutmeg-scented flowers may appear as early as June and continue through August.

Just waking up is Primula florindae. The latest blooming and biggest of them all primulas. The nutmeg-scented flowers may appear as early as June and continue through August.

Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you. I know I look like a Primula Nut, but I assure you this is just the beginning of a possible obsession (which I am trying to pull the reins on). Anyway after all that I’ll leave you with a house plant to cleanse the palette with: behold, Clivia ‘Golden Dragon’!

I've had this Clivia 'Golden Dragon' for two years, and this is his second time blooming for me.

I’ve had this Clivia ‘Golden Dragon’ for two years, and this is his second time blooming for me.

Yellow flowering Clivias are still highly sought after and comment a high-price, but they are more available than they have been in the past. I’m just happy to have one that blooms consistently (so far). Time to go, but do look for Part II tomorrow! Spring is certainly here!

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