Six on Saturday

Once again, the Propagator holds court, bestowing favors and welcoming genteel guests from far and wide to pay homage with gifts of their finest fruits and flowers.

1. Melianthus major. This plant has long been an elusive object of desire, with its striking blue, serrated foliage. It was recently located on a pilgrimage to Cistus Nursery on Sauvie Island in Portland, along with a few other botanical treasures.

2. Another Rhodocoma capensis. This one acquired from Xera Plants in Portland. I selected this specimen because of the preponderance of new shoots, whose look I like. They are reminiscent of a giant reed, but prefer the dry, well-draining conditions we have on offer over marshy ones. Xera had 2 other kinds of restios on offer during my recent visit, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to acquire another of these to add to the exotic collection now accumulating around the front of our cottage.

3. Final native plant sale. And the largest harvest yet. More of several varieties of bare root shrubs and a number of perennials (columbine, blue eyed grass, goldenrod, coastal strawberry, kinnikinnik, rose checker mallow, and more). These have been distributed according to their light preferences and my whim, around the riparian restoration zone, perennial beds, and strip next to the road. Arriving at the end of the months long process of replacing noxious weeds growing along the stream bank with hundreds of natives, with the help of my neighbor, is a relief. The thought of keeping it all watered through the long, dry summers for the first 2 years is a bit overwhelming.

4. Ribes speciosum or Fuschia-flowered currant. This is a native with a very exotic looking flower and quite a number of thorns. Apparently it prefers part shade, so it will likely be placed near the quinces along the fence to deter whatever needs deterring.

5. Another manzanita. Some time ago, I obtained 2 manzanitas from Shooting Star Nursery. Both of these boast dark red bark and long, pointy leaves more green than silvery blue. But a covetous eye continued to wander to my neighbor’s front garden, where manzanitas thrived with silvery foliage which grows perpendicular to the ground, moving in the wind like a dancer’s finger cymbals. Finally the opportunity arrived to add one of these ghostly manzanitas to my collection.

6. Ornamental asparagus. I have always loved the look of asparagus plants with their thread like stems and feathery foliage. So, when I encountered this lovely ornamental asparagus at Cistus, I bought it. It seems to have experienced some transplant stress and some of the older foliage has yellowed. However, I am hopeful that new growth will soon emerge to take its place.

8 thoughts on “Six on Saturday

  1. Hi Erin – you always share such interesting plants – ones that I have never heard of but really like the look of! Well done for completing the stream bank project. Such allot of work but it will be worth it I’m sure.

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  2. Hi Erin, I agree with Katharine, your blog is so interesting for all the unusual plants, I finding myself looking quite a few up, including the Rhodocoma capensis, which looks like a fabulous reed, actually reminds me a bit of papyrus. The Melianthus major I do know and covet too, it’s got great structure, presence and colour. Now you’ve got a lot of digging and planting to do! Is there a way you can cleverly divert some water from the stream for an easy irrigation system in the summer?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I wish I could divert water from the stream, but I have a feeling several enormous rainwater tanks will be more practicable and more legal. The city restricts activities in and around the stream, at least in theory.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The manzanita is not a tree/shrub that you can see around here. The foliage is nevertheless very pretty.!
    Good luck with the melianthus. Mine has grown very well in a year but sadly it burned out this winter… I hope it will recover from the ground soon.

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    • Yes, it seems that the winter frosts kill it back to its roots. Not sure how it will fare in our relatively mild climate. On this morning’s tour of the garden, observed that one of my manzanitas has many tiny flowers. I will have to share next week.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I see you’ve been shopping! Some fantastic plant choices. A lot of these are unfamiliar to me, and some of them I’ve heard of but not seen before. It’s very interesting to read about them and I look forward to seeing how they get on.

    Another good choice with the Asparagus – a garden I work in has a well established plant that never fails to look brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

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