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.