Just a few

A short post today with a few odds and ends. One of my guilty pleasures this last spring was buying a cheap calceolaria from Bi-mart. It is one of those plants that I had admired since childhood. Of course it came home with me.

Another plant that I always wanted as a little boy was Rebutia heliosa. I had this small book on cacti that I would page through over and over, and I remember my eyes were always drawn to a photo of this species. Well, I finally had my chance at The Other Plant Sale organized by Nanthawat Jiranuwatana, the owner of The Other Side Nursery in Gresham, OR. Rancho Cacto Nursery was one of the vendors and look what I found – a Rebutia heliosa, with flowers bigger than the plant itself! I am thrilled that Molly Malecki, the owner, decided to make her beautiful, healthy plants available directly to the customer at these events. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

The next few photos are from my daily walk around the neighborhood at work. I couldn’t believe the number of flowers on this rhododendron.

And in a color palette I find pleasing. Absolutely gorgeous.

And, behind that, beautybush (Kolkwitzia amabilis). I was tempted to take cuttings, but this is the only time of year that it looks this good. The rest of the year it’s sort of a big green blob and I don’t have space for a one hit wonder at home… Hmm, or maybe I do…

And, one last little bonus from the homefront. I removed an ugly, declining manzanita from the garden this spring and look what popped up from behind it. A Codonopsis clematidea that I had planted years ago and then forgot about as the manzanita swallowed it up. And now, here it was again still going strong. What a pleasant surprise.

Bonus, bonus: Since writing the last post, I’ve been thrilled to hear the song of a house wren emanating from our back yard once again. Last year, we had wrens by 4/25, which makes this one about a month late. It also has a distinctly different song than in previous years, which makes me think this is a different wren than the one we had previously. It’s nice to hear them, and the Swainson’s thrushes, once again.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Welcome wrens! All is well, the wrens are back. And look at those gorgeous flowers – Codonopsis and rhodies and kolkwitzia – lovely. I have a (now) rather large Kolkwitzia which has been in bloom for a long while now. I agree, it’s not super interesting the rest of the year but I’m so glad I have it. You are welcome to cuttings any time if you want. Oh and that cactus, that’s amazing! Glad you got to go to The Other Plant Sale.

    1. Botanica Chaotica

      What a fantastic spring for flowers we’ve been having! Makes up for some of the pain from late winter. The Other Plant Sale was fun – great to support our local plant people when I can get up to Portland.

  2. Tracy

    How great the wrens are back (or new one visiting). The beautybush is really pretty. I’m a big fan of rebutia, and they usually repeat bloom over the summer, adorable blooms!

    1. Botanica Chaotica

      Yes, it’s been a relief hearing them again. Doesn’t seem so eerily quiet out there while I am gardening. Rebutias are pretty cute – hope mine reblooms too – that red color is outstanding.

  3. Kris P

    Yay! I’m glad your wrens are back even if they were tardy – erratic as the weather has been all over the planet, I expect we can’t blame them. Your flower pics are marvelous. I recently saw photos of Rebutia flowers and. after now seeing yours, I’m on the hunt.

    1. Botanica Chaotica

      Yeah, maybe the wrens stopped off somewhere to take a mini-vacation before having to raise a batch of kids. Haven’t seen a female wren yet, so no idea if we will have babies or not this year. Rebutias are pretty fabulous. Hope I can keep it alive.

  4. hb

    I impulse-bought a Calceolaria a couple years ago–it lasted maybe a week, poor thing. Not. It’s. Climate. Well now I know. Yours is a beauty!

    Eyes went wide at the sight of that Rhody. Lovely.

    Enjoy the birdsong–the sound track of a happy garden.

    1. Botanica Chaotica

      Yeah, those calceolarias are not fans of heat and dry. This one lasted a surprisingly long month or so before petering out. I’ve deadheaded to see if I can get a second push of flowers. Well see. Hope you are enjoying more time out in the garden too as the recovery proceeds.

  5. S.

    I’m collecting Rebutia as well! I have 5 varieties of them now. R. rauschii might be next, maybe this fall.

    1. Botanica Chaotica

      Well, who knew that Rebutia would be the star of the show this week. They are cute little things. I can’t help but liking them.

      1. S.

        I was told that they are very sensitive to overwatering and prone to rot. (at least here, maybe not in Ca.) I don’t water them often and keep them in very lean soil. I let one of them get a little too depleted before it got the spring watering this year. I watched off and on all day, discovered it takes up water very fast, visible changes in an hour. I think that’s why it’s so sensitive. That said, they are otherwise easy. Have you seen R. albopilosa? It’s an adorable fuzzball.

Leave a Reply