Rainy interlude with a Jakarta daiquiri

Well, I was outside gardening last weekend on June 4th, but it started to rain again. I’ve been lax in putting out blog posts, the garden is an overwhelming mess of weeds, etc, etc. So, as a brief interlude to the wildflower pictures, it’s time to sit back with a Jakarta daiquiri and go through some pictures from the garden this spring.

Launching right into things is this arilbred hybrid iris ‘Pounce’ from Mid-America Gardens. Love the unusual color combo of yellow and brown on the falls, with pinkish standards.

Nearby, a yellowleaf iris (Iris chrysophylla) with net-like purple markings on a white background. My first plant of this species to bloom in the garden.

The amazingly vibrant Bacchanal bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa ‘Bacchanal’).  I planted it here 2 years ago from Dancing Oaks Nursery – a PNW native plant. This one is just beginning to spread around a little. It may be time to divide it and move it to a few other locations around the yard.

Also native, but from the hill behind our house and along the banks of our creek, broadleaf bluebell (Mertensia subcordata). It makes me miss the much more showy Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) that grew on our family farm in Wisconsin.

The ever hard-to-photograph, gummy gooseberry (Ribes lobbii). I am so glad that I was able to procure seed of this plant before the timberland around us was procured by the mega real estate investment company, Weyerhaeuser. The original plants are long gone and no one is allowed on that property  anymore. Such a beautiful plant. I wish more people would grow it. Once established, it prefers to stay dry over the summer, so it is perfect for my garden. A fantastic native plant.

Moving on to the rock gardens, Erigeron pulchellus ‘Meadow Muffin’, named because it resembles a green cowpat. How could you not want one after knowing that? It’s starting to run underneath the rocks and spread. The original plant started at the bottom left and has slowly snuck upwards to occupy the middle and upper levels of the rock garden.

Aethionema grandiflorum sailed through the winter. Surprisingly fragrant and starting to seed around. Win win.

The only ice plant to (barely) make it through winter, Delosperma congesta,

Penstemon cardwellii is absolutely covered in flowers. A local native penstemon from as close as Marys Peak. I have to propagate new ones each year from cuttings, otherwise it tends to die out.

As a horticulture student many years ago, I never would have imagined that there were spiraeas native to western North America. This is Spiraea splendens from the Cascade Mountains  in Oregon and Washington. It also does just fine in the garden. I suppose some might scorn this as being a common, bulk garden center trash plant, but I like it because it’s native.

Not very many flowers, but cute nonetheless, is this Penstemon davidsonii var. menziesii ‘Tolmie Peak’.

Marrubium rotunifolium has survived and come back with a vengeance, despite my thinking it was going to die back in February. On the left, the plant in February. And on the right, the plant right now.

Ditto situation for my Bolax gummifera.

And ditto for my Muehlenbeckia astonii, which I thought had died back in January.

Although my Agave parryi ‘JC Raulston’ is a little worse for the wear compared to back in January, at least it is still alive and going to make it. The wet, cold spring has not been very kind and several leaves have rotted off. However, my Agave bracteosa ‘Calamar’ (not pictured) didn’t even blink. I can’t see any damage on that plant at all even though it is planted in clay on the back hillside.

Some rotting leaves on Agave parryi 'JC Raulston'
Agave parryi 'JC Raulston' in June

Silene davidii made a full recovery and is covered in pink flowers. It always looks bad over winter, but looks so good in June.

The same species in another part of the rock garden.

Our local western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) are out and about. This is probably our most abundant and most active lizard in our yard. We also have northern alligator lizards (Elgaria coerulea) and, occasionally, western skinks (Plestiodon skiltonianus), but I haven’t seen any yet this year.

5/16/2022 to 6/11/2022: Lowest temperature for period = 33°F, highest = 83°F.  3.50 inches of rain.

Notes: Swainson’s thrush have returned and are singing in the woods.

Garden chores accomplished: Trying and failing to keep up with mowing the lawn and weeding, potting up cuttings and seedlings, some planting, some plant rescues before an impending massive construction project.

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