Friday, March 25, 2011

Mahonia in the Cascadia Garden

 Mahonia pinnata 'Ken Hartman' August 2008

Mahonia mairei January 2010

Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon Grape) January 2010

Mahonia mairei June 2009

Mahonia repens July 2010

Mahonia gracilipes October 2010

 Mahonia gracilipes September 2010

These are the Mahonia in my garden in Seattle.  Last summer a garden tourist said to me, 'You have a LOT of Mahonia!'  I didn't think so, because I had only 7 species.  But I think Mahonia is quite conspicuous.  They are always evergreen, often quite large, sometimes spreading.  I do have a lot of Mahonia nervosa because it spreads stoloniferously.  It is not particularly difficult to pull out.  The sharp-toothed leaves of Mahonia can be alarming.  I have seldom been stuck.  But I wouldn't plant it close to the sidewalk.  To my mind, only Mahonia aquifolium has a common name: Oregon Grape.  The word Mahonia is very commonly used, which leads to common names such as Longleaf Mahonia for Mahonia nervosa & Leatherleaf Mahonia for Mahonia bealei.  Why not use the specific epithet & be done with it?  Mahonia generally seems to do well in shade.  Mahonia bealei seems to require shade.  Mahonia aquifolium, Mahonia nervosa & Mahonia pinnata do well in sun.  Mahonia most often bloom in winter or early spring.  They produce beautiful purple fruits during the summer.  These are edible & very tart.  Mahonia gracilipes blooms in fall with very distinctive flowers.  I got Mahonia gracilipes & Mahonia mairei from Heronswood in 2002.  I think they are not easy to find.

List of Mahonia in the Cascadia Garden
Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon Grape): a Pacific Northwest native
Mahonia bealei: from China
Mahonia gracilipes: from China
Mahonia mairei: from China, there is little information about this plant on the web.
Mahonia nervosa: a Pacific Northwest native
Mahonia pinnata ‘Ken Hartman’: a California native
Mahonia repens: a Pacific Northwest native

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Japanese Garden

Prunus serrulata in Madison Park April 2010

Thujopsis dolabrata at Kubota Garden April 2010

Aucuba japonica at Kubota Garden April 2010 

Ilex crenata at Kubota Garden April 2010

 Illicium anisatum at Washington Park Arboretum April 2010

This is about a different sort of Japanese garden for Seattle & the Pacific Northwest: a garden simply composed of Japanese plants.  Japanese plants are common in Northwestern gardens.  That should be obvious from the many times we use the specific epithets: japonica, japonicus & japonicum.  Perhaps you would like to plan a garden in the Japanese style using Japanese plants.  Traditional Japanese gardens use very few species, usually not more than a dozen, all of Japanese origin.  This can seen meager to Pacific Northwestern eyes.  Here are more options.  Perhaps you might like to make a Japanese garden that mimics nature.  This is very easily done with the wide variety of Japanese plants available here.  As you might expect, many of these plants are also native to China & Korea.  Some are native across the Northern Hemisphere in Asia, Europe & North America.  Most of these plants should be fairly easy to find in Seattle area nurseries.

Acer crataegifolium (Hawthorn Maple) Acer japonicum (Full moon Maple) Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple)
Aesculus pavia, Aesculus turbinata (Buckeye)
Catalpa ovata
Cephalotaxus harringtonia (Plum Yew)
Chamaecyparis obtusa (Hinoki Cypress) Chamaecyparis pisifera (Sawara Cypress)
Chionanthus retusus (Fringe Tree)
Cornus controversa (Dogwood)
Cryptomeria japonica (Japanese Cedar)
Idesia polycarpa
Pinus densiflora (Japanese Red Pine) Pinus thunbergii (Japanese Black Pine)
Podocarpus macrophyllus (Yew Pine)
Prunus mume (Japanese Apricot) Prunus serrulata (Japanese Cherry) Prunus sargentii, Prunus subhirtella
Sciadopitys verticillata (Umbrella Pine)
Sorbus commixta (Japanese Rowan)
Stewartia pseudocamellia
Styrax japonicus, Styrax obassia (Snowbell)
Taxus cuspidata (Japanese Yew)
Thuja standishii
Thujopsis dolabrata (Staghorn Cedar)

Abelia chinensis
Aucuba japonica
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese Barberry)
Buxus microphylla var. japonica (Japanese Boxwood)
Callicarpa japonica (Japanese Beautyberry)
Camellia japonica, Camellia sasanqua
Chaenomeles japonica (Japanese Quince)
Clethra barbinervis (Japanese Sweet Shrub)
Daphniphyllum macropodum
Disanthus cercidifolius
Diospyros kaki (Japanese Persimmon)
Edgeworthia chrysantha (Paper Bush)
Elaeagnus pungens    
Enkianthus campanulatus
Euonymus alatus (Burning Bush) Euonymus fortunei, Euonymus japonicus
Fatsia japonica
Gaultheria miqueliana (Spicy Wintergreen)
Helwingia japonica
Hydrangea macrophylla, Hydrangea paniculata, Hydrangea serrata
Illicium anisatum
Ligustrum japonicum (Japanese Privet)
Ilex crenata (Japanese Holly)
Juniperus communis, Juniperus rigida, Juniperus sabina (Juniper)
Pieris japonica (Lily of the Valley Shrub)
Rhododendron amagianum, Rhododendron aureum, Rhododendron brachycarpum, Rhododendron dilatatum, Rhododendron indicum, Rhododendron japonicum, Rhododendron yakushimanum
Rosa rugosa
Skimmia japonica
Sambucus racemosa (Red Elderberry) also native to Europe & North America
Viburnum japonicum, Viburnum plicatum, Viburnum sieboldii

Achillea ptarmica (Yarrow)
Adiantum pedatum (Maidenhair Fern) also native to North America
Anagallis arvensis
Aster ageratoides
Athyrium niponicum ‘Pictum’ (Japanese Painted Fern)
Campanula glomerata var. dahurica, Campanula punctata (Bellflower)
Caryopteris divaricata, Caryopteris incana (Bluebeard)
Chelonopsis moschata (Japanese Turtlehead)
Dryopteris erythrosora (Autumn Fern)
Glaucidium palmatum (Japanese Wood Poppy)
Hakonechloa macra (Japanese Forest Grass)
Imperata cylindrica (Japanese Blood Grass)
Kirengeshoma palmata
Ligularia dentata, Ligularia japonica, Ligularia stenocephala
Petasites japonicum
Physalis alkekengi (Japanese Lantern)
Polystichum polyblepharum (Tassel Fern)
Primula japonica, Primula kisoana, Primula sieboldii (Primrose)
Rodgersia podophylla

Groundcovers, Vines & Trailers
Antennaria dioica (Pussy-toes) also native to Europe & northern Asia.
Codonopsis lanceolata (Bonnet Bellflower)
Juniperus conferta (Shore Juniper)
Ophiopogon planiscapus (Mondo Grass)
Pachysandra terminalis
Parthenocissus tricuspidata (Boston Ivy)
Trachelospermum asiaticum, Trachelospermum jasminoides (Star Jasmine)
Wisteria floribunda

Friday, March 11, 2011

Narcissus in the Cascadia Garden

Narcissus 'Tete-a-Tete' February 2010

Narcissus 'Mite' February 2010

Narcissus 'W P Milner'  February 2010

 Narcissus poeticus 'Actaea' March 2010

 Narcissus 'Itzim' March 2010

 Narcissus pseudonarcissus 'Princeps' March 2010

  Narcissus 'Seagull' March 2010

Narcissus are some of my favorite plants in the Cascadia Garden in Seattle.  Narcissus is the birth-month flower for March, the month when I was born.  I can't remember a birthday when I didn't receive a bunch of Narcissus.  I'm very attracted to the very common Narcissus 'King Alfred'.  But I really love them all.  I'm particularly fond of the miniatures, which bloom earliest, often toward the end of February.  I've included the bloom times for Narcissus in my garden, below.  Narcissus have been grown for millennia.  They appeared in the gardens of ancient Rome.  Most are native to the Mediterranean Basin, many in Iberia & Morocco.  Narcissus serotinus is a fall-flowering species which grows as far east as Israel.  Narcissus pseudonarcissus, the Daffodil, grows as far north as England.  The native range of Narcissus jonquilla, the Jonquil, is limited to the Iberian Peninsula.  There are perhaps 45 species of Narcissus divided into 10 groups, the largest of which is the Pseudonarcissi.  Most garden varieties are derived from Narcissus cyclamineus, Narcissus jonquilla, Narcissus poeticus, Narcissus pseudonarcissus, Narcissus tazetta & Narcissus triandrus.  Species, hybrids & cultivars are divided into 13 horticultural divisions.  A good source for Narcissus is John Scheepers, Inc.  Heirloom Narcissus can be found at Old House Gardens.

Narcissus in the Cascadia Garden:
Narcissus ‘Beersheba’ derived from Narcissus pseudonarcissus, introduced in 1923.  Bloom times: 3-01-10, 3-25-09, 3-16-08
Narcissus bulbocodium ‘Golden Bells’ Bloom times: 3-27-08, but not since.
Narcissus ‘Hawera’ derived from Narcissus triandrus & Narcissus jonquilla, introduced in 1928  Bloom times: 3-27-10
Narcissus ‘Itzim’ derived from Narcissus cyclamineus, introduced in 1982  Bloom times: 2-27-10, 3-17-09, 3-3-08
Narcissus ‘Jenny' derived from Narcissus cyclamineus but said to be a hybrid, introduced in 1943.  Bloom times: 2-27-10, 3-25-09
Narcissus jonquilla 'Baby Moon'  Bloom times: 3-13-08
Narcissus ‘King Alfred’ derived from Narcissus pseudonarcissus ssp. major, introduced in 1890.  Bloom times: 2-27-10, 3-25-09, 3-3-08
Narcissus ‘Little Gem’ introduced in 1938.  Bloom times: 3-13-09
Narcissus minor var. conspicuus  Bloom times: 3-25-09, 3-3-08
Narcissus ‘Mite’ derived from Narcissus pseudonarcissus ssp. obvallaris & Narcissus cyclamineus, introduced in 1965.  Bloom times: 2-14-10, 3-3-09
Narcissus nanus ‘Little Beauty’ introduced in 1965.
Narcissus x odorus a naturally occurring hybrid of Narcissus jonquilla & Narcissus pseudonarcissus.  Bloom times: 3-03-10
Narcissus poeticus ‘Actaea’ introduced in 1927.  Bloom times: 3-05-10, 4-04-09, 3-27-08
Narcissus pseudonarcissus ‘Princeps’ introduced in 1830.  Bloom times: 3-12-10, 3-13-08
Narcissus ‘Seagull’ derived from Narcissus poeticus, introduced in 1893.  Bloom times: 3-14-10, 4-06-09
Narcissus ‘Small Talk’ derived from Narcissus minor, introduced in 1965.  Bloom times: 2-07-10, 3-2-09, 2-22-08
Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ derived from Narcissus cyclamineus & Narcissus tazetta, introduced in 1949.  Bloom times: 2-07-10, 2-27-09, 2-28-08
Narcissus triandrus ‘Ice Wings’ introduced in 1958.  Bloom times: 3-16-10, 4-04-09, 3-27-08
Narcissus ‘W P Milner’ derived from Narcissus pseudonarcissus ssp. moschatus, introduced in 1884.  Bloom times: 2-11-10, 3-5-09, 2-28-08

Friday, March 4, 2011

February Garden Pictures & Bloom Times

 Erica x darleyensis 'Mary Ellen' February 2011
Euphorbia rigida & Yucca filimentosa 'Bright Edge' February 2011

Helleborus lividus February 2011

Helleborus x sternii February 2011

 Tulipa turkestanica & Sedum palmeri February 2011

Below is a list of plants that began to bloom in my garden in Seattle in February 2011. I recorded the date when the 1st flower opened, not when they were in bud. I think this information is helpful in planning your garden. If you have nothing that blooms in February, you can find plants from this list.  Nurseries in Seattle usually sell them when they are in bloom. I have included dates from previous years. Weather conditions probably account for most of the difference in bloom times.  The weather in February 2010 was very different from the weather this year.  It was exceptionally warm.  Many plants bloomed in February that normally bloom in March.  February 2011 started out fairly warm, then became colder, then very cold after a snowfall on the 24th, when temperatures at night were well below freezing.

02-02-11  Crocus sieberi ‘Firefly’  2-06-10, 2-20-09, 2-20-08
02-02-11  Helleborus argutifolius  1-31-10, 2-14-09, 02-10-08
02-02-11  Mahonia mairei  1-20-10, 2-14-09, 1-29-08
02-07-11  Helleborus x sternii  2-04-10, 2-05-09, 2-20-08
02-13-11  Crocus tommasinianus  2-11-10, 2-19-09, 2-20-08
02-17-11  Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’  2-07-10, 2-27-09, 2-28-08
02-24-11  Helleborus lividus  2-14-10, 2-20-08
02-25-11  Azara microphylla