Friday, May 27, 2011

Perennials for Sun

Zauschneria latifolia July 2010

Paeonia veitchii May 2010

Kniphofia nelsonii June 2009

Lilium 'White Henryi' July 2010

 Sedum 'Matrona' August 2008

Here is a list of sun-loving perennials for gardens in Seattle, the Pacific Northwest & USDA Zone 8.  It includes xeric perennials (those that like dry conditions) & perennials for moist sites.  Most of these plants are fairly common in the temperate gardens of North America & Europe. None are difficult to grow.  A perennial is any plant, not woody, that lives for at least a few years, although some are short-lived.  Perennials include bulbs & grasses.  Perennial groundcovers are listed in Groundcovers for Sun.  Some genera have species that are both annuals & perennials, or both perennials & shrubs.  Some perennials blur the line between perennials & shrubs, & are often called sub-shrubs.  Some can be weedy, spreading widely by seeds.  Others spread by stolons, which are horizontal above-ground shoots.  Those are noted, although the worst of them are not listed here.  A single common name is noted when the plant has a common name.  While some have several common names, others have none at all.  An excellent reference book for perennials is Perennials: The Definite Reference With Over 2,500 Photographs by Roger Phillips & Martyn Rix.

Perennials for Sun
Acanthus hungaricus, Acanthus mollis, Acanthus spinosus (Bear's Breeches): & other species
Achillea (Yarrow): many species
Agapanthus campanulatus (Lily of the Nile): often sold as Headbourne Hybrids
Alcea rosea (Hollyhock): many cultivars
Allium (Ornamental Onion): many species
Anthemis tinctoria (Marguerite Daisy): xeric
Armeria maritima (Thrift): xeric
Aster (Michaelmas Daisy): many species & cultivars
Astrantia major (Masterwort): some cultivars
Baptisia australis (False Indigo): sun, tolerates some dryness.
Campanula (Bellflower): many species
Centranthus ruber (Valerian): xeric
Cheiranthus cheiri (Wallflower)
Coreopsis (Tickseed): xeric
Crocosmia (Flaming Iris): taller cultivars need support
Crocus: many species & cultivars
Cynara cardunculus (Cardoon): tall & dramatic
Delphinium (Larkspur): many cultivars, needs staking
Dianthus (Carnations & Pinks): many cultivars
Digitalis (Foxglove): short-lived but will return from seed
Echinops ritro (Globe Thistle): xeric
Echinacea paradoxa (Yellow Coneflower) Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower): & other species & many cultivars
Erigeron glaucus (Beach Aster) Erigeron karvinskianus (Santa Barbara Daisy) Erigeron speciosus (Showy Fleabane): & other species
Eriophyllum lanatum (Oregon Sunshine): xeric
Eryngium amethystinum, Eryngium bourgatii, Eryngium planum, Eryngium variifolium  (Sea Holly): & other species, E planum needs support
Eucomis comosa (Pineapple Lily): many cultivars
Eupatorium purpureum (Joe Pye Weed): & other species, needs moisture, may need staking
Festuca ovina ‘Elijah Blue’ (Blue Fescue): short-lived with some seeding
Fritillaria imperialis (Crown Imperial) Fritillaria meleagris (Chequered Lily): & other species
Galtonia candicans (Summer Hyacinth)
Gaura lindheimeri (Gaura): xeric, spreads widely by seed
Geranium cantabrigiense, Geranium 'Johnson's Blue', Geranium sanguineum (Cranesbill): many species & cultivars, not to be confused with Pelargonium (Geranium)
Geum (Avens): many species & cultivars
Gladiolus (Gladiolus, often Gladiola): many species & cultivars, some need staking
Helianthemum nummularium (Sunrose): several cultivars, xeric
Helenium autumnale (Sneezeweed): & other species, does not cause sneezing
Hemerocallis (Daylily): very many cultivars
Hyacinthus orientalis (Hyacinth): many cultivars, not to be confused with Muscari (Grape Hyacinth)
Kniphofia (Torch Lily): many species & cultivars
Lathyrus vernus (Perennial Vetch): short-lived with some seeding
Liatris spicata (Gayfeather)
Lilium (Lily): many species & cultivars
Linaria (Toadflax)
Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower): needs moisture, Lobelia tupa (Tupa): xeric, & other species
Lupinus (Lupine): many species & cultivars, some are shrubs
Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion): xeric
Mimulus (Monkey Flower): many species, needs moisture or wetness
Monarda didyma (Bee Balm): several cultivars
Narcissus pseudonarcissus (Daffodil) Narcissus jonquilla (Jonquil): many species & cultivars
Nectaroscordum siculum (Mediterranean Bells)
Oenothera (Evening Primrose): spreads widely by seed
Ornithogalum umbellatum (Star of Bethlehem): xeric
Paeonia (Peony): many species & cultivars, some are shrubs, very long-lived
Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass): xeric
Papaver orientale (Oriental Poppy): & other species
Pennisetum setaceum (Fountain Grass) 
Penstemon (Beardtongue): many species & cultivars, some shrubby, short-lived
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage): xeric
Persicaria affinis, Persicaria amplexicaulis, Persicaria bistorta, Persicaria virginiana (Knotweed): needs moisture, can be invasive
Phlomis russeliana (Jerusalem Sage): xeric
Phlox (Phlox): many cultivars
Pulsatilla vulgaris (Pasque Flower): several cultivars
Ratibida columnifera (Mexican Hat): xeric
Romneya coulteri (Matilija Poppy): xeric, spreads widely by stolons
Salvia (Sage): many species, short-lived
Scilla peruviana (Giant Squill): xeric, from Spain, not Peru
Solidago (Goldenrod): many species
Tradescantia virginiana (Spiderwort): some cultivars
Scrophularia macrantha: xeric
Sedum 'Autumn Joy', Sedum 'Matrona', Sedum 'Vera Jameson' (Stonecrop): & other cultivars, xeric
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ears) Stachys monieri 'Hummelo' (Betony): & other species
Veronica spicata (Speedwell): & other species & cultivars
Zauschneria californica (California Fuchsia) Zauschneria latifolia: & other species, spreads widely by stolons

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Seattle Chinese Garden: Phase 1

 Entrance to the Knowing the Spring Courtyard March 2011

Knowing the Spring Courtyard from outside. March 2011

 Knowing the Spring Courtyard March 2011

 Knowing the Spring Courtyard March 2011

 Knowing the Spring Courtyard March 2011

 Knowing the Spring Courtyard March 2011
Knowing the Spring Courtyard March 2011

 Corridor outside the Knowing the Spring Courtyard March 2011

 Song Mei (Pine & Plum) Pavilion March 2011

When I read that the Seattle Chinese Garden had completed the first phase of construction, the Knowing the Spring Courtyard, I expected to be unimpressed. I had seen only one Chinese garden, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Each of the courtyards there is fairly small.  I was amazed to find that the entire Vancouver garden would seem to fit inside the Knowing the Spring Courtyard in Seattle.  Aside from a vast expanse of undistinguished paving, the courtyard is quite pleasing.  You may find that viewing it through the windows of the corridor that runs outside the east wall is more charming.  While very clearly Chinese, the architecture has, to some extent, a modern American feel.  However, the official website states that ‘the garden will be the first in the United States to authentically represent the Sichuan style.’  The nearby Song Mei (Pine & Plum) Pavilion is very nice.  Artisans from the Chang Shu Ancient Style Garden Design Construction Company with lead garden designer Feng Dacheng from the Chongqing Bureau of Parks & Greenery finished this phase in November 2010.  It opened in February 2011. Chongqing & Seattle are sister cities.  The plan for the remainder of the garden is quite ambitious.  ‘The 4.6-acre Seattle Chinese Garden will be one of the largest Chinese gardens outside of China, showcasing not only plants, but also stone, architecture and water elements that are customary to Chinese gardens. Dense and complex, it will change dramatically with each season.’  Visit the Seattle Chinese Garden website for more details.  You might also enjoy the Seattle Chinese Garden blog.  The garden is located adjacent to the South Seattle Community College Arboretum.  Below is a map of the future garden.  

Map of the Seattle Chinese Garden (when completed)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pacific Coast Native Iris in the Cascadia Garden

 Iris douglasiana May 2009

Iris douglasiana May 2010 

Iris douglasiana May 2010

 Iris hartwegii May 2010

 Iris hartwegii May 2010

Iris tenax May 2009

Iris macrosiphon May 2010

Pacific Coast Hybrid Iris May 2010

 Pacific Coast Hybrid Iris May 2010

Pacific Coast Hybrid Iris May 2010

I love Pacific Coast Native Iris (PCNI) best among the Iris in my garden in Seattle.  I like the evergreen foliage.  I like the small size & the fact they don't need staking.  I love the flowers.  To my mind, many garden Iris have grotesquely large & gaudy flowers.  Compared to these, PCNI seem pure & simple.  There are 11 species of PCNI, most of them found in California.  Many are hard to obtain.  Not all flourish in Seattle.  PCNI are also hybridized.  The hybrids are not always as appealing to me as the species.  I've grown Pacific Coast Hybrid Iris from seed I got from the Society for Pacific Coast Native Iris (SPCNI).  You can see the results above.  I like Iris douglasiana best.  I'm also pleased with Iris macrosiphon & Iris hartwegii.  These 3 are robust in my garden.  Most hybrids are created from Iris douglasiana & Iris innominata.  In my garden, PCNI bloom in May.

PCNI in the Cascadia Garden
Iris chrysophylla
Iris douglasiana
Iris hartwegii
Iris macrosiphon
Iris purdyi
Iris tenax

Friday, May 6, 2011

April Garden Pictures & Bloom Times

Ajuga reptans April 2011

Arctostaphylos x media April 2011

Bergenia 'Pink Dragonfly' April 2011

Epimedium colchicum var. pinnatum April 2011

Rhododendron campylogynum 'Celsum' April 2011

Below is a list of plants that began to bloom in my garden in Seattle in April  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 need more plants that bloom in April, you can choose some from the list.  This can help you to combine flower colors.  Nurseries in Seattle usually sell plants when they are in bloom. I have included dates from previous years. Weather conditions probably account for most of the difference in bloom times.  April 2011 set a record, at 52.2F/11.2C, for the lowest average-daily-high-temperature since record-keeping began in 1891.  The average average-daily-high-temperature for April is 58.2F/14.5C.  April 2011 was also more rainy that usual.  In marked contrast, April 2010 was quite warm.

04-01-11  Berberis thunbergii ‘Crimson Pygmy’ 3-15-10, 4-23-09, 4-15-08
04-02-11  Muscari latifolium
04-02-11  Narcissus ‘Limbo’
04-02-11  Erythronium oregonum 3-17-10, 4-09-09, 3-27-08
04-04-11  Geranium phaeum 4-01-10, 4-24-09
04-06-11  Arctostaphylos ‘White Lanterns’
04-06-11  Dicentra formosa 3-21-10, 4-15-09, 4-10-08
04-06-11  Sanguinaria canadensis ‘Multiplex’ 3-19-10, 4-7-09, 4-03-08
04-06-11  Tulipa dasystemon 3-26-10, 4-16-09 4-18-08
04-09-11  Asarum caudatum
04-09-11  Magnolia ‘Susan’ 3-15-10, 4-15-09, 4-15-08
04-09-11  Tulipa praestans ‘Zwanenburg’ 3-26-10, 4-09-09, 3-30-08
04-11-11  Dicentra spectabilis 3-29-10, 4-09-09, 4-15-08
04-11-11  Fragaria vesca 3-21-10, 4-09-09, 4-25-08
04-11-11  Jeffersonia diphylla 3-21-10, 3-30-08
04-12-11  Lewisia cotyledon 3-19-10, 4-16-09, 4-15-08
04-12-11  Narcissus ‘Hawera’ 3-27-10
04-12-11  Sedum palmeri 3-29-10, 4-16-09, 4-25-08
04-13-11  Ajuga reptans 4-15-08
04-14-11  Saruma henryi 4-03-10, 4-23-09, 4-18-08
04-16-11  Trillium chloropetalum 3-29-10, 4-21-09, 4-10-08
04-18-11  Ribes x gordonianum 3-26-10, 4-07-09, 4-10-08
04-20-11  Tulipa ‘Golden Apeldoorn’ 4-04-10, 4-17-09
04-20-11  Tulipa ‘Little Princess’ 4-03-10, 4-20-09, 4-21-08
04-21-11  Paeonia mascula x obovata 3-26-10, 4-22-09, 4-18-08
04-21-11  Primula auricula 4-05-10
04-22-11  Euphorbia cyparissias 3-29-10, 4-13-09 4-18-08
04-24-11  Rhododendron campylogynum ‘Celsum’ 4-09-10, 4-24-09, 4-28-08
04-25-11  Lamium maculatum 3-27-10, 5-04-09, 4-21-08
04-25-11  Lathyrus vernus 4-22-10, 4-24-09, 4-15-08
04-26-11  Camassia leichtlinii ‘Caerulea’ 4-13-10, 5-1-09, 4-29-08
04-27-11  Paeonia cambessedesii 4-17-10, 4-27-09, 4-28-08
04-28-11  Daboecia cantabrica ‘Rainbow’ 4-15-10, 4-27-09, 5-10-08
04-28-11  Ribes nevadense 4-18-10, 4-29-09
04-30-11  Ceanothus gloriosus var. exaltatus ‘Emily Brown’
04-30-11  Smilacina stellata 4-13-10, 5-01-09
04-30-11  Tellima grandiflora 4-17-10, 5-03-09, 5-02-08