Friday, April 21, 2017

Here comes the sun

After having so much sunny garden time over Easter weekend, the week turned rainy or showery yet again. Given the way spring has gone, I'm sure the rain isn't over. It shouldn't be anyway. But it's good to see a bit more sun, a bit of warmth, and finally some bloom.

Berberis repens
Excitement 'round these parts! Okay, gardening excitement, which isn't quite the same. But still. The common name for Berberis repens is creeping Oregon grape. It has been growing very slowly in a shady corner near the front of the house. It's supposed to be small and low, so I assume it's thriving or at least doing well enough. It even had a baby (a nearby volunteer that so far I have left alone). But it had never bloomed that I can remember.

That seems to have changed. These flowers are not quite open, but I think it's close enough to say this year the plant finally bloomed. Even the volunteer is doing so! Maybe this plant, which is a bit outside its normal zone, was not a mistake after all. Keeping an eye on it.

The other Berberis are flowering as usual, much brighter yellow than this one. The lilies, yellow violets, and salmonberry continue to flower. Ribes aureum (yellow flowering currant) is hitting it's bright yellow peak. The Oemleria cerasiformis (Indian plum) blossoms have gone by. One of the Dodecatheon pulchellum (pretty shooting star) is just beginning to bud.

Dodecatheon pulchellum
I did even more cleanup of the Rosa nutkana. I was surprised to find yet more dead wood. Yet the hedge itself is still strong. I was going easy on it, but I probably should have trimmed off the top. It will need some trimming before summer is over.

I did some more cleanup in the rock garden. On the shadier side, there is some major competition between Fragaria vesca, which goes everywhere, and Sedum reflexa, which likes to spread as well. I tend to let the strawberry go where it wants, since wherever it grows there is less room for weeds, but since this is the rock garden I decided that rock garden plants need more room. So I declared some space for the strawberry but pulled it out of large swaths of the sedum. Back to battling to keep the rock garden in some kind of order! Otherwise it just looks like a shapeless pile. I arranged more of the plentiful rocks to try to create tiny beds again. We'll see how well I can keep the plants separate and not crawling all over or under each other.

I have a mystery plant. It's right about where the ostrich fern (which is deciduous and disappears after it's done) ought to be. This doesn't look very fern-y to me, but there should not be anything else growing there. However, the ground on the other side of the fence was disturbed last winter due to oil tank extraction, so maybe something slipped over to our side. We shall see! I would love to see the return of the fern.

So far, despite the cool, wet, and seemingly late spring, some bloom is still ahead of where it ought to be: bleeding heart, all of the Oregon grape, and the flowering currants. The Indian plum was late.

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