Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vintage Japanese Playscape

I am a follower of the blog Playscapes and the latest blog features photos of older Japanese playgrounds.  I love this image of the elephant slide:

I love the fun, creative design in these slides.  Children love whimsical and I think adults do too, it helps to set the imagination free. 
Check out Playcapes for more great posts on playgrounds and playscapes.

Monday, February 14, 2011

2010 American Garden Award Winner

One of my favorite magazines is "The American Gardener", the magazine of the American Horticultural Society.  In the November/December issue they had an article about the 2010 American Garden Award Winner. 

The 2010 American Garden Award, now in its second year, featured four new flower varieties chosen by their breeders for their excellent garden performance.  Once these new varieties were planted and put on display by the participating gardens, the public was invited to vote on their favorite.  The winner for 2010 is Rudbeckia Denver Daisy from Brenary of America.



According the American Garden website: "'Denver Daisy' wowed voters with masses of reddish ringed golden flowers having a delicious looking chocolate brown center. It's a knockout with huge 4-6 inch golden blooms that cover attractive deep green foliage. The long-lasting golden dark eyed blooms proved their ability to stand up under extreme weather conditions. This most popular winner guarantees fantastic summer-long flower power throughout the country in gardens, mixed containers and landscapes. This variety was created and named in honor of Denver's 150th anniversary."

Second place is Echinacea 'Prarie Splendor' from Syngenta Flowers with it's three inch amethyst blooms and long blooming period from early summer to late fall.

Both of these selections will be very well in our climate and will be well appreciated by bees and other insects.

The third place winner, an annual, is the ornamental pepper 'Purple Flash' from PanAmerican Seed.  

This will look fantastic in a container, adding great color and interest, it would also look great surrounding a pot of Rudbeckia 'Denver Daisy'.  Now that's a fun combo.

I'm getting excited about spring and the upcoming season, I can't wait to plant these this year!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Bulbs are Coming Up!

I went to go visit a client and her landscape yesterday to make sure everything was overwintering well and it all looked great, including the crocus bulbs coming up.


It is early February and in Central Oregon that is too early for even the early bulbs to be coming up.  Even though it is really a lovely bright spot in her garden, she was concerned that she wouldn't have the beauty of the bulbs for later in the season.

For the bulbs that have already flowered or are budding, there is nothing to be done.  There actually is not much to be done at all when unseasonally warm weather prompts bulbs to grow or trees to start budding out earlier than normal.  The bulbs that have not budded should slow down with the return of the cold temperatures.  Putting down some extra mulch to eliminate any light that the bulbs are getting might also slow their current growth down.

Meanwhile, enjoy those little spots of color and start thinking, planning and dreaming of this years gardening season!