I'd like to introduce you to some of my favorite friends in the garden.
Magnolia 'Caerhayes Belle' is the color of bubble gum and the bud is as big as a grapefruit.
Veratrum californicum is a magnificent architectural plant for the shade.
Epipactis gigantea 'Serpentine Night' is a terrestrial orchid also called a stream orchid. The species of this plant spreads quite rapidly in moist soil, but this one is better behaved.
Bletilla striata is another terrestrial orchid. I killed this twice before I found a good spot for it where it florishes now.
Bletilla striata 'Alba' is the white form of the above.
My favorite hydrangea is 'Ayesha', also called 'Silver Slippers'. The cupped petals look like a lilac, don't they.
The primroses are all blooming here now and my favorites are auriculas. I babied these in pots in the greenhouse for years until I read an old gardening book that stated they were hardy in my zone (USDA zone 8). So I tried one outside and it was very happy. Now they all grow outside and I don't do anything with them except throw a little compost at their feet.
Another Primula aricula in deep purple-blue. Sometimes you get a beautiful powdery bloom on the leaves, but if you want to keep it, they are better in pots as the irrigation washes it off.
I love Primula 'Dorothy' because her flowers are so delicate and petite.
Primula 'Linda Pope' is an unusual primrose with powdery, serrated leaves and soft purple flowers.
Meet Trillium rivale 'Purple Heart'. The whole plant is tiny, but prolific. After it blooms, the blooms turn upside down and rest themselves on the surrounding soil where they drop their seeds.
Coming out of the shade. The Tigridia pavonia is a striking flower in orange, yellow or pink. Also called Mexican Shell Flower.
Polygonum orientale is also called Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate. This is just an annual and seeds itself nicely. It grows a towering 6-8 feet in one season. Not aggresive like other knotweeds. You can tell what it is in the spring by it's little red stems.
Nicandra is also called Shoo-Fly since flies don't care for it, although I'm not sure why since there is no fragrance to it at all. It has lovely blackish buds and the seed pods look similar. This grows about 3-4 feet and self seeds.
Erythroniums are near and dear to my heart. This is our native variety (oregonum) that grows everywhere in our woods.
Erythronium revolutum is a bit fancier.
Camellias are such versatile plants and I have many sasanqua and japonica varieties. This is 'Nuccio's Pearl'.
I love the fimbriated petals of 'Fred Sanders'
Agave parryi is striking, but not very friendly.
My blog of the week is We Three, Ginger Cat Tales. It isn't really a gardening blog, but the most wonderful blog for anyone who likes cats. Check it out here.