Monday, December 30, 2013

Maytenus boaria after the cold

This Maytenus boaria was undamaged by the recent cold. This is an as yet unnamed clonal form that may be getting a name in the future!

A Christmas Poncirus!

Almost time to take the Christmas decorations off the traditional Christmas Poncirus trifoliata :^)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Two Helwingia after the cold

These observations were also duplicated on plants growing in the garden but these unprotected greenhouse liners show the comparison more clearly. On the left is Helwingia chinensis DJHC 965, it's hardly damaged by the cold. On the right is the Heronswood narrow leaf form showing significantly more cold damage to the foliage.

Tough as old boots!

This Nolina has been growing in our garden for about 10 years now. This past freeze was it's biggest test to date but it sailed through with no damage! Not believed to be a true cultivar but a collected seedling strain of an unidentified species collected at over 8000' in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon near the town of La Siberica.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Wonders of Frost Blankets!

Fuchsia magellanica RCH402

Even though I have been using them for years I'm still often surprised by the near magic cold protection to plants given by something as simple as a frost blanket. These late rooted Fuchsia cuttings were still actively growing when the cold weather hit & were covered in tender new growth. The only extra protection they were given in our unheated poly tunnel was being covered with 2 layers of 1.5oz frost blanket. The air temperature above the blankets in the house dropped to 12F but the new foliage underneath was barely damaged!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Grevillea australis - Lookin' good after the Big Freeze!

We planted about a dozen different Greavillea into the garden last year as a growing trial to see which ones were hardy & which ones were not! After "The Big Freeze" this one was a bit of a surprise, we expected to see damage on Grevillea australis but it looks completely undamaged. Grevillea rosmarinifolia on the other hand is not looking nearly so good which was also a surprise!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Stats!

The temperature highs & lows from our recent cold spell, if not the coldest then certainly in the top 3 for the last 25 years. Now we keep our fingers crossed & hope for the best!

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Big Cover Up Continues!

We dropped below freezing on 12/04/13 & are still stuck there 5 days  later. It looks like we have at least 2 or three more days to go before the temperature will get above Freezing day or night. Sunday morning temperatures in Western Oregon dropped to their coldest for 20 to 30 years! In our area it was only the second time since I moved here in 1985 that the temperature dropped to 10F (-12C).
We are waiting for warmth!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

It's Bloody Cold out there....

Our sulking Schefflera delavayi 

2013/12/08: As I write this at 6:30am on a Sunday morning many of us are waking up to our coldest temps in 20 to 30 years! It's 12.4F (-10.8C) & still dropping! This will be the biggest test yet for many of the plants in the Plantmad Garden including our Schefflera delavayi  which was definitely sulking yesterday morning at 16F.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Big Cover Up!

We are forecast to have our coldest temps in 3 or 4 years over the next week. Just in case all the frost blankets are out & ready to go!

Calm before the storm!

A couple of years ago we picked up about 10 to 12 Grevillea selections from Ian Barclay at Desert Northwest, we planted them out this year to see how they will do. With the coldest weather in about 4 years forecast to hit this week it looks like we are about to find out!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Japanese Cornelian Cherry.

There are still lots of berries on our Cornus officinalis 'Kintoki', Native to Japan the bright red berries are about half the size of those of it's close relative from Eastern Europe Cornus mas.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Dreaded garden Leaf Cleanup!

As much as we wish it wouldn't, it comes around every year like clockwork - The dreaded garden leaf cleanup! We spent all day Saturday slaving away on this but the finish line is still a long way off!

Friday, November 22, 2013

"D" day for the Banana!

An unhappy Musa basjoo

Last year our Musa basjoo made it all the way to December 31st before there was a frost hard enough to kill it. This year November 21st was D Day!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lionel Fortesque, a hummingbird's delight!

We don't put any Hummingbird feeders out in our garden but we have a growing number of them that call the garden home all year round. Their favorite wintertime spot is a planting of Mahonia x media cultivars near the kitchen window. Now that they have begun flowering they will be hanging out here for the next few months, often chasing each other away from their perceived favorite spot on a plant! If they do get tired of Mahonia nectar they nip on over to the Grevillea victoriae.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Two Fothergilla

We have grown both of these Fothergilla in the garden for many years & put them back into production this year. The cultivar 'Jane Platt' is a dwarf originally selected from a plant growing at the Jane Platt garden in Portland Oregon. 'Blue Mist' was selected for its grey blue summer foliage but fell out of fashion when the better blue cultivar 'Blue Shadow' was introduced. 'Blue Shadow' has been found to suffer from a green reversion problem though so maybe 'Blue Mist' deserves another lease on life!

Just for Fun!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Desfontainia spinosa

Now if we could reliably produce about 500 liners of this Chilean native with flowers on at this time of year we'd be very happy :^)..

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

First Flower!

Hamamelis virginiana var. mexicana.

We came across our first Hamamelis flower for the 2013 / 2014 season last weekend. The winner was the curious and very pale almost cream colored flowers of Hamamelis virginiana var. mexicanaSometimes listed as it's own species H. mexicana. This plants native range is between 4000' & 8500' in the Sierra Madre Orientale Mountains of Mexico. What it lacks in show stopping flowers it makes up for in botanical curiosity!

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Variegated Stewartia.

Stewartia pseudocamelia - Variegated Form

We have been playing around with the variegated Stewartia seedling for a few years now. We keep making cuttings of the most variegated shoots but still don't have it stable enough for release.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

紅葉 (Kouyou) - Fall Colors at Plantmad.

Some photos of the Autumn colors around the Plantmad Garden & Nursery.
A few more photos here.

A year of Autumn Colour to remember!

Quercus robur 'Pendula'

Its been a year to remember for Autumn Colour here in Western Oregon. The colours in the garden & nursery have never looked so good for so long! Heck even the English Oak looked good!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Acer platanoides - The Bill Janssen Strain

There area few types of these dwarf columnar Norway Maple clones around. Perhaps the best known is the cultivar Acer platanoides 'Rezek' (of Ed Rezek fame).

The late Bill Janssen of Collectors Nursery was always on the lookout for these mutants too. Scouring tens of thousands of seedlings for these dwarf oddities. He & Diana had a planting of them in their display garden and many years ago shared a few scions with us. We lost a couple along the way but still have one of the red leaved selections & one of the green  growing in the garden. Great plants so long as you are not in too much of a hurry ;^)..

Cleaning up the Gunnera!

Chiyoko fighting a flat of Gunnera tinctoria liners, removing all the foliage before it gets frosted & becomes a soggy mess on top of the plants.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Stewartia sinensis - A compact form.

About 8 years ago we planted a stock hedge of different Stewartia including 10 Stewartia sinensis. one of them turned out to be a very compact & tight growing form. we're planning to move this into a better garden spot this winter & then see if it's worth doing anything with!

Some Stewartia pseudocamellia liners.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Our 2013 Witch Hazel Crop

Our 2013 crop of Hamamelis Liners is looking good on this Sunny October afternoon!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Guy's plant rescue service :^)..

A friend who is moving next year & can not take his plants with him decided he didn't want to drag all his heavy pots of Brugmansia, Musella, Ginger & Cordyline into the Cold frame again for the Winter so he asked if I would be interested in them! Guys Plant Shelter Rescue Service to the rescue :^)..

Friday, October 4, 2013

Clethra barbinervis 'Takeda Nishiki'

Many thanks Paul Bonine of Xera Plants for sharing great looking plant with us! We are looking forward to growing more of them!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

IPPS Western Region Conference

If you are going to be at the IPPS Western Region Annual conference this week in Portland then you will find a few of our plants to bid on in the Silent Auction!

Three Maples

Also from Far Reaches Farm, 3 different Maples collected from Damingshan in Guangxi, just north of the Vietnam Border. Depending on their hardiness these may be short lived additions to the Plantmad collection but worth a try!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Two New Clethras!

While perusing the Fall list from Far Reaches Farm a couple of weeks ago (always a fun activity) I noticed 2 Clethra that they had collected in North Vietnam & Guizhou China in 2012. I'm particularly fond of the foliage on the Vietnamese plant (foreground), now time to trial it in the garden.

Four new plants for the Plantmad garden!

We stopped by Xera Plants retail location in Portland today & picked up a few new cool & interesting plants for the garden. I'm sure we will end up making a few cuttings of them too!

Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Fastigiata', Laurus nobilis 'Crispa', a male form of Salix magnifica & finally a new Eucryphia x nymansensis 'Nymansay' to replace the one in our garden that's been among the "Undead" since the last big freeze we had about 4 years ago! They have a great selection of plants over there: 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Not another bloody variegated plant ;^)

Like all good plants people we are always on the lookout for an odd looking seedling or something that's different from the rest. You know the kind of stuff that mother nature would quickly dispose of if it wasn't for people like us :^)..

Grading through our crop of 2013 Emothrium coccineum seedlings last week Chiyoko found this one! Now set aside with all the other miss fits, runts & mutants for further evaluation! But I'm not waiting for a variegated Embothrium, It's a weeping one that I'm waiting for ;^).. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sometime you buy a plant just for it's story!

Parrotia subaequalis

The Chinese Ironwood, Parrotia subaequalis is the latest addition to the Plantmad collection of "nondescript" Hamamelidaceae. Sometimes though (at least for me) the story behind a plant or its botanic curiosity is enough of a reason to include it in the garden!  

The plant was first discovered collected in North Eastern China in 1935 & given the name Hamamelis subaequalis but then lost & forgotten! It was not collected or studied in the wild again until 1988. In 1992 the rediscovered plants flowered and it was obvious that they were not Hamamelis, they were given the new genus name of Shaniodendron but further DNA testing followed & in 1998 it was decided that the plant was actually a sister species of the Persian Ironwood, Parrotia persica & so it was renamed Parrotia subaequalis a second species growing some 3500 miles away from it's only other relative!

For more information on this plant check out this Arnold Arboretum article.

Summer turns to Autumn....

I hate to see Summer go but it is nice to the see garden Cyclamen return!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Fickle Franklinia!

I believe that in the South Franklinia is a Summer flowering tree but here in the North West it takes until mid September for the first flowers to open & so you often have flowers & fall colors at the same time. It's a somewhat difficult plant to establish in the NW garden. The first 2 I planted died within a year but this 3rd one seems to be happy & finally growing!

The plant was discovered by John Bartram and his son William in 1765 growing on 2 to 3 acres along the banks of the Altamaha River. It was never found anywhere else in the wild except along the banks of the Altamaha and it was never seen in the wild again after 1803! Meaning all the plants in cultivation today come from just a few plants grown from seed collected by the Bartrams on a return trip in 1773.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A new Oregon Champion!

Earlier this year a new State Champion Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar) was found hear Cannon Beach Oregon. Last week Chiyoko & I went to the coast to check this tree out. It's quite close the road & only a short bushwhack in the thick undergrowth is required to find it.

The stats are: Circumference 640" | Height 152' | Crown 70'

Giving it 810 points on the Oregon Champion Tree Registry (more than any other tree on the list)!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A walk around Windcliff,

Last week I had the opportunity to walk around Dan Hinkley's Windcliff Garden with Dan & Martin Nicholson from the Hoyt Arboretum. It's always a rare treat to see so many plants grown from seed that was wild collected from so many places around the world growing in one garden. Here are just 4 of the many plants that caught my attention on this last trip!

Litsea populifolia

Exbucklandia tonkinensis

Sinopanax formosanus

Schefflera fangii

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

One Chance!

I was very kindly given a scion of a variegated Daphniphyllum macropodum yesterday. Notoriously difficult to propagate & I only have one plant that I could use as a rootstock so we are hoping for a 100% success rate :^)..

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Styrax japonicus 'Frosted Emerald'

Styrax japonicus 'Frosted Emerald'

A new batch of Styrax japonicus 'Frosted Emerald' stuck last weekend, hopefully these will make a nice batch of liners for us in 2014.

A Pewter Stewartia!

This is one of 2 selections of Stewartia pseudocamellia we are playing around with that have pewter coloured foliage.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Borinda papyrifera

Borinda papyrifera

Looking good in the garden this week is Borinda papyrifera that we were given as a wedding present from our friend Ian of Connor Bamboo a few years ago!