penstemon heterophyllus electric blue

Electric blue beardtongue, Penstemon Heterophyllus

Last night, in our side garden I noticed a forgotten penstemon nearly swallowed alive by the ever-expanding lamb’s ear. This part of the bed  gets limited sun and absolutely no additional water, just rain fall. This plant is impressively xeric. I will not to hesitate to repurchase given the chance. This one was found at Smith Marketplace for only $2.99. I wonder how long a well established penstemon flowers, mine are so young their blooms seem very fleeting. Continue reading “penstemon heterophyllus electric blue”


the climbers and the vinyl philosophy


If there is one think I dislike about my garden, one thing I have to live with no matter what it is the white vinyl fence erected between our lots by my neighbors. I have a large garden for this part of the city and as such an insurmountably large wall of white blinding plastic to look at. This obstacle/limitation has become a mental tool I use to try and make peace with circumstances or facts I dislike but cannot improve. I am designing my garden not to desperately hide the fence but as if it did not exist. I hope someday my eyes will no longer  be blinded by its harsh plastic-ness and will simply forget it is here. I have been in this garden eight years and it has yet to happen! Continue reading “the climbers and the vinyl philosophy”


picture credits: Down to E Earth in Eugene, OR.
picture credits: Down to  Earth in Eugene, OR.

Ollas… nice looking clay pots you pay a lot for and then proceed to burry to the hilt in dry parts of your garden to irrigate a few plant efficiently. Ollas, I need you, but I refuse to dig you out in the winter… what to do… what to do?  I think I will do a test run for the  hellstrip along our detached garage with two clay pots joined together at the rim with calk such as those.

the hellstrip is on the right of the path. Cosmos don't seem to mind the dire lack of water but lesser plants have perished there.
the hellstrip is on the right of the path. Cosmos don’t seem to mind the dire lack of water but lesser plants have perished there.

Two reed grasses (variety unknown) are doing well in the space but I would like some “Little Spire” Russian Sage to thrive in this site. The plants I put there this spring look tiny and anemic still. Confession time: All Russian sages fail in my garden, apparently they need more water than they receive where I tuck them in. It a sore point for me, every one can grow Russian sages apparently… Maybe the ollas will be the key. If not it’s bye bye sage, no fuss, no buts, no coconuts!