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.

Electric blue beardtongue, Penstemon Heterophyllus


more blue xeric blooms…
Nigella Anchusa



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In Utah roses that are elsewhere more or less everblooming really only have a spectacular show of blooms in the spring before the temperatures climb into the 90’s. By the summer the blooms are rare and if we are lucky fall sees another flush, rarely as spectacular as spring’s. This seems to be true of English or Hybrid Tea roses but less so of shrub roses. The Iceberg rose, often mocked for being too ubiquitous is splendid in our climate.  Continue reading “white”

the unthinkable

the horrible day

It’s hard to choose a picture to lead with when writing a blog post on ones garden being severely devastated by spring hail.  The shredded leaves broken blooms and fallen branches are everywhere you turn. I cried earnestly twice but mostly for most of all for the hostas, all of them ruined. Here is a short tour through the sad mess left behind. Continue reading “the unthinkable”

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”

red goes with everything

Red goes with everything

Today we are entering day 4 of rain here in Salt Lake city. I am in heaven and celebrating all red things happening around the garden! This weekend I moved plants around under the downpour, getting soaked to the bone and loving every minute of it. Last night before Thomas had to leave town for business I begged him to help me transplant a large-ish prostrate cut-leaf Japanese maple. It was a huge risk and  big job that may or may not pay off. I suspect that we did not manage to save enough of the root system but who knows, with the terrible weather it could work. What stresses me most about it is that it looks so good in its new home… Continue reading “red goes with everything”