Saturday, November 16, 2013

Palm Central

My obsession for plants originated about 10 years ago with an obsession for palms.  Instead of just moving to Hawaii (I didn't have any money and was still in college), I figured the next best thing was to at least make my yard look like a tropical paradise - even if it didn't always feel like one.  So my love affair with palms began.  Below are the different species of palms currently growing in my garden, ordered by easiness to grow in the Seattle area.  The last three palms are not reliable hardy, but do spend the vast majority of their time outside.

Trachycarpus fortunei (Windmill Palm)
Trachycarpus fortunei var. wagnerianus
Rhapidophyllum hystrix (Needle Palm)
Jubaea chilensis (Chilean Wine Palm)
Butia capitata (Jelly Palm)
Chamaerops humilis (Mediterranean Fan Palm)
Washingtonia robusta (Mexican Fan Palm)
Sabal mexicana
Sabal minor
Brahea armata (Mexican Blue Palm)
Rhapis excelsa (Lady Palm)
Syagrus romanzoffiana (Queen Palm)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Calm Before the Storm

We had a big windstorm last week that blew pretty much all the beautiful fall foliage to the ground.  Luckily I took some pictures of the garden in its fall color prime before the storm.

Brilliant blueberries.  If I remember correctly (which isn't as likely as I would like it to be), these are 'Jersey' blueberries.

This is about as ripe as the bananas are going to get!

Musa basjoo
Had I watered this Himalayan raspberry over the summer, it would be looking a bit more presentable.  Yes, the berries are edible.  They are pretty good - they taste like apples.

Rubus lineatus

Maybe I should make some figgy pudding?

Ficus carica
Hydrophobia at work on the leaves of Melianthus major.

Melianthus major
Melianthus major
A Red-foliaged Castor bean plant (Ricinus communis) extends the season up until the first hard frost.  This one is 10' tall and still looking fantastic heading into mid-November.  I order the seeds online and plant them directly in the ground in a sunny spot with good soil in mid-April.

Ricinus communis 'Carmencita'
The greenhouse is filled to the brim.  The white flower on the left is a brugmansia (Angel's trumpet).  The pink-flowered (actually pink-bracted) plant on the right is Bougainvillea glabra.

Here's hoping my next post is not of me wrapping Christmas lights and blankets around all the borderline-subtropical plants before an impending arctic freeze!!!