Garden Report

A couple warm days of rain, including a spectacular thunder and lightning storm, and the garden’s essentially gone loco. Some plants have practically doubled in size in a couple days. Especially blown away by the black bamboo, which went from waist-height to over my head in three days. Had a few casualties from the storm–the big white peonies fell over, despite being staked, but they’re scenting the living room now with blooms six or seven inches across (with just a faint tracing of pink on the edges of the petals). I’ve had tremendous luck this year finding plants I was looking for, including the fantastic Verbena bonaresis (might have the spelling wrong there), which grows to four or five feet and then blooms with delicate, gauzy purple flowerheads. Purple haze, baby. Haven’t been able to find it the last couple years, and now it seems to be everywhere.

Also pleasantly surprised to find a couple plants that I thought I’d lost have not only come back but come back in strength, especially the Geranium psilostemon, which is another supposedly common variety that I havent been able to find for a bit. Snagged one last year and thought I’d lost it in summer’s heat. It forms a mound three or four feet high, and in summer it’s smothered with one to two inch magenta flowers with a black center. A couple Eryngiums I also thought I’d lost came back, which pleases me to no end because I kind of collect the weird little buggers, with their spiky, steel-blue flowers.

It’s going to be an amazing June. I expect to be taking a lot of pictures, especially since I’ve finally figured out the macro function on the G10. As with the rest of the camera, it’s brilliant. The shot above is Lady’s Mantle, which has a web of fine hairs on the leaves that cause rain to puddle up like sequins. A superb, simple plant with clusters of acid yellow flowers in summer.

S

About Steve Patterson

Steve Patterson has written over 50 plays, with works staged in Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Austin, Tampa, and other U.S. cities as well as in Canada and New Zealand. His works include: Waiting on Sean Flynn, Next of Kin, Farmhouse, Malaria, Shelter, Altered States of America, The Continuing Adventures of Mr. Grandamnus, Bluer Than Midnight, Bombardment, Dead of Winter, and Delusion of Darkness. In 2006, his bittersweet Lost Wavelengths was a mainstage selection at Portland Center Stage's JAW/West festival, and, in 2008, won the Oregon Book Award (he also was an OBA finalist in 1992 and 2002). In 1997, he won the inaugural Portland Civic Theatre Guild Fellowship for his play Turquoise and Obsidian. View all posts by Steve Patterson

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