Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hulda Klager Lilac Garden


We drove up to Woodland, Washington (about 20 minutes up Interstate 5) last week to see the Hulda Klager Lilac Garden. Klager lived in this house from 1904-1960 where she propagated lilacs and developed fourteen varieties. You can read more about her and her family on the plaque below.



The house and grounds had a distinct Southern feel to it. The house is only open during Lilac Days (which ended on Mother's Day) and we were a day late. We did get to peek inside through the windows though and I would have liked to have taken the tour. Maybe next year...


Most of the lilacs were already spent with the exception of a few. There were other spring flowering shrubs, like rhododendrons and viburnums, that were spectacular.

Weigela and Rhododendron next to the barn

Hulda Klager Lilac-Garden - Rhododendron 'Blue Peter'
Rhododendron 'Blue Peter'

Another stunner that I did not get the name of

Popcorn Viburnum (Viburnum plicatum)
Popcorn Viburnum

Viburnum plicatum
Double-file Viburnum (Viburnum plicatum)

Exbury Azaleas




Azalea 'Tri-Lights'

Japanese Umbrella Pine (Sciadopitys verticillata)
There were also some magnificent trees on the property. This is a huge Japanese Umbrella Pine (Sciadopitys verticillata).

Variegated Box Elder (Acer negudo variegatum)
Variegated Box Elder (Acer negudo variegatum)


Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana)

Monkey Puzzle Tree
A gigantic Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria araucana)

Monkey Puzzle Tree


The view from the front porch






I have been to Woodland many times to shop at Tsugawa Nursery but I had never been to the other side of the interstate where the downtown area is located. It is quite old-fashioned and very charming. I did not get any photos of the street or shops but we stopped at a monument with views of the river.

That is Interstate 5 in the distance.

The yellow-flowering shrub across the river is Scotch Broom. It is very invasive here and can be see all along the road sides.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Foliage Follow-up

This is my first "Foliage Follow-Up" posting. I have always wanted to join in but just never got around to it. As I was taking photos for Bloom Day, I noticed that there is some very nice foliage in the garden. I hope conifers count!

One of my prized possessions right now is this pine tree- Pinus contorta 'Taylor's Sunburst'. Isn't it amazing?

Another conifer that I am thrilled to have is this spruce (Picea orientalis 'Skylands').

Spanish Fir (Abies pinsapo 'Glauca')
Spanish Fir (Abies pinsapo 'Glauca')

Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens 'Glauca')
And one last conifer - Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens 'Glauca')

Acer pseudoplatanus 'Eskimo Sunset'
Now on to some trees. This is a maple called 'Eskimo Sunset' (Acer pseudoplatanus). I cannot decide if I like it or not. It was an impulse buy and it is certainly unusual looking. Right now is it looking pretty good so I am liking it at the moment.

I know that I love the Golden Variegated Dogwood. This poor tree was pot-bound at a nursery about to go out of business and it looked rather puny all last summer. Planting it in late May did not help matters. A few weeks ago, the leaves opened and it is stunning. I am worried that it might not like the full-sun location where I planted it but I honestly do not know where else it would go.

Japanese Maple 'Murasake Hirohime' was already planted here when we moved it and it always looks amazing. It is a dwarf variety.

Pieris 'Mountain Fire'
Pieris 'Mountain Fire'

I love the Ninebarks - choosing just one variety was difficult but I decided on 'Coppertina' (Physocarpus opulifolius).

Berberis thunbergii 'Rosy Glow') (Barberry)
Barberry 'Rosy Glow' (Berberis thunbergii) - The rabbits love it. :(

Ceanothus thysiforus 'Black Diamond' (California Lilac)
I included Ceanothus 'Black Diamond' on my Bloom Day post but as you can see, the foliage is the star attraction. The flowers have just started to bud out.

Vinca minor 'Illumination'
Vinca minor 'Illumination' In our former garden in Alabama, Vinca spread like wildfire. I initially had this in a pot with some annuals and am now hesitantly trying it in the retaining wall planter. I want it to cascade over the side.

Another Home Depot bargain bin find, Sedum 'Cherry Truffle'. It has a nice pink flower later in the summer which looks great against the purple/black leaves.
 Foliage Follow-up is hosted by Pam at Digging. Check out the link for more bloggers sharing their foliage photos.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Sunday, May 14, 2017

May Bloom Day


Abundant rain and a few sunny days have really jump-started the garden. Spring is finally here! Although the past few days have been rainy and very cool again, a long stretch of sunny days are predicted later in the week. The lupines, planted last year, appear to be very happy.

Last year, this Korean Lilac (Syringa meyeri 'Palibin') was blooming a full month ahead of this year. This beautiful shrub was already here when we moved in. It was a lovely surprise.


When I first visited Portland a few years ago, I was blown away by the Ceanothus (California Lilac) that was growing everywhere. It turns out there are lots of different varieties, in varying shades of blue and growing characteristics. The first one I planted was 'Julia Phelps'. 
'Black Diamond' is a ceanothus with variegated leaves. It is just starting to bloom. My friend Rebecca bought one of these at the same time and in her Portland garden, hers is three times the size of ours!
The shrub is still very tiny but a number of blooms have just opened on the Quince 'Double Take Orange Storm' (Chaenomeles)

My clematis wish list is about a mile long. I have not planted that many yet. This is the old popular variety 'Nelly Moser'.

Himalyan Huckleberry (Vaccinium glauco-album). I ended up moving this from the back garden to the front. It is planted along the shady north foundation.

I saw these at the nursery where I work and, like about 90% of the stuff I see come through, I wanted it. I have never grown wallflowers (Erysimum)before and I absolutely love them. I have two varieties planted together, this orange one is 'Apricot Twist'. A purple-flowered variety 'Bowles Mauve' can be seen behind them.

Rock Soapwort (Saponaria ocymoides), purchased at Home Depot last year, and planted along the steep retaining wall next to the driveway, has returned.

Salvia 'Forest Fire'

Exbury Azalea 'Klondyke'
Exbury Azalea 'Klondyke' - I found this last year at Wal-Mart of all places.

Deutzia 'Nikko' - I purchased this at Joy Creek Nursery in January during the Bloggers get-together.


Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow'

And last, but certainly not least, are the pansies, surviving all winter in a pot on the porch. I just moved them to the ground. That is Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola') next to it. The Japanese maple above is 'Murasaki Kiohime'.
Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is hosted by May Dreams Gardens. Check out what is blooming in other blogger's gardens around the world. 

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy