Garden tidings, September 2013

Did you know that over 50 of the world’s 165, or so, species of lupine can be found here in the Pacific Northwest? Well, I didn’t either, until quite recently. I love seeing the blue expanses of it covering the mountain meadows of Mt. Hood in the summer.

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The dainty flowers of these hardy little high-altitude shrubs belie their rugged tenacity.  They are legumes, and can fix atmospheric nitrogen into nitrates, which allows them to grow where most other plants can’t. Here they are powering away above timberline at over 6,000 feet above sea level.

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The other day, I walked by an arrangement including a type of lupine I had never seen before; Lupinus albifrons. It is native to California and Oregon, and was ingeniously paired with a Corokia cotoneaster. I thought its silvery, somewhat leathery foliage set off the knarly stems and the tiny mouse-ear leaves of the Corokia beautifully. In an otherwise rather uneventful month in my garden, this little inspiration will conclude my contribution to this month’s Foliage Follow-up. To see what other other gardeners around the world are up to, jump over to Pam at Digging down in Austin, TX.

IMG_6243In terms of yesterday’s Bloom Day celebration, I have some exciting tidings regarding one of my most steadfast house plants. I bought this cactus at about the same time as we bought our house seven years ago. Since then, it has more or less tripled in size, but that’s about it. So, imagine my delight when I noticed little green pearls emerging, like buttons on a Victorian coat. This is big news! Were they leaves, or would they become flowers? At this point, it’s clear that they indeed became flowers – fleshy little green ones at that! Pretty cool, methinks –  green flowers never fail to appeal to my oddball appreciation.  To see other September marvels blooming on our planet, hop on over to Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

It's getting awfully tall and probably needs a new pot soon. The cute little pig is my "Swear Pig" where I make amends when my use of the English language gets a little too colorful. Ever so often, its contents takes us out to dinner - an arrangement that works pretty well.

It’s getting awfully tall and probably needs a new pot soon. The cute little pig is my “Swear Pig” where I make amends when my use of the English language gets a little too colorful. Ever so often, its contents takes us out to dinner – an arrangement that works pretty well, in my opinion.

Here are the "pearls" when they first emerged.

Here are the “pearls” as they first emerged. See what I mean about the Victorian coat?

Aaannnd... the flowers! So cute!

Aaannnd… the flowers! So cute!

An attempted close-up, but unfortunately a little fuzzy. Oh well, you get the gist of it, I hope!

An attempted close-up, but unfortunately a little fuzzy. Oh well, you get the gist of it, I hope!

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About annamadeit

Born and raised in Sweden, my aesthetics and outlook on life are strongly shaped by a culture rich in history and tradition. I care a great deal about environmental responsibility, and my aesthetic reflects the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia. I was trained as an architect at the University of Cincinnati and as a color specialist at the Scandinavian Colour Institute in Stockholm. I'm obsessed with plants and gardens, and aim to take my skill set a step further by designing gardens as well as interiors. As someone so aptly said: " Architecture is the skin that separates the exterior from the interior". So true - you can't successfully focus on one without incorporating the other. I'm also an avid cook, and I love to ski. In addition, I put time and efforts into trying to rectify things that I feel are wrong in my immediate community. As you will see, The Creative Flux will touch on all these things, and more. For sure, it's all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blog!
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13 Responses to Garden tidings, September 2013

  1. Love those blooms! And did you see the Lupinus albifrons at Portland Nursery? It stopped me in my tracks the first time I saw it there. Wish I could find a plant…

  2. linda says:

    I’ll have to look up that ‘albifrons’ ! new one to me! And those are the sweetest blooms.

  3. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Love those adorable cactus blooms!

  4. Ricki Grady says:

    People are always waxing poetic about the bright flowers on cacti. They leave me cold, but THESE! Yowza!

  5. Missed this post last week when I was traveling: Those lupines…sigh. They’re just the best, whether up on the mountain, along the freeway in Washington or spotted on a Sauvie Island hike. And what a great cactus – with or without blooms. I like this type that to my eye have a little of that euphorbia look.

    • annamadeit says:

      For some shameless tempting… Loree alerted me to the fact that Annie’s Annuals now have that lupine for sale. Within days of my post, it changed from ‘waitlist’ to ‘available’ status. Just saying… 😉

  6. Pingback: Going gaga over green flowers | The Creative Flux

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