Another Yellow Dangly Shrub

Posted Posted in Collector's Corner

My mom is a gardener with a Heronswood Problem(™).  Rare and unusual things frequently appear in pots, crowding the driveway when I arrive to visit.  We always take time for a turn around the garden, sometimes with a cup of coffee, sometimes with secateurs.  When we get to the lower terrace, she speaks in reverent […]

Crocus Celebration

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At the end of yet another dreary Seattle winter, I understand why us hardcore Hort-Heads sally forth without any regard for the pouring rain just to look at tiny, ephemeral flowers.  I was delighted to attend the early-spring invitational Snowdrop Stroll at the 7-acre Dunn Gardens, an Olmsted- designed country-garden located in Northwest Seattle.  By […]

Stunning golden-orange witch-hazel with pale green hellebore in the background

Witch-Hazel Frenzy

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I’ld like to know why we don’t have Hamamelis Festivals in January; surely their bewitching flowers equal the allure of the Cherry blossoms that appear in March.  When I visited the Witt Winter garden at the WA Park Arboretum this week there were throngs of visitors, including a group of warmly-wrapped preschoolers being towed along […]

Dreadlocked Datisca

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One of the grooviest plants I’ve seen is this massive Datisca cannabina growing here in the Soest Garden at the Center of Urban Horticulture.  Growing from 0 to 8ft in a single season, this exciting plant makes a huge impression in mid-summer and provides a stunning color accent in the fall.  Make sure you have […]

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Izu No Hana’

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Wildly popular in the Victorian era, Hydrangeas have been largely overlooked until recently.  Perhaps in typical American fashion, it’s the almost obese, Hydrangea macrophylla mop-heads that grab our attention.  However, the mop-heads are really mutant forms of the delicate Japanese lacecap variety, originally described in the late 1770s.  Daniel Hinkley observed large populations in the […]

Sex Change

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Did that get your attention?  It certainly does for the bees that pollinate Weigela middendorffiana.  One study noticed that bees visit the yellow flowers preferentially.  As the flowers age, they turn red and contain less nectar, and the bees spend less time on the red flowers.   Floral color change after fertilization is not uncommon (as in […]