things and places for homes and gardens

Some spring like developments

Thursday 25 March 2010 - Filed under Plants

Syneilesis unknown hybrid
This is my first spring with Syneilesis, although I’m not sure what species. The tag says “unknown hybrid, possibly a cross between S. aconitifolia and S. palmata, as it does not exactly fit either description.” As promised, it appears as silvery silky unfolding umbrellas.

Syneilesis hybrid
I planted it last fall after the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon’s fall sale. I don’t know if this was a typical year or stressed being transplanted and then pretty ignored, but it got some interesting fall color.

Syneilesis mystery hybrid
Even later in the fall.

Another good leafer-outer, Epimediums also arrive covered in silky hair. I’m an Epimedium fan, but I’ve done a bad job tracking which one is which out in the garden, so I’m not sure which Epimedium it is. It’s a good one, but I’ve yet to meet an Epimedium I didn’t like.

Sambucus racemosa 'Sutherland Gold'
Sambucus racemosa ‘Sutherland Gold’ looks pretty good now, but it gets even better as the season wears on, and the leaves become deeply cut and bright gold. At this leafing-out stage, it’s especially nice when backlit by the sun, when the reddish leaves really glow.

ilicium anisatum
Illicium anisatum, Japanese Anise, in bloom. This plant is scary because it looks just like the edible star anise, but is highly toxic. This does nothing to calm my irrational fears of eating anything from the garden.

This is one last fond look at the rampant growing petasites in the back garden. It was dug out along with the wild garlic project last weekend, there was no saving it among all those bulbs.

sambucus black lace (elderberry)
The Sambucus black lace has started to leaf out, the tips of each branch sport tufts of black leaves.

And I got another year of enthusiastic blooms out of my miracle magnolia, which is entirely made up of the suckers that grew back when the previous owner cut the tree to the ground. It’s a little funny looking, but it has made such an effort to come back, I can put up with its scraggly ways. It may not be perfect, but it has character.

2010-03-25  »  megan

Talkback x 6

  1. Grace
    25 March 2010 @ 10:03 pm

    Hi Megan~~ What a contrast in weather, don’t you agree? Yesterday [Wednesday] was like summer. Today…not so much.

    I have never, in my 26 plus years of gardening, grown Epimedium. Crazy isn’t it? This will be the year. Part of the deal is how expensive they are. My ‘Black Lace’ is at the same stage. I need to get ‘Sutherland Gold.’ I remember your photos of it from last summer and it really is a show stopper.

    Yes, spring is here and I’m loving every minute of it. Rain or no.

  2. Patricia C, Portland, OR
    26 March 2010 @ 2:11 pm

    I resolve to be a little more careful on the Epimedium front. I was attracted to the foliage, so didn’t pay much (any) attention to the flower. I suppose that matters too, since there are such great ones out there. But I agree with Grace, dang expensive.

  3. Andrew
    27 March 2010 @ 3:32 am

    “It may not be perfect, but it has character.” — That right there is almost a better reason to keep a plant vs. perfection.

    Syneilesis is on every must-have plant list ever, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I need to find a good spot for it.

  4. Loree
    29 March 2010 @ 1:50 pm

    So many great things! Don’t suppose there is any chance your Aeonium (shown there next to the Syneilesis) made it through the winter? Love the flowers on the Japanese Anise and the Magnolia!

  5. Janet
    29 March 2010 @ 5:59 pm

    Ain’t spring grand?? I love seeing all the plants starting to awaken. I really like the Black Lace — have been very tempted to get one!!

  6. ricki - sprig to twig
    30 March 2010 @ 1:55 pm

    thought sambucus was sort of foolproof, but lost Sutherland Gold (boohoo). black one doing fine, tho. magical moments like those ‘unfolding umbrellas’ and the magnolia with character are what make it all worthwhile for me.