Thursday 29 July 2010 - Filed under Plants
The last two winters in a row took down almost all the New Zealand Flax in Portland, and most Portlander gardeners seem to be swearing off the plant for good. How’s that going, by the way? I’ve already caved on that resolution. However, it’s not one of those plants you have to travel to far to see in action. The Oregon Coast can grow New Zealand Flax like crazy, the plants over there are nothing like the ones we see in town. I would have thought it was California if I didn’t know better. I mentioned in a previous post that Lincoln City had towering tall, blooming specimens dotting the roadside in various parking lots. They were all so big, I couldn’t get a good look at the flowers. For those who live in more phormium-hospitable climates, it must seem rather common and mundane, but in Portland, despite the past popularity of the plant, it almost never blooms. I had several plants in my yard for years, and I didn’t even know they were capable of blooming until I saw one on business trip to California.
Down at Cannon Beach last week, I saw the Oregon Coast magic working on phormiums once again. This plant was polite enough to be short, so I could get a good look at the flowers close up. I just love the black stems. The picture is a little crummy and blurry. I had a bunch of in-laws in tow on this particular walk, and couldn’t hold them up too long looking at the plants, since I was the one who instigated a trip in search of a cafe with WiFi. I had a whole weekend without phone or internet access, it was killing me.
The house we stayed in was right by Haystack Rock, which is designated as a Marine Garden, a term I hadn’t heard before, but I like it. Anemones must be the agaves of Marine Gardens – their graceful shape and dramatic beauty demands you acknowledge them as the focal point.
And in other beach life… we have a new member of the extended family. A couple months ago, I fostered a litter of four chihuahuas. Really sweet dogs, way more well behaved than you could reasonably expect puppies to be. The biggest surprise of my stint fostering chihuahuas is that many people really don’t like this breed. Of all the dogs I’ve fostered, I had only ever heard people talk about disliking pit bulls before, but amazingly, even more people say they dislike chihuahuas. I’ve learned over the years in both gardening and animals, never say never. You think you don’t like a particular plant or type of dog, then you see one you do like that wins you over. This little one here did exactly that, won the hearts of my brother in law and his girlfriend. They recently lost a very sweet Staffie, little miss Paris. She was a tough girl, went camping and climbing, and all the outdoorsy things Matt and Michelle love to do. Imagine my surprise when they set their sites on this 1 pound pipsqueak.
2010-07-29 » megan