Native plants win local awards

Okay VERY local.

The envelope please…

leopard lilies

Yes it’s the Leopard Lily, ladies and gentlemen, Lilium pardalinum.

It receives this year’s award for Most Exotic Plant that Survives Without Fuss in the Wild Garden Area. It is dressed today very much like a small tiger lily but with some deeper designer color accents, and stands tall and lithesome and mingles well, leaning a little on others for emotional support (we all need that).

In my gardens this plant likes morning sun and damp feet.  (I’ve read that it’s easy to grow, but I prefer to think it is a testimony to my unfathomable garden expertise, or it might be simply something called the “chaos factor” which seems like it would describe so much of life really.)

And now, the Big Frothy Award goes to… Goatsbeard! (Aruncus dioicus!)

goatsbeard blooming

This perennial is a lot like a snowy astilbe that ate the pill meant for making Alice bigger, and it stands as tall as your average short gardener (I wanted to get specific here). It’s adorned with glorious plumage that glows like a solar light. (Don’t worry we won’t talk about those any more.)

Goatsbeard likes to hang out in shade where it looks debonair, sometimes lounging against trees or fences, being cool.

And now, for those of you who are interested in the personal lives of our award winners, here is a paparazzi shot (I had to pay big money for this) of the Leopard Lily clearly socializing recently with the Goatsbeard at a local club…

leopard lilies and goatsbeardLeopard Lily caught with Goatsbeard at Club Chlorophyll on Saturday morning.

Moving on.

In the Big Amazing Shrub category, the award goes to… Oceanspray! (Holodiscus discolor!)

oceanspray, Holodiscus discolorThe buds on Oceanspray, like little pearls.

As a prologue to a discussion of Oceanspray I will tell you that for years I have told Mr. O, again and again, that we really need to install an ocean at the bottom of the pasture. And a small beach.

Then I would be able to hear the waves from the bedroom window, and Max could dig in the sand, which is a big interest of his. And sometimes there would be fog, and shells, and violent but romantic storms…

But no, the pasture remains in apples with blackberries down at the bottom.

I do love blackberries. In fact, I pick them every summer and freeze a puree version and then we make the most awesome blackberry ice cream known to Earth. (I may start doing a recipe day, stay tuned.) But I could sure use an ocean.

So I like Oceanspray, just as a word.

roses and oceansprayThen one day my friend John the Artist brought me a bouquet from his garden, with Oceanspray flowers in it,  and I was sold. (The particular bouquet shown above was cut from my garden this morning. Max loves it when we go out early and wander around snipping things and finding just which plants the deer ate up in the night.)

Oceanspray (Holodiscus discolor)Oceanspray shrubs can grow to maybe ten feet high, but can be pruned up. They are able to deal with water shortages. Also butterflies like them. (I agree with butterflies about this.)

That’s it for today’s awards– The party afterwards is at Aimee’s house, where we will be eating something made with fresh vegetables and lots of eggs. See you there!

(And no I don’t have any news of Tillie except that she is in Italy visiting Alberto and drinking margaritas out of the cow’s dishes and I am just hoping that there will be no international incidents before she gets home…)

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About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
This entry was posted in Pacific Northwest native plants and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Native plants win local awards

  1. Grace says:

    Congratulations to the winners. I guess if one can’t have an ocean, they should have the next best thing. Perhaps upon her return you could put Tillie on deer patrol.

  2. linniew says:

    That’s what we need, a nightly patrol of Tillie armed with a hose or something!

  3. Alberto says:

    I love your natives. I’ve never heard nor seen ‘Oceanspray’: fabulous, I want it!!! Does it scent too?

    As for Tillie… She met this american guy in Venice, I put them both on the first gondola with a glass of wine each and I paid double to the rower to bring them back where they belongs. They might be landing on your beach (among apple trees and blueberries) in a few days.

    Tillie in Venice

    • linniew says:

      Alberto that is the best photo! — I’m so impressed how you were able to capture that shot, I just had to show it with the comment. (First I had to learn that the blog administrator can add images in comments.) Then I had to stop laughing. My goodness, that Tillie. I’ll let you know when she arrives on the beach…

      And I’ll try to start you a cutting of Oceanspray, you deserve it. (No fragrance, just pretty.)

      • Alberto says:

        I didn’t know either about adding images on comments.
        Actually I’ve just learned (because of you) that you can ping someone else’s post/blog. We have plenty of tools to spread our bullshit around the World. It’s just amazing… (and scary).

        You can send Tillie over with that cutting for grape harvest time (fresh wine is not alcoholic, so she stays safe).

        • linniew says:

          Happy to ping! (who knew?) Yes our access to the planet reaches dangerous heights. Must go now and watch the horizon for first signs of a gondola approaching…

  4. Love your style Linnie- it gives gardening a much needed light-hearted lift.Tillie of course provides a wonderful contrast. The lily and the goatsbeard make for strange but perfect companions.

  5. Aimee says:

    Hahahaha! Yes – for the post-award party we’ll be serving up quiche, frittata, soufflé, egg salad, cheesecake, angel food cake, steamed chard with a poached egg, and just for Tilly – Deviled Eggs. (sorry, no turnip greens – Telly ate them all.)

    Linnie, that Leopard lily is outrageous! A total show stopper. Goatsbeard, I adore you, but I do think you’ve been upstaged. Sorry. You’re still VERY cool.

    Oceanspray? Please tell me it can handle shade! I’m kind of in love.

    • linniew says:

      Wow I’m HUNGRY now! (Almost Pacific Time lunch.) All those dishes sound so good– I just knew your house was the place to have the party Aimee!

  6. b-a-g says:

    Linnie, I do like your paparazzi shot and the ocean sprays in the dappled shade (if I think blue instead of green, they could indeed be!). Having said that, I have to say that Mr.O must be a very understanding man.

  7. linniew says:

    I better not let Mr. O read your comment Bag, it will just make it harder for him to put up with me.

  8. Cathy says:

    We’ve been on vacation and I went into LinnieWithdrawal. TOO FUNNY! I would love an ocean in my backyard but hubby wants a lake or river, so we are settling for our koi pond for now. In the meantime, I LOVE that oceans spray shrub… what a gorgeous effect both in the garden and in bouquets!

  9. linniew says:

    Welcome home Cathy! Yes the Oceanspray is pretty groovy. I’m trying some cuttings and I’ll report back. The koi pond sounds terrific– I’ll look forward to photos…

  10. Linnie, what an entertaining post. I liked the awards ceremony and can only imagine the after party.

  11. linniew says:

    Yes pretty much the high point of the social garden season — (watch for photos in all the trendy magazines).

  12. Brilliant blog- love your way with words!

    • linniew says:

      Thank you Chris- – I’m so pleased that you found your way here from the Lake District of England and incredible Levens Hall where I would very much like to live, just in a small bit of it, and have YOU continue to create the endless wonderland of gardens there… (GO SEE CHRIS’S BLOG everyone. You have never seen such topiary. I am inspired. Someone should warn my boxwoods).

  13. lol! Great post, hope you had fun at the after-party…lol! The tiger lily is stunning. ps, I’ve had to settle, my water view is a kiddy-pool 😉

  14. linniew says:

    A kiddy-pool today, tomorrow an ocean! Isn’t gardening like that?

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