Sunday, July 29, 2012

Primulas, Peonies, Poppies, Penguins, Pothead and More

The Anchorage Garden Club Tour is always fun.  I see hidden neighborhoods and get to discover plants that might work in my own yard.  I can enjoy the beauty of others' gardens with no sense of guilt or envy.  The time they put in the garden I spend cultivating the blog.  So here are a few glimpses of what we saw in south Anchorage today.  (We just didn't make it to the cluster of Turnagain gardens.)

The person said it was a Shirley Poppy and it may well be.  I remembered the ones I had differently and the ones I found on line looked like the ones I remembered.  Whatever it is, it's beautiful. 

You can learn more about the primula vialii and the primrose drumstick - denticulata.

I've been a sucker for giant peonies ever since L and her mom took us to see them in full bloom at the park in downtown Beijing.  Here's another view.

One of the gardens backed out over the coastal plain.  They've terraced the yard and it's growing a winter's worth of potatoes and other edibles. 

Rich, dark blue delphiniums used to be in every Anchorage garden, but over the years as people experimented with more and more imported flowers to see which could make it through our winters, I don't see as many as I used to.  

I liked this tank which catches rainwater.  It has a net over the opening where the storm drain empties to catch leaves and other debris and a faucet near the bottom to fill up the watering cans. 

This black and white beauty is, according to the label, a fava bean flower. 

One of the houses seemed more like a demonstration ad for a landscaping company.  Each of the plants had neatly installed labels.  Unfortunately one label was totally wrong, which someone pointed out to the owner who'd been told once already by someone else.  It was labeled a very common garden plant, but the plant in there was an invasive, if beautiful, campanula.  I know because I've fought a losing battle against them and their white radish like tubers. 

Here's a typical of the 17 negative comments on Dave's Garden where these are for sale:
O.M.G. I've never encountered anything like this. The comments that refer to it as the "cancer of the garden", "aliens", and nightmares are all dead on. I've dealt with invasives with success in the past, using organic methods, even, but this beast cannot be bested. Pull one plant, and two will grow in its place- literally.
And, yes, how is it that a vendor actually has this plant for sale here? Yikes. Don't buy it, don't take it for free, build a moat.
The last garden had a lot of tshochkes in it including the pothead figure on the bench.

And when I got home I felt pretty good to be greeted by these newly opening lilies in our front yard.  I their own way they are as beautiful as any flower we saw on the tour.


  1. Nice! Thank you for posting.

  2. IMHO the worst invasive is Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica). Even worse, folks trying to get rid of it dump it in public parks and in roadside ditches. One little piece of stem will sprout a whole grove. The only way to dispose of it is to burn it, and it's almost impossible to kill it without using an heribicide.


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