Friday, April 6, 2012

Well hello there Lobelia tupa!

What with the non-stop rainfall and my two ongoing and unpleasant garden projects (the evil weed removal and the sick Rhodie removal) it seems every second I’ve had to “work” in my garden this spring has indeed been work (as opposed to the usual not work “work” of planting, and caring for, the plants…playing actually). Heck it’s April 6th and I haven’t yet planted a single plant in the ground (and as you know I have been buying them!). Instead my garden “happy time” this Spring has been a minute or two spent doing the walk-around…inspecting for plants tentatively peeking their little heads out of the soil. Most of them I’ve quickly identified since I’ve been eagerly anticipating their arrival. This one however stumped me…
What is it? What could I possibly of planted here and forgot about? Then I remembered! A Lobelia tupa! Found for cheap last summer I stuck it in the ground and it did nothing, I’m not even sure if it grew a new leaf before dying back in the fall.
But here it is and it looks to have multiplied. Maybe I’ve got several graceful flowers to look forward to this summer?

I also broke down and bought a Pulsatilla vulgaris (Pasque Flower) when I saw one on clearance late last summer. I’d sworn I wouldn’t because even though I love their wispy seed heads…
The flowers just aren’t my style; we’ll see how I feel about this one once it starts to bloom.
In the mistreated and still alive category is the Rheum palmatum I bought last June and the Friends of Manito Plant Sale. I bought it not knowing where I was going to plant it (something you never do right?) after all these babies get BIG…5ft tall and wide! It went in the ground and struggled all summer, it just wasn’t getting enough sun. It fought to push out a new leaf, but then the old leaf would quickly die. Finally before it went dormant and I forgot where I had planted it, I dug it up and transferred it to the Tetrapanax stock-tank for safe keeping. It lives!
I think I’m going to move it to the front of the house where it will get plenty of sun. That is when I finally get a semi-dry day to play, not work, in the garden.

17 comments:

  1. I KNOW! We are supposed to get dry days today and tomorrow, but I don't know whether they can counter the inches of rain currently saturating the ground. I don't dare plant anything yet in the sodden clay soil of my garden - it would be consigning them to certain death. Still, it's so encouraging to see these undeniable signs of advancing spring!

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    1. I dug a few things this afternoon...and then it started raining. But now the sky is blue again. Spring!

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  2. I can't seem to stop myself from playing in the garden recently. There is still much to do, and I just want to walk around and look at plants (and the pond).

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  3. With our unseasonably warm weather -- mid-70s and more -- a lot of things are coming up. What's worrying is that our last frost date is May 15, so a lot of things are going to get smacked down. I'm trying not to get too attached to anything coming up.

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    1. That's scary talk. Hopefully no more frost???

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  4. Those seedheads look alien in nature! It is nice to see new growth isn't it?

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    1. Aren't they cool? I hope they keep a bit as cut "flowers" because I plan on enjoying them as such.

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  5. Not only is it wet but it's also COLD. I was putting some things in the ground yesterday and I couldn't get warm. I'm hoping to install a rain garden this weekend which can only mean that the weather will dry out, forcing me to hand water it.

    You're welcome, Portlanders!

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    1. Oh god I know! I saw a lady with open toe shoes on today and I wanted to laugh at her (and I am the queen of open toe shoes). I thank you for doing your part...now as long as nobody washes their car...

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  6. I'm totally in love with the emerging leaf (guessing) of Rheum palmatum - it looks just like a brain! *swoon*

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    1. Oh yes! I agree...I was hoping that someone would notice that.

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  7. I bought 3 Lobelia tupa recently. One is in the hummingbird garden and the other 2 are in the ghetto waiting for my new shrub border to be ready for planting.

    Love the pulsatilla but for some reason I can never commit to buying one. I guess they just seem kind of expensive for what is basically an ephemeral plant. Actually I'm not even sure if they will grow here now that I am in CA.

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    1. I just love reading that you've got Lobelia tupa in the ghetto! And wow...Pulsatilla were all over the HPSO plant sale yesterday!

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  8. Well done with the Lobelia tupa! I planted one out last year and last time I checked no signs of it coming back yet. Cross fingers it will but won't be surprised if it didn't either.

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    1. It's got a bit of a reputation for being difficult doesn't it?

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  9. I have two Lobelia tupa I grew from seed. They haven't flowered, but pretty much no perennial I've grown from seed have flowered in the first two years. I can't think of any. Anyhoo, they flower well at the SF Botanical Garden, so I am optimistic they will for me too, someday.

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