What a season to be gardening on the west coast. Non-stop sunshine and fair weather made for one extremely busy May. We spent many the late eve racking up beautiful plants and sending them out throughout Victoria, Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. Make hay while the sun shines. Grow beautiful plants and find them new homes. Such is the life of a nurseryman. What seemed like forever was over in an instance. My sense of time has been on the fast forward as of late. A rumbling succession of spring flowers have emerged this season. From one leaf grows two and then three, as days get longer and warmer the plants truly come to life. A jungle grows up almost overnight. Having setup the bones of this garden many years ago this season provided a remarkably effortless astonishing display.
Some notable plant news in my garden.
-This season one of my echiums flowered.
-My tetrapanax grew a few more feet and at it’s base many offsets have poked their heads. Dreams of a rice paper plant forest becoming more possible each day.
-Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ assumed dead last season (didn’t poke up once) appeared this year full force with 10-15 heads.
-Cardiocrinium Lily blooming right now. 12 cream shaded trumpets standing over 10ft tall in the garden. During afternoon dabbled shade flickers an intoxicating smell comes in waves.
-Front succulent bed thriving. Agave parryi spent the winter outdoors.
-New vegetable beds out front. Just planted a Ketchup and Fries tomato potato plant. I’ve been eating zero mile greens for months.
Life has been grand. Now for some photos. April through May in my garden & greenhouse. Growing plants industrially is not for the faint of heart. It’s a staggering thought to be handling literally millions of plants per year. Each one with their own special requirements. The natural programming to thrive given the opportunity. A little bit of this a little bit of that. Not too much water, but not too little. Just right. AND. presto. another perfect plant.
Do you like plants? Do you know what a petunia is? Oh good. Think you could go down to the lower houses and gather me up. Say 2500-3000 of them. I need them by Sunday, but no later than Monday. Flat after flat of visual feast.
A hard thing to fully conceptualize but I sometimes stand back and wonder. Where do all these begonias end up to grow? Probably down the street, some a few towns away. In mountain gardens and beachside villas. Apartments. Mansions. Hospitals. Grocery Stores. Police Stations and your grandma’s window sill. I’m a cog in a complex system of the plant industry. Where do your begonias come from? May is a crazy time of year for us. Some weeks tend to feel like that movie ‘GroundHog Day’ with Bill Murray . We work from sunrise to sunset, day after day. It has it’s challenges but is a satisfying meditation to endure. As people escape the clutches of winter they go absolutely plant crazy here in Victoria B.C. It really is an awesome event. The scavenger hunt begins and people rush out to find their old favorites and the rare and new. I really do love the job. After a long day in the sun, we often have dinner out in the garden. A lush coolness is in the air. A great place to unwind and relax the mind, body and soul. Corokia ‘Little Prince’ A view from the bedroom. Manfreda is flowering. So far over 7ft tall. Agave victoriae-reginae Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ Xerophyllum tenax ‘Bear Grass’ First echium blooms. Sinningia leucotricha Agave attenuata
A word to the wise that our annual plant hoarder’s plant sale will be happening Sunday June 21st (Father’s Day) @ Cook & Fairfield. A fantastic array of plants from near and far. Color & annuals, perennials and oddities, vegetables and herbs. A fine assortment of amazing plants. For the person just getting started or the gardener who has everything. Show up early for the best selection. 1 Tetrapanax will be available via silent auction. Come check out my outdoor succulent garden and swap a plant story or two. My plants are orphans and need new homes. See you there!