Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hungry Writing Spiders


Writing spiders (Argiope aurantia) seem to be active in everyone's gardens right now. Are you finding them in yours? I've seen several posts identifying or otherwise mentioning them on Facebook.

There was a time when I would have killed spiders like these if they got in the house, but now I just catch and relocate them.


It's amazing, isn't it, how observing and becoming familiar with the wild creatures around you makes you more compassionate toward them. It's one of the great benefits of having a garden.

~*~

Friday, August 15, 2014

Clematis at Joy Creek

A Garden Blogger's Fling* is a fast and furious affair, with lots of new people to meet, things to do, places to see—everything is fun and exciting and lovely…and over in the blink of an eye!


Since some of us might have a little bit of jet lag to deal with, or motion sickness, or some worries from home that came along, or maybe simply a touch of introvert's overwhelm (IO), we tend to lag behind the crowd, at least for a while. **



The wonderful thing about a Fling is that there is Fabulous to spare, so even if you're slow coming up to speed, thanks to wonderful hosts and superb planning***, there are always beautiful, photoworthy subjects waiting for you.

Just look at this beautiful collection of Clematis at Joy Creek Nursery in Scappoose, Oregon!



Almost as soon as we started meandering at this memorable nursery garden, I was off among the far-flung flowers at the edges of the crowd, clicking away at these vines.

As it turns out, the clematis collection is one of the best parts of this beautiful nursery and garden. (How lucky for me to not miss it!) Clematis is a specialty at Joy Creek and there are dozens of beautiful cultivars. 



Grown on supports, in full sun, the sight of these dreamy vines will really get your gardening imagination going.



The feathery balls of stigmas and stamens at the centers of the flowers are an attractive feature, aren't they?



I bet this pretty bright pink flower would be a welcome contrast to Oregon's frequently gray weather. You can have your Clematis saluting the sky as these do, or ...



…bowing toward the ground like these.



The bell-shaped Clematis are probably my favorites. That dark purple interior is velvety and luscious.



Fortunately for all of us, Joy Creek sells Clematis by mail order. Take a look at their large collection. And if you're ever in the Portland area, don't miss the garden there.****

~*~


*The Garden Blogger's Fling is an annual affair where several dozen bloggers from all over the United States and Canada (and England and Spain this year as well) get together to tour gardens and enjoy each others' company. There is more information here if you're a garden blogger and you're interested in going. Next year's Fling will convene in Toronto. Note to self (and to you too if you get motion sick): Sit beside Janet on the bus…she has ginger chews. (Ha! Just teasing Janet…and thank you!) I remembered to bring my own this year. It helps!

**Okay, I admit it, "some of us" is me. I'm a wuss. But I know I wasn't the only one with a few of these "issues." Just keeping it real. :)

***Loree, Scott, Jane, Ann and Heather—Thanks again, all of you!

****I see now that Joy Creek has sold out of many varieties of Clematis for this year…we'll have to bookmark them for next year. Meanwhile, if you haven't shopped at PlantLust.com yet, you'll love it! Head over there and type in "clematis." 431 results!