West Coast Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Lush

opiejeanne 14 rose

More from commentor Opiejeanne. I’d be jealous, if I weren’t overawed…

Candy striped spider on candy striped peony:

opiejeanne 14 candy stripes

Tomatoes and lettuce:

opiejeanne 14 tomato n lettuce bed

opiejeanne 14 tomatoes and lettuce

Super Fantastic tomato:

opiejeanne 14 Super Fantastic tomato

opiejeanne 14 clematis

I cannot keep clematis alive. Tried almost a dozen different varieties, in pots, raised beds, and the ground, all over our (tiny) lot — they just don’t like me this environment, for some reason. Usually I’m happy to settle for the plants, and the varieties, that are willing to put up with my “tough love” laziness (daffodils, Siberian irises, daylilies, lilacs, Zepherine Drouhan roses). But the local gardening centers keep telling me that anybody can grow clematis!… anybody, that is, except me.

23 replies
  1. 1
    raven says:

    Wow, our roses have been gone for a month!

  2. 2
    ulee says:

    Speaking of lushes, I do believe I’ll open up my first drink of the day and enjoy this beautiful weather.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    You do take the most spectacular pictures!

    And Opiejeanne’s pink rose up top is gorgeous.

  5. 5
    opiejeanne says:

    I can’t take credit for the success of that clematis. It was there when we bought the house and it seems to thrive on neglect; we do water it when there’s no raIn. That shed it’s growing against needs to be rebuilt, taken apart and given a new foundation, but we hesitate because of that clematis.

  6. 6
    Anya says:

    Can someone who’s knowledgeable explain the stakes in the case before the Supreme Court — Harris v. Quinn. I know the case is about the constitutionality of “agency fees” charged by public sector unions to all workers in a unionized setting, but I am not that sure about the stakes. There seem to be a great deal of hyperbole whenever this case comes up. A=Can anyone clarify?

  7. 7
  8. 8
    opiejeanne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I wish we knew what it was. It is growing in a very shady spot and was here when we bought this place. We thought at first it was Queen Elizabeth but we found a tag near it that said Tiffany.

    Our house had been for sale for two years and had been abandoned for the second year. It was 15 years old and a “fixer”. The owner had the lawn mowed periodically during that year but half the yard was in weeds taller than I am.

  9. 9
    opiejeanne says:

    @jeffreyw: wow! Your photos are spectacular.

    You know what to do with a real camera. I’m embarrassed to admit that mine were shot with my phone.

  10. 10
    opiejeanne says:

    @raven: We’re near Seattle. Our weather is not usually as warm as yours.

  11. 11
    currants says:

    @opiejeanne: Well, it’s gorgeous, and your weed-free raised beds with tomatoes and lettuces are too. I might not like Seattle in the winter (for darkness reasons), but the other three seasons sure seem pretty garden-friendly. Your earlier photos (the strawberry beds) were wonderful too–and the peonies and roses!

  12. 12
    Mary G says:

    @opiejeanne: Beautiful garden! I loved your story yesterday about the officious neighbor weeding and even spraying someone else’s yard in such a passive agressive way.

    @jeffreyw: Gorgeous photos! And the peony, too.

    Higgs Boson’s Mate was asking me if we had any clematis – I don’t think they survive here because the winter doesn’t get cold enough, also they need a lot of water. I lust after clematis and peonies online and in catalogs.

    I have a low-chill peach tree that does well, though.

  13. 13
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Mary G: You can grow clematis here. At least here in Irvine they grow pretty well. I mostly see them planted beneath other shrubs, usually close to sprinkler heads, and they climb up the outside and throughout the shrubs. It looks very nice – usually a small leaf-shrub with the clematis variegated throughout.

  14. 14
    MomSense says:

    I wish I had snapped some photos of my peonies because they were really beautiful. They are just on the way out now. I lost two of my roses and the others were severely damaged this winter but I pruned them and have some flowers–phew.

    I’ve been digging and putting in drip lines around the back of the house. I pulled out two huge boxwoods and transplanted the last things from a little bed that was badly placed. This week I am getting fill and loam to finally even out the back yard now that I have taken down all the overgrown and inappropriately place shrubs, trees, etc. It is not pleasant work at all–you dig and lug all day and end up with empty space but hopefully it will be really nice once it is finished.

    The front and side perennial beds and pollinator gardens look really nice now. Some new neighbors moved in and they came over to ask me if I would walk them through the garden and help them figure out what to do with theirs. I had a truckload of “surf and turf” dropped off two weeks ago and I spread it out all over the established beds. It is a really nice compost mix with mussel, clam, lobster shells, seaweed, manure and lots of other good things in it. The flowers love the stuff. My vegetables love it, too. Once I get the beds in the back finished, I’ll get another load dropped off.

    A couple more hours for me of digging and then I’ll catch up on the games and have a beer.

  15. 15
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Peonies are among my favorite flowers. They are so brash and blowsy — they have attitude — they’re just a little bit slutty :-)

    My grandmother used to have an area of her back yard — I hesitate to call it a “garden” — where rhubarb and peonies grew in vast and roughly equivalent quantities. Memories of my childhood summers always include vases of peonies throughout the house, and stewed rhubarb or rhubarb pie for dessert at least a couple of times a week during the season.

  16. 16
    opiejeanne says:

    @currants: thanks. weed-free because we are retired. I took the photos after we weeded, but those raised beds have fewer weeds than the rest of the garden.

  17. 17
    opiejeanne says:

    @Mary G: we had clematis In Anaheim. Had to remember to water it but it did really well.

  18. 18
    jeffreyw says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Mrs J has a nice peony garden, they were really blooming well and she had them in vases all around the house but a thunderstorm with hail wiped them out.

  19. 19
    joel hanes says:


    rhubarb pie

    Be still my heart.
    Rhubarb or strawberry-rhubarb pie made by one’s grandmother is love made tangible and delicious.


    Candy striped spider on candy striped peony

    reminds me of this

  20. 20
    Fred says:

    When I saw that rose I could smell it. Sweet perfume.
    The peony brings back memories of the farm I grew up on. We had a small field of peonies in white, red and pink. Huge blooms that smell like heaven. I always loved their big bulbous buds too.

  21. 21
    tkogrumpy says:

    those crab spiders ly in wait for a pollinator, and grab them when they get near. They can and do change color to match the flower they are occupying.

  22. 22
    debbie says:

    Great. Another spider to be afraid of.

  23. 23
    opiejeanne says:

    @joel hanes: Thank you. I had not seen that poem before.

Comments are closed.