Rhody, Carson and I finally left on vacation. Although this trip was planned a year ago, it was delayed weekly since February. I had intended to leave prior to March. I finally realized that the timing would never be convenient, so left anyway, after midnight on Wednesday morning. We arrived in Ilwaco on Wednesday night, and went to Skooter’s Garden at Tangly Cottage Gardening in the morning. Of course, we stayed later than intended, ate cookies with coffee, and arrived in Silverdale later than we should have on Thursday night. The first four of my Six here are gifts from Tangly Cottage Gardening, so are approved by Skooter. The last two were at the Port of Ilwaco.

1. Canna ‘Stuttgart’ is tall and elegant, with small peachy orange flowers and irregularly white variegated foliage. I requested a copy of it shortly after leaving without it last year.

2. Iris X Louisiana ‘Black Gamecock’ is the most popular Louisiana iris, with dark purplish blue bloom. I requested some of it when it was removed from Skooter’s Gaden. This colony will divide into many individual rhizomes. I expect to get significant mileage from them, and I know they will multiply efficiently.

3. Iris unguicularis, Algerian iris was s surprise. It was split after my arrival, directly from a healthy colony within Skooter’s Garden. I had been impressed with the sky blue bloom, but could not justify trying it. Now, no justification is necessary. We will likely put much of it within the Blue Garden. I know that this colony is not very impressive in this picture, but the rhizomes are the important parts.

4. Sambucus racemosa, red elderberry grows wild in Skooter’s Garden. I had been wanting this for a while, but did not think to request it last year. I requested it this year, so got four good wild seedlings.

5. Muscari armeniacum ‘Album’, white grape hyacinth inhabits the landscapes at the Port of Ilwaco. I got copies of this last year because I had been wanting it for a while. I know that blue is the most traditional color for grape hyacinth, but white is my favorit color. It may go into the White Garden at work.

6. Muscari armeniacum, grape hyacinth is quite abundant at the Port of Ilwaco. I did not request any of it because I already have a small colony of it for my own garden, and I do not want any others to mingle with them, regardless of how similar they seem to be.

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate: https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/


26 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Skooter Approved

  1. Safe travels, Tony. Why am I not surprised that you are collecting treasured plants wherever you go? They mean so much more when they come with a story and a connection to family and friends. The M. ‘Album’ look lovely against the lamb’s ear. You’ve just inspired me to add more here for next spring. In a few year’s time, those Iris will just be stunning.

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    1. I have a rule that forbids purchasing anything for the garden. I can only purchase what I can not grow, or that I lack a source for, such as some of the grafted fruit trees. Technically, I can graft them, an will graft apple and pear trees, but do not want to take the time and risk to graft the stone fruits. I really wanted the red elderberry, but did not want to purchase it. Louisiana iris is also an important score. We will put them around a drainage pond at work, and I will grow a few in my own garden.

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      1. Tony, I love your attitude of resourcefulness! How wonderful that you got so many plants you’ve been waiting to collect, especially the Iris and the elderberries. Louisiana Iris are so stunning when they are sited where they are happy.

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      2. My first Louisiana iris was installed near Zayante Creek, but was taken away by a flood. It was just a single small rhizome. This clump will divide into many rhizomes, and will go on the bank of a pond without flowing water. We wanted a riparian iris there, but had only Iris pseudacorus, which is invasive. It should work out splendidly. The red elderberry are for my own garden. I just want to see how the berries compare to blue elderberries. If they do not work out well, it will be difficult to remove them. I will likely retain them, just to be pretty and to feed doves.

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      3. I hope this new batch of Iris get to bloom and grow for a good long time- no more floods stealing your beautiful and treasured plants! If you are interested in some additional Iris, Tony, have a look at Iris x robusta ‘Gerald Darby’ : https://www.plantdelights.com/products/iris-robusta-gerald-darby

        This is a natural hybrid of native I. versicolor and I. virginica, which is similar in habit to I. siberica. I love the blue tones near the bottoms of the leaves. I’ve been growing this hybrid for a couple of years now and its bloom is quite beautiful. It isn’t a fast spreader, but clumps up nicely over time. These are also East Coast native Iris, like the Louisiana Iris you just acquired. Both the species mentioned above are also lovely, but a bit harder to source. For my money, the relatively new strain of hybrids the pseudata Iris are spectacular. They take the form and ease (and color in most cases) of the pseudacorus and the flower form of I. ensata and blend the best qualities of both into these sterile hybrids. They bulk up and can grow to 4′-5′ tall, but they aren’t invasive. I’ve been growing these for the past several years, too. They are truly impressive and remain in bloom over a long season. https://www.quackingrassnursery.com/plant/Iris-x%20pseudata-Ally-Oops

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      4. Actually, I am trying (really) to limit acquisition of more iris. I already grow more in my own garden than I can manage, and about as many within the iris bed at work. I wanted this particular Louisiana iris only because we wanted some sort of riparian plant for the shore of the drainage pond. Although I am very pleased with the Algerian iris, I did not plan them either. I do enjoy iris, but would like to be able to keep track of what is already here so that I do not lose any of them. They are all so important to me because of their history.

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      5. I was visiting a new neighbor on Monday and noticed a beautiful ground coming into bloom over a large area beside her home. It was Iris cristata with beautiful blue flowers opening! I can’t recall ever seeing such a large patch of them. Iris are amazing plants and I’ve been collecting them in recent years. But since they do have such a short season of bloom, it is too easy to lose track of them. I understand what you mean. And all have such wonderful history and such deep roots in our various cultures.

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      6. These Iris louisiana that I recently acquired from Tangly Cottage Gardening were removed from their original landscape because they migrated so efficiently over such a significant area. I will be pleased if they do the same in our landscapes, although I suspect that I will also remove some in the future if they migrate a bit too freely.

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  2. Your plant collecting travels reminds me of a story of my grandmother. She loved her garden, which in its heyday was a sight to behold. She was on a road trip with her husband and children in the late 40s or early 50s. They traveled to Crater Lake, and were able to row to the island in the lake. She spied a sapling, which she dug up and kept wrapped in a moist paper towel for two weeks and planted it in her yard. It was Pinus lambertiana. It grew in St. Paul, MN into an impressive specimen until it was taken out by an elm being felled due to Dutch Elm disease. My grandmother would very much approve – for her, every plant had a backstory, who gave it to her, where she collected it surreptitiously, etc. I wa not in a position to collect anything from her garden after she passed – no place to grow it. Too bad, that.

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    1. Some of what inhabits my garden has been with me since before I was in kindergarden. I got my rhubarb from my paternal paternal great grandfather, and my Iris pallida from my maternal maternal great grandmother before I was five years old. All of my iris have history of some sort, and there are many of them. There are almost as many at work, each with their history. I try to not bring any from work to my own garden, just because there are too many to keep track of!


    1. Yes; I am trying to limit acquisitions, although I may take a few young conifers from my Pa’s farm. I also want to get cuttings of muscadine gapes, if I can determine which sorts I want.

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    1. I discovered Ilwaco in the summer of 1990, but had not returned until the past few years. It is one of my favorite towns in Washington. I have not been as impressed by places that others recommend, and found that Seattle is overrated. Smaller towns that I do not hear much about are the best.


    1. Others have been sharing pictures of it. I had been intrigued by the sky blue color, but had refrained from procuring it because the garden is so crowded already. However, I could not pass on it when it was offered like this, directly from Skooter’s Garden.

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