Portland Oregon has a reputation for being a very wet place…until we get to July, which is the start of our dry season when we typically don’t see rain again until sometime in September. And so today is really the first time since then I’ve had the luxury to post to my blog because we finally have some rain! This summer has been unusually hot for us too–20 days of 90* F or above, which means watering multiple times a day for some of our trees and accent plants. What I have today is a variety of shots taken during our dry spell…first up is a bougainvillea in bloom for the first time since moving to Oregon from Arizona:


This tree was given to me from a bonsai friend in 2003–11 years and counting. It was part of a hedge that was growing too close to a house and the trunk consists of three trees that fused into one. Trunk diameter is four inches and the tree is fifteen inches high. Next is an unusual accent plant–Scouler’s catchfly; Silene scouleri from the pink family:

Scouler's catchfly

I collected this plant in Arizona in 2005 and put it into this little pot I made–it has never been re-potted and continues to come into flower every summer. Close up of the flower:

Scouler's catchfly

A small, chuhin-size lodgepole pine I collected here in Oregon is happy this summer:


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The same tree a year after collection, October, 2008. And below, after its first styling back in 2008:

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It’s filled in nicely over the six years since this picture was taken. Now it needs to be planted on a rock or another pot…I’ll wait for spring for that! Next is a clump-style ginkgo planted in a pot I got especially for this tree from Mariusz Folda. I think the color will harmonize well with the golden fall color of the ginkgo:


I bought this tree from Anne Spencer in 2009 and have been working on getting the trunks spaced better and increasing ramification; the branches are quite flexible and aluminum wire works fine on ginkgos. I know the tendency is to let these grow naturally into a ‘flame style’ tree, I wanted to try something a little different with mine 😉 Even though it has been very dry lately, some mushrooms have sprouted from one of my accent plants–these remind me of little chanterelles:


A collected vine maple; Acer circinatum, sporting early fall color and little mushrooms as well:

Vine maple

A close up of the mushrooms:


My Southwestern white pine in early morning sun:

Southwestern white pine

An unusual little accent I found in July; I have yet to identify:

New accent

Interesting ‘bald’ spot at the center; I think this could be quite old:

New accent

And here’s a little gardenia; Gardenia jasminoides, there is a photo of this tree in the post titled ‘Bonsai Society of Portland Spring Show’ in its old pot…I re-potted it this summer and it likes its new home rather well:


I hope you enjoyed this eclectic ramble through my late summer garden!