May Flowers

Botanic name: Ceanothus thyrsiflorus
Common name: California lilac
Family: Rhamnaceae

Pollinators adore the striking blue blossoms, while mule deer and porcupine are partial to the leaves on this evergreen shrub. They can grow to about 6’, and the blossoms may vary from blue to a very faint purple. Leaves alternate along branches, and have a gummy feel to them when pinched between one’s fingers.  The roots may have red inner bark. Once seeds are produced, they may lie dormant for hundreds of years, but will spring to life once a forest fire has come through.

Botanic name: Enkianthus campanulatus
​Common name: Redvein enkianthus
Family:  Ericaceae

Look closely at this upright 6-8’ deciduous shrub to discover, shyly hiding under its 3” elliptic,bluish-green leaves,clusters of tiny bell-shaped flowers. These cream colored bells appear as though dipped in a delicate pink at the edges. Being a native of Japan’s open woodlands, it is quite at home in the Pacific Northwest forest. You will see one just west of the Gift Shop.

Botanic name:  Iris innominata
Common name: Del Norte iris
​Family:  Iridacae

This native to southern Oregon was discovered by Lilla Leach and can be seen on the grounds near the manor house. The leaves are dense and evergreen, up to 20 cm. The flower is typically deep golden yellow with darker veins, although colors may vary. The flower stems are about 12 cm and usually bear 1–2 flowers in spring.

Botanic name:  Pieris 'Prelude'
Common name: Japanese pieris
​Family: Ericaceae   

‘Prelude’ is a compact form of the taller pieris, generally only growing to about 2’ in height and across .  Leaves that at first emerge pink turn to a glossy dark green, White, lily-of-the-valley-like flowers form fountaining, tassel-like clusters of pinkish buds that open to fragrant white flowers in spring. Aside from its festive show of flowers in the spring, it has the added benefit of being somewhat deer resistant.

Botanic name:  Viburnum plicatum tomentosum
Common name: Doublefile viburnum
Family: Adoxaceae

Throughout the seasons, this dense, 8-15’ tall, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub provides an array of colors. While the white flower clusters steal the show in springtime, the dark green ovate toothed leaves are the star in the autumn when they change to red or purple. At summer’s end, the fruit are small egg-shaped droops that eventually become black.

The Great Leach Garden Bamboo Mystery

In our August Garden Journal entry, we are focusing on the garden’s bamboo…

Spring Flamboyance

The garden is celebrating it’s awakening from the quiet winter months. Here are some of the many flamboyant…

Bee Loving Native Shrubs

June is a busy time for pollinators, and the garden offers many native shrubs for them…

What do they have in common?

These plants all have something in common other than being residents at the garden…

Quiet Winter Blooms

One typically does not think of a garden being particularly interesting in February, however…


December is time for evergreens to shine….

November’s Fall Garden Treasure Hunt

To all eyes it would seem the garden is quieting down for the season, but if you look closely…

May Flowers

It’s that time of year! Pollinators and garden lovers rejoice, the blooms are here…

The Waking Garden

February may still seem like Winter here in Portland, but in the garden…


There are several different kinds of Hydrangeas that grow in our area….

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