March in Review

March in Review

Usually, March is a month for noses pressed to windows, impatiently waiting until it’s warm enough, dry enough, late enough to get out there with a shovel and start the frenzied rush of spring chores.

Spring’s early arrival in the Pacific Northwest changed the pace of my spring gardening. Cutting back and raking up remnants of fall happened at a leisurely pace in short sleeves. Last possible frost dates be damned, the tender plants have been hauled out into the garden for weeks now.

No need to wait for the soil to warm up before ordering a fresh load of compost. No need to rush to spread the compost before rain showers weighed it down and carried a compost-y river down the gutter.

Soil is workable and it was easy enough to get planting early. Maybe too easy. Early digging does pose some extra risk of cutting into something that’s still sleeping. Fortunately, those incidents were few and far between.

This is a new spring experience for us here. Where are the drippy days with soil too muddy to work? Is this what it feels like to live in California?
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Stopped cold by the foliage…

Stopped cold by the foliage…

Walking back to the hotel our first day in San Diego I spotted a tree that stopped me in my tracks. Instant plant lust! Never mind that I had no idea what I was lusting after.
by hotel 1

As I’ve written before travel induced plant lust is a malady I frequently suffer from. Identifying the new object of my affection becomes a game, will I spot it again…maybe in a nursery, or a botanical garden? Or perhaps a local gardener will walk by while I’m drooling, take pity on me and whisper the name in my ear? Read More…

Goodbye, winter

Goodbye, winter

Huge sigh of relief, we have arrived at spring. There will be plenty of time for celebrating the obvious beauty of the season headed our way. But now that winter is officially behind us, I want to take a moment to appreciate the plants that provided bright spots in winter’s final month. I love this garden-obsessed city. I’m so grateful to have neighbors with such showy winter plants in front yards were we can all enjoy them.

And now that planting season is upon us, don’t forget to think about the stuff that makes you happy in the grey months so you have plenty of eye candy next time winter rolls around.
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Yellow echo

Yellow echo

One way to make a garden look pulled together is by echoing colors. Take this inspired work in progress. Forgive the current state of the ground. Despite the forecast, it’s still winter for a couple more days. Clearly they’ve got plans. And a fab sense of color. While the plants are sleeping, they’ve always got their doors and bird feeder to keep things looking alive.
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I’ve got a bad case of magnolia lust

I’ve got a bad case of magnolia lust

Magnolias are a romantic bunch, thought of like southern belles with a blousy bloom, a fleeting moment of floral perfection. Whenever I confess to love them madly, I’m met with a questioning glance. This does not equate. She of the spikes, desert plants and love of foliage…magnolias? Yes!

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Groundcover spree

Groundcover spree

This weekend I felt like a high roller. Picture less Vegas vacation, diamonds, cars and rolling around on piles of cash. More rolling around on piles of groundcovers and you’ve got the idea. We’re among gardeners here. You guys get it.

Thanks to Tamara of Chickadee Gardens, a bunch of garden bloggers were invited out to ogle, photograph, and shop the 50+ wholesale sized greenhouses at Little Prince of Oregon.

I had to pinch myself, because this was my very dream for this spring. I’m on a groundcover blitz, as part of my speed gardening strategy to recover from last year’s puppy devastation out there. There may be no better place to fulfill this mission. Little Prince has a HUGE collection of (dog) foot traffic friendly groundcovers, and I was checking things off my wish list left and right.

Of course you always remember the one that got away. The plant shown up top is to die for, right? It’s killing me. It was flagged for another customer, so I am without. At least I got to pet its soft foliage briefly. Be on the lookout for Selaginella kraussiana ‘Brownii’.

Luckily there were plenty of wish-listers that were not spoken for.
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