How do I always forget how cold it gets when we head into winter? I always imagine I’ll do this task and that–after the weather is finished with being too hot. Hah! Rumor has it we’re getting our first freeze over the next couple days. Soon, I can put away any notion of wrapping up my gardening chores–at least for the next couple dark months.

Thusly, I did a walk about out there–to see if that could kick me into high gear. We’ve had a super mild fall and a lot of the plants are still looking terrific.

Poor things, their run is about done.

Everyone else was busy winterizing. Not me. Until now. Fingers crossed.

Everyone else was busy winterizing. Not me. Until now. Fingers crossed.

Asparagus densiflorus 'Myersii' and Phormium 'Sundowner' under cover.

Asparagus densiflorus ‘Myersii’ and Phormium ‘Sundowner’ under leaf cover.

Chamaerops humilis aka Mediterranean Fan Palm snuggled in.

Chamaerops humilis aka Mediterranean Fan Palm snuggled in.

And the Brugmansias, crazy how good they look. If they don’t survive, it was worth it, enjoying them all this extra time.

Brugmansia 'Single White' hanging in there.

Brugmansia ‘Single White’ hanging in there.

It’s still blooming, for Pete’s sake.

Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi' and Brugmansia 'Single White' still singing their hearts out.

Brugmansia ‘Charles Grimaldi’ and Brugmansia ‘Single White’ still singing their hearts out.

(We don’t have any mulch-worthy leaves in our garden, so I raked up a few bins from the neighbors’ yard. They have a giant big leaf maple, so leaves aplenty.)

Joe's & Judy's Bigleaf Maple. I didn't make a dent in leaf fall.

Joe & Judy’s Bigleaf Maple–the giant round one. We didn’t make a dent in leaf fall.

It’s colder this morning, and there was a bit of snow forecasted. Nothing is happening here–of course. I took the opportunity for a few shots around the garden, pre-snowpocalypse. (Native Oregonians often stand around holding our breath at the suggestion of snowflakes falling from the sky. I cannot tell you how many times the weather folks have snatched that football from beneath our feet, and yet, we stand, still breathless. P.S. Peeps who’ve moved here from snowier climes are asked to kindly refrain from commenting on disdain for snow. I’m serious!)

Scrub Jay - January 2016

Scrub Jay – January 2016

Our snow is so fleeting–this from last January–so please let us enjoy it for the second or two it lasts.

Back to the present. How crazy is this, the tropical-style bed near the patio. I had my fingers crossed I could enjoy it all winter–my praying for snow notwithstanding. This was yesterday, December 4, 2016. Wacky.

Patio side bed--to make it feel like we're on vacation.

Patio side bed planted with tropical inspiration–to make it feel like we’re on vacation.

The Cyperus papyrus has enjoyed its longest fun yet. I plant one in that tall skinny every year, and lot of bang for the six bucks or so.

Cyperus papyrus aka Egyptian Papyrus

Cyperus papyrus aka Egyptian Papyrus

The Tetrapanax papyrifer have exceeded my wildest expectations. Their success is making me a little nervous–even though I think they’re super cool. There’s another stand at the back corner with less protection. They’re going faster than this grove.

Tetrapanax in less protected location fading faster.

Tetrapanax in a less protected location is fading faster.

Tetrapanax leaf taking a last bow.

Tetrapanax leaf taking a last bow.

Acanthus sennii is hanging in there. Last year about this time, I was photographing skeletal leaves.

The spines on Ethiopian Acanthus are not kidding around. Secret Garden Growers describes it as “well armed.”

We did get one final task done. The area around our apple tree had gotten so muddy. And I’m out there mucking around in it every day filling bird feeders. Those little critters are hungry. Then a stroke of luck; nice neighbors on nextdoor.com advertised an abundance of FREE woods chips.

Apple tree with bird feeders and mud below.

Apple tree with bird feeders above and mud below.

Wood chips look a mess when delivered.

Wood chips look a mess when delivered.

The man is always so willing to accommodate my whims–provided I bear in mind that he’s tactical: What, when, where. He will handle the how.

Where do you want these dumped, Ma'am?

Where do you want this dumped, Ma’am?

And then the mud was gone--or at least buried.

And then the mud was gone–or at least buried. 

How about you? Have you tossed in the towel for the season?

Cheers

Asparagus densiflorus 'Myersii'
Bright foliage of Foxtail Fern makes a garden look super groovy.
Eupatorium capillifolium 'Elegant Plume'
Feathery Joe Pye weed. 'Elegant Feathers', to be exact.
Rhodocoma capensis
I didn't initially recognize the similarities between Cape Restio and Elegant Feathers Joe Pye weed. Reasonable facsimiles.