Snow Day

Snow Day

Controversy! Some of us at plant lust and friends love snow, and others hate it. I’m in the minority on the love-it side.

Snow makes my heart happy. We only see it every few years in Portland, and it’s usually fleeting. I watch the winter weather forecast eagerly, looking for signs of hope. Most of the time, snowflake forecasts are fools gold.

Even though I pray for snow, I understand the heartbreak when those of us pushing the limits of our planting zones have our hopes for mild winters dashed. I know a wintery day brings some people down the same way a 100 degree day sinks my heart. But the universe is indifferent to our suffering, all we get to do is watch.

This weekend’s snow was followed by freezing rain. I know. Even less popular than snow. Some of the plants may not survive their ice bath. But boy was were they pretty.

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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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Unexpected groundcovers

Unexpected groundcovers

Groundcovers are…

The icing on the cake?

The bow on the present?

The cherry on the sundae?

Whatever cliche fits best, they deserve some special attention. Last week I realized how important groundcovers are to pulling together a garden, and I’ve been looking for some good contenders ever since.

I’m sure we’ve all seen certain plants get overused as carpets in parking lot beds and in front of new homes as builders’ favorites, and those plants get crossed right off our lists. Lucky for us there is no end to new and unusual plants, which is why we garden, isn’t it?

For groundcovers to make the cut on this particular list, they had to meet some basic criteria:

  • – Be super cool or weird
  • – Have a long season of interest
  • – Don’t rely on flowers as the main attraction
  • – Be reasonably easy to grow
  • – Be frost hardy
  • Don’t be something I’ve seen a million times

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