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In Portland, MLK Day 2018 coincides with the start of gardening season. We’ve been having terrifically mild weather, nothing like last year. 

January 15, 2017 — Last Year. It doesn’t snow here often.

In celebration of the MLK weekend and the mild weather, Bill and I went to the Lan Su Chinese Garden. We were happy to treat a visiting Sacramento couple with our season pass plus one feature. It’s only the second time we’ve used it, and we’ve had our passes for years. Welcome to Portland. (I can always take a friend if you’re rarin’ to visit Lan Su.)

Yesterday, it was colder late afternoon that I’d envisioned. But still sunny and beautiful. Watching the Koi is a supremely peaceful experience, isn’t. I guess that’s why people have Koi ponds.

I was a little torn between watching and shivering. And there was a little lady in the premium spot for getting a good snap. It didn’t seem right to push her out of the way, so I did my best with the space I had. Happy to report I did not drop my phone in the water.

And there were many other good things to behold.

Iris confusa ‘Martyn Rix’ aka Bamboo Iris

I have Iris confusa, but not Iris confusa ‘Martyn Rix’. I need this plant.

Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Sasaba’

Some plant names are so much fun to say. Sarcococca. But don’t ask me to spell it. That name challenges me every time. There must be some method, like spelling Mississippi staccato style.

Sarcococca confusa aka Sweet Box

Look at those shiny fruits. And the fragrance is heaven scent!

I like saying Sambucus too, but sorry, no picture with this post. Sambucus is the moniker that got me thinking I could actually learn some Latin plant names. Megan taught me. Because your children can teach your things.

Chionanthus virginicus aka White Fringe Tree. The above photo is from last February, but it keeps insisting on being part of this post. I swear, it wormed its way into the photos marked with yesterday’s date. So there it is. It wants to be here. (I like it, too.)

Pyrrosia sheareri aka Shearer’s Felt Fern

Is that fern not swoon-worthy. I know a few, but for the most part, I’m as confused about ferns as I am about conifers. So so many of them. I need to learn more, and I mean to. Seriously.

In local news, Xera Nursery is opening its retail shop on January 20th. And Cistus Nursery on Sauvie Island has been open all along. Cistus is always a fun field trip, scenic and generally with good bird viewing along the way. That reminds me, all those plants I said I wasn’t going to buy until this mess is cleaned up. I’d better get busy.