Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Buddies March 21, 2009

Filed under: flora,my garden — greenwalks @ 10:33 pm
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Oh, finally, Spring has arrived and not a moment too soon! Yes, I know the Equinox was on Friday, but I’m chronically behind schedule here.

Much is about to happen in the garden, as the plants finally feel like our horrid winter has left for good (did I just jinx us into a freak spring snowstorm? I hope not!) and they get down to business.

Flower and leaf buds soon to unfurl, if all goes well:

Clematis armandii flower buds

Clematis armandii, with awful-looking frost-burned foliage – if the flowers don’t bloom well and redeem the plant this year, I think it’s going to get the boot.

Peony sprouting

A transplanted peony pushing its freaky shiny red leaves up through the untidy back garden bed. When I divided this last fall, I might have made the chunks too small (I just read that they need at least a few eyes per division or they won’t bloom – can’t remember but I probably only left one).

Mystery bulbs

Mystery bulb, I probably planted it last fall but it wasn’t on the part of the list that turned up. Maybe bellevalia? Should look like grape hyacinth, if so.

Daphne odora blossoms finally starting to open

Daphne odora finally, finally opening its blossoms after what seems like months in the bud stage. Foliage looks a little sad, but I think it’s going to be okay.

Rosemary battling back after a hard winter

The giant rosemary is blooming despite having lost a good percentage of its branches to frost and snow. This one took a licking but kept on ticking. Can I say that without getting sued by Timex?

Which of your buddies are getting ready to bust out?


Mother Nature to Seattle: HA! February 9, 2009

Filed under: my garden,snow,winter — greenwalks @ 8:16 pm
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Her next sentence would probably be “Fooled you!” followed by “Did you really think that little spate of sun and warmth meant it was Spring?!? If so, then you are dimmer than I thought!”

We in the Pacific Northwest sometimes have short memories when it comes to the arrival of spring. We rejoice in the arrival of the first crocuses or snowdrops bursting forth from the ground and are almost automatically lulled into the feeling that winter has been banished. Then, more often than not, another set of freezing temps and a snowfall or two arrives in February to burst our bubbles and remind us that we really do have four seasons, even if they do get a bit jumbled together at times.

This was the scene outside our front window this morning:

Japanese maple and Port Orford cedar with snow dusting

I didn’t plant that dwarf Japanese maple, but I like how it looks with a dusting of snow.

Fully flowering witch hazel with little puffs of white on each blossom is not a bad view from the dining room, either (once again, can’t take credit, but am grateful for the previous gardener’s forethought):

Garden snow scene

School was delayed by two hours but at least it wasn’t canceled. I had a lot to do today so was grateful to Mother Nature for sending the morning sun to start the melt-off going.

Poor old rosemary, snowed under again

That poor rosemary, if it survives this winter it will be a miracle. Actually, it will probably take over the earth by midsummer unless I do something to stop it!

Our city is lovely under a little snow blanket but we don’t do too well when it sticks around. Even with under an inch, there were accidents, bus wipe-outs and bridge closures that backed up morning commute traffic for miles. This place is just not built for snow driving – too many hills, too much ice, no budget for road clearing/de-icing and too many inexperienced winter drivers. As I type this, we have had a very wacky weather evening starting with hail/sleet, followed by an oddball winter thunderstorm, and now snow is beginning to fall again.

What has Mother Nature been doing to surprise the heck out of you these days?

Black pussy willows in winter light

(Black pussy willows courtesy of Molly at Life on Tiger Mountain, via our bloggers’ gathering on Saturday. Thanks, Molly!)


Scarborough Fair August 24, 2008

Looking for some great herbs to plant in your parking strip? Sing along with me now…

Italian Parsley


Silver Sage




Lemon Thyme

and Thyme.

All are easy-care, and except for parsley they are evergreen perennials at least in my zone (8, Seattle). Culinary thyme comes in many varieties, as does culinary sage. They all taste delicious and look great to boot, even poking through the snow!

(And no, Simon and Garfunkel did NOT write that song… it’s an old English folk song about a medieval market town and a man’s impossible demands for his former love.)