Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring, if only for a few days

In the last week there have been more sunny dry hours in Portland than grey wet ones, heck we even hit 65 degrees yesterday, that’s the top temp of the year! And yes, that’s all I needed to come down with a serious case of spring fever... and I’ve got it bad…

Since all work and no play makes Loree a very crabby gardener I took a day off from project Bishops Weed and instead cleaned up and cut back other parts of the garden. I found signs of life! Isn’t it wonderful that we get excited over and over again at the sight of little plant nubbins pushing up from the soil? Eremurus…
Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’

Gentiana lutea
Melianthus major
Peltoboykinia watanabei
Rodgersia pinnata ‘Chocolate Wings’
Veratrum Californicum
Of course the downside of sunny dry days are cold clear nights. I was thrilled to see my Echium candicans 'Star of Madeira' had the beginnings of a bloom on one of its surviving tips.
But this is what it looked like after a 28 degree night Tuesday…so sad! I hope it recovers.
The bloom buds on the Clematis armandii were unfazed by the cold.

New foliage on the Loquat…
I figured this was a good day to peel back the winter covers on both the Musa basjoo and Gunnera. I’ve never uncovered the banana to see it this green!
The Gunnera looks like a prehistoric creature rising from the depths of a winter sleep, unfurling it's claws and reaching out to the sun (or to grab you if you get too close)…
And to finish the day I partook of the chore which officially signifies Spring is here…a lawn mow, followed by edging the path pavers and lawn border.
Ah, if only it would last. Instead we’re now headed into a period of successive showers, one after another for days on end. But I’ve still got the sore muscles to prove 3 days were spent gardening in the sun!

20 comments:

  1. I love those first signs of spring. The gunnera is indeed scary-looking--but I still wish I could grow them here. Ditto for rodgersia. Just too hot here in the summer. But I can still enjoy yours vicariously :-).

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    1. Point taken. While I wish I could grow all the succulents you can grow in the ground I am lucky to be able to grow these big leafed beauties!

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  2. Wow:) Excellent closeups. I'd be pretty excited as well. I wish I wish I wish I wish! I could grow Gunnera here. It is one of my favorite all time plants to see out in the wild or in gardens, but it doesn't grow here in Tucson. I have tried so hard to get this plant to grow. Hope you have some warmer days again to get more work done:)

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    1. Rohrerbot, you and I are in the same boat when it comes to these fantastic large-leaved beauties like gunneras. I live in the Sacramento area, and while we get a bit more rain than you do and we don't get quite as hot, gunneras are a lost cause. Even hostas don't do well.

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    2. Warmer days I wish...I would settle for dry, if not warm. The forecast isn't looking promising.

      Hostas! I forgot to take pictures of their cute little purple noses emerging from the soil!

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  3. Every day I have been out looking for similar tell tale signs, until this morning, I awoke to a blanket of white. Methinks Spring is going to be routed by the winter that we did not get when we were supposed to! I too love Pelto as it emerges.... that claw covered in red velvet!

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    1. Maybe that snow was just winters last hurrah? I think I've going to have to move the Pelto (as you call it). Love it but last year it got kind of swallowed up and disappeared.

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  4. Those close-ups really show the other-worldly lives of plants...great! I also hope your Echium is fine...that was a brief 28F, after all, so there's hope. (only 9 days >60F here since 1/1, 67F Wed warmest) May spring wash over the west!

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    1. Speaking of the Echium I looked at it again yesterday afternoon and wondered if it was compounded by lack of water? We hadn't have rain for days and some parts of the garden are naturally drier than others. We'll see as the rain returns today...maybe it will perk up?

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  5. Hey Loree, it's just starting to get into that exciting period when plants start to grow again isn't it?

    I am pleased to see that you are growing Rodgersia. I have about 7 different varieties in my garden. They really do love my mild and wet climate and my heavy West Lothian soil.

    I can remember what I have planted in most of my garden, but some things have slipped my mind and as a result I find it quite exciting when the tip of a plant pops up out of the ground and I have to try and guess what it is!

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    1. I think I'm at only 3 different Rodgersia, I guess I need to add to the total! Yes I too remember most of what's where, but every year there is a surprise, I love those!

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  6. Always such a wonderful time of year seeing sleeping perennials waking up.

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    1. It can never come soon enough!

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  7. Always enjoyable to see the newly emerging shoots of various perennials coming through.

    And the lawn looks great all trimmed and edged.

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    1. Speaking of the lawn I'm surprised how much the moss had taken over this year, I kind of love it.

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  8. Yeah, I've been slightly leery of completely clearing everything away yet...but finally did it last weekend. I kind of figure that anything up this early just has to take it's chances ;-) BTW...SO jealous of your Eremerus...I've killed at least a dozen of those damn things...they HATE me!

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    1. It's taken those little guys years to decide they are happy and there is still no sign of the ones I planted out front last year. Maybe yours are still in their sulking stage? Or have you given up and taken them out?

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  9. Just love the close-ups of new growth!

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    1. Thank you, like I said it amazes me how I get a little jolt of excitement every time I seem them peaking out. No jaded gardener here!

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  10. Great shots of "the awakening". Some of the early-blooming natives in my yard have given me a bad case of spring fever. Plus I have Mason Bees just waiting to be set free. Any day now...

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