Gardening – That’s something I can do

Breathe, plant, repeat

This has been a very stressful time for everybody. If you aren’t stressed you are probably the person who first discovered that being in our gardens is the best possible place we could be. Greg and I are committed to making plants accessible during this time of need. Perhaps we can help- a little bit of normalcy and it feels like the right thing to do. You’ve seen the availability and ordering instructions. Thats Greg’s department. My department is to inform – And to assist Greg and our business and to make things a whole hell of a lot easier for you. I know an excel sheet of latin is basically an ocular migraine for all but those total plant geeks…I get it.  So, I’ll be picking out  plants from the availability  as I can to embellish what I know about them aside from what I’ve already written.

First,  the climate for Spring 2020

We are still in a very NO NINO pattern. And that means changeability and we’ve seen that. Not especially warm but surprisingly NOT cold. PDX recorded its lowest temperature last November at 26ºF- it hasn’t dropped below that since. That ties us for the second warmest winter low of all time. You’ve probably noticed this in your garden. We’ve seen frequent frosts but not real hard freezes (in town) below 28ºF. And despite the ultimate low being record  warm these cool nights have kept most plants on a normal spring trajectory.

The forecast from NOAA for the spring is normal to slightly above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. If that pans out it is unfortunate because that will be the third dry spring in a row. Dry springs were once a rare thing in W. Oregon, coming once every several years. Three in a row is eye opening. So, unless we have some last minute out of season colossal atmospheric river or three. It would be very prudent to go out soon and see just how dry things are. Look under shrubs etc. . I did and I was surprised.

My mistake the last two dry springs was to neglect both my Crape Myrtles and Gardenias of juice when they needed it most. Both of these genera crave two things to break dormancy and grow. Heat (at least three days above 70ºF) and moisture. When they don’t have that things go wonky. Crape myrtles refuse to bloom, even late in the season. And Gardenias lose their inner leaves in a huge yellow histrionic fit. This usually shows up with the first heatwave in April. So, this year I vow to pay attention to both and give them the wet spring they seem to require.

This time of the year we have a LOT of new crops coming on. So, I’ll pick a certain amount to feature. I’ll also highlight other plants- mostly in my garden. Seeing a plant in the ground makes so much more sense. And combinations of plants- my most frequently asked question. This week’s plants are three native annuals in stock this week. Its a perfect time to plant them and still rely only on what falls from the sky:

Oregon Native Plants

* Clarkia amoena  ssp. lindleyi  Farewell to Spring This is our locally native form of this showy west coast wildflower. Its also one of the longest blooming and most reliable re-seeders.


Clarkia amoena ssp. lindleyi

Limnanthes douglasii. ‘Alba’ ‘Nivea’– Another wonderful Willamette Valley native annual that is easy, beautiful, and useful is Meadowfoam  and white meadow foam- just now coming into bloom. They have a wildly profuse display that carpets the ground in pillows of yellow and white. By hot weather they have gone to seed and perished. One single plant can set hundreds of very viable seeds and they germinate en masse with the first cool fall rains. These handsome rosettes of bipinnate glossy green leaves expand over the winter. They successfully out compete the most vicious non-native invasive winter growing weeds. Including shotweed (Cardamine sp) and commence bloom to repeat the cycle. This is a great native plant for new gardens  while you fill space or to just hold a spot while you think of what to do next. The plants are EASILY dispatched and though profuse are not a problem.

Limnanthes douglasii

Eschscholzia californica ‘Purple Gleam’ is a favorite color variant of this flowery and obliging native. Wide open flowers are composed of soft red purple that fades to a lighter center. These petals are coated in satin. Reseeds true 90%. Silvery backdrop is sublime.

Eschscholzia californica ‘Purple Gleam’

We sincerely hope that everyone is safe and well and stays that way. Greg and I love our business and we are dedicated to see it through. There’s no other option. Thanks for your support and make the most of the very nice weather this spring.  We’ll be here with PLANTS!


& Greg and Miles and Polly.

One thought on “Gardening – That’s something I can do

Comments are closed.