Spring is pretty nervous out here in the Pacific North West. Oh, it’s showing up in small degrees. I spoke with my Mother the other night in Louisville and she is waxing on about 70 degree weather. My friend in Tuscon, of course – well, never mind. Phillip in the Bay Area can just shut up too! 😉 In any case, color me excited – which is the entire point of this post! The weather rarely clears 60 degrees – in fact, that would drive everyone outdoors in bunched packs of sun-seeking crazed cabin fever victims – yet, the days of frost are pretty much over so the plants can all feel reasonably secure about getting their reproductive gear together.
So I took a walk around the local ‘hood. Generally, this is an average neighborhood but it always has a fabulous array of perfect examples of just about everything plantable in the Pacific Northwest. There is a wild variety of homes and gardens which any walk can surprise and regale one with interesting floral sights.
Every Spring I get reminded of why my clients – to a man – all raved about and wanted me to make sure and plant Forsythia. Here is why (bearing in mind how “early” things are):
Daffodils and Crocuses always mark early Springtime. I am not sure they aren’t a week or two late this year, but – hey – who cares? The important thing is they made it.
Like I said – real early –
But the earliest Rhodies have even got into the act – and even before trees have leafed out. Notice below the Rhodies, we have a picture of your early Plum Blossoms. Those guys generally precede just about everything, save for quince and forsythia. This year they tied.
Of course, another week or two of good weather will render all this old news. But, honestly, who can take away the joy of seeing the new Spring, with all its little blooming glories? It’s been a rough Winter out here – plenty of snow, plenty of gloomy days in many many respects. At least we don’t have to pay for Springtime. This one is part of the Birth Package!
Pieris Japonica has always been a favorite of mine. I especially like those ice cream-like clusters of blooms on this gorgeous broadleaf evergreen. There are also many varieties, as well, including the rosy-colored ones and the especially effective Taiwanensis. This one really needed a picture.
The local State Plant, Mahonia Aquifolium, (Oregon Grape) is in the foregound here and sporting some early buds which will soon be bright yellow flowers, which, in turn, will become the purple “grapes”. I’ll snap some pictures as they develop because they are a true local wonder to me. Love them. That interesting row of mature Pieris are beyond those Mugho Pines at a nearby complex in an effective example of mass planting.
This Star Magnolia is another of those early bloomers, this one just getting underway. It will make another killer picture as a week or two goes by. Interestingly, it and the Mahonia’s actually do well in the Reno climate. In fact, almost all these plants do, when given some shade, even the Rhodedendrons.
Come to think of it, what more appropriate picture could I include for the real gardeners among us than this? Paul here is applying his most high tech solution to the conundrum of inserting plants into the Earth. Notice the intense concentration, the incredibly fluid style and his utter managerial competence as he applies himself to solving the problems at hand!
Some stuff you just can’t teach! 😉