Thursday, January 4, 2024

Let's Wrap Up 2023!

Well here we are again, where did that time go?  

I first want to say it was mostly an uneventful year, but it was still filled with joyous moments in the garden and fun trips to see gardens.

In January, there was a cold snap and the poor Pseudopanax 'Sabre' and Daphne Bhalua both fried. Sabre tried to rally in late spring, sprouting out some sad new growths off bare stems, but really was just a goner and had to be removed. Wind was also an issue in the garden. This spring seemed windier than normal at home and there were far too many days of high winds that denuded several evergreen shrubs and trees. Some of them are still a little on the naked side. 

In March, the Pinyon pine started leaning more precariously and finally had to go. Thankfully, I could remove it myself with an electric chainsaw and I stuffed it all in a yard debris bin. It was a fun experiment, but it got too big too fast in the garden and I think at most I got nine edible seeds in the many years it grew in the garden.

Throughout spring, the garden was full of peonies, mini iris, roses and gorgeous flowering trees. I'm still in my "Rose Era", although that's slowing down too, mostly due to lack of space. A few peonies even got removed as they were not happy (not thriving) and I hate to say my romance with tree peonies has ended. 

In April and May, there were annual plant sales and repeat trips to favorite places. I had a fabulous day with my plant pal Anita attending a wet and muddy Gardenpalooza at Bauman Farms, then some overboard succulent/cactus shopping at Hillcrest Nursery, a very good patty melt in Aurora, followed by some antiquing.

In May, Alan and I went back to the Camassia Natural Preserve in West Lynn for a visit. I highly recommend a visit if you can. When the Camas are blooming in my front yard, I know it's a good time to go.

Our trip to Adleman's was again a highlight of the spring. It’s a tradition to go every year and it’s always beautiful. This year, Alan and I even got asked by Carol Adelman, how we felt about two plants blooming in the seedling area. Both gorgeous peonies. I fan-girled a little. I may have gone home with a peony too to celebrate. 

The indoor cactus and succulents went on vacation outdoors in June for the summer and several fun cactus bloomed. The collection is ever expanding and I'm doing a better job refraining from loving them too much with water and care, although I am ever vigilant for mealy bugs. 

In June, Alan, Coco and I hopped in the car and went to the Olympic National Rain Forest in Washington and then took the ferry to Victoria. We saw a few of the local gardens in Victoria and had a very pleasant visit to Hatley Castle gardens. We met and talked with one of the head gardeners there and enjoyed a stroll through the gardens.

Late summer was filled with watering and baked beige lawn. The poor lawn was dead and sad. It may be time to finally take a bunch of it out. 

In October, the neutral power line to my house that's been bent over a big branch of the black walnut in the front yard, broke on a Friday and a surge of electricity fried ALL my major appliances at 4am. PGE was great coming out though on a Saturday with several crews and the tree trimmers were surprisingly decent. I admit I watched them like a hawk, while they cleared additional branches off the tree and freed up the neighbor's power lines too. 

The rest of fall is for cleaning up leaves and putting things to bed. I have a humongous stack of garden magazines to tide me over until spring.

I wonder what my next plant craze will be? Maybe 2024 will tell me... 


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