garden ponderings


Last Gasp?

We’ve had a lot of rain, all the plants are sodden and drenched.

I was surprised to see from my kitchen window, a rose bush in bloom.
Yes, it looked better at a distance.
A flower at this time of year, still makes my heart happy.
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A bit of sunshine on a rainy day.

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I had not realized just how hardy hydrangea flowers are.
This particular blossom is not showing signs of age.
I believe it is because temperatures are now cooler than in summer.
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Arabis and Rudbeckia are showing themselves not as rain-hardy as some other plants.


Blooms & Buds in the Dead of Winter

Between the rain and cold most flowers are dormant in this season.
It is called the ‘dead’ of winter for good reason:-)

Purple violets bloom through the winter here.
I think they don’t mind the cold, and must love the rain,
since these often sleep through the summer heat.

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Snowdrops are the first bulb to bloom in the calendar year.
This lone specimen is my only sample.
It will soon be hidden by the daffodils whose leaves are just emerging behind.

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Pink hellebore buds will open soon.


Evergreen leaves can be susceptible to snails, I have heard.
My problem pests are voles who have eaten leaves and left me stems.
A vole is similar to a mouse, but with a shorter tail.
I catch them in mousetraps in the garage and shops.

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Weeping Cherry tree looks good even in the rain

We had some good rain over the weekend resulting in droopy daffodils.  But there is no problem with the weeping cherry tree as rain does not dampen its appearance.  This photo is only a couple of days old, and the hanging branch on the right is now full of blooms.
It was just a few short years ago this tree was planted, and it took so long to look established, I wondered if it would survive.  Now, it is starting to fill out and there are no dead branches in sight.

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Pineapple Express


Most often, our winter weather comes from Alaska in the north, which brings the cold and wet.  When unusually warm weather comes from Hawaii, far to the southwest, this late in the year, it is called a “pineapple express”.  We have had particularly warm weather most of this fall.  There was a brief freeze a month ago, but no extended hard cold, which would be more common at this time of year.  The grass is green and growing, the weeds are filling in everywhere they can.

This rose is trying hard to bloom.  It might have better luck, but we’ve had quite a bit of rain lately.  The most recent forecast is a diminished chance of rain for a few more days, so the rose still has a chance to open.


After the Rain, Comes Mushrooms

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We’ve had a number of days of good rain and the ground is now quite wet, so it is mushroom time!  At higher elevations, even nearby, people hunt chanterelles and morels.  I have traded pottery for chanterelles in the past, and absolutely loved my part of the bargain.  You know when those are in season, as the mushroom buyers put up their signs in the small towns.

Wish I knew the names of these particular mushrooms, since I found them on a walk in the woods around the house.  Until I am mushroom fluent, I know better than to taste any of the ‘shrooms on my land.  But it is fun to hunt and see how many different varieties one can find.  I did not see any ‘fairy rings’ of mushrooms on my walks today, even in the usual places.  They must show up at a different time of year.

The electric power was out for about six hours yesterday evening into the night.  Since there was no television or computer access, entertainment was limited.  Made me think about times long ago before modern conveniences.  How people used to tell stories in the nighttime firelight.  Like tales of fairies who lived in the woods, or scarey stores of witches and goblins, or imaginative explanations of why the stars are in a particular arrangement.  Makes television almost sound boring by comparison.

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Last Gasps in the Garden

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These cucumber, strawberry and green bean flowers will never go to fruit.  It is way too late in the season, a lot of rain is due in just a couple of days.  Not long after that our first frost will occur.

In the meantime, these plants are doing their very best to propagate themselves, in the remote chance that global warming is imminent and there will be no winter!   Okay, I know plants do not really think like that, but I do know these are example of plants that will keep on flowering until the last bud dies on the vine.

Drooping Daffodils


Drooping Daffodils

The rain will get them every time. But, not to worry, these daffodils almost always come back upright. Drier weather is predicted, for what that is worth, and we really need the rain anyway.

Daffodils have been blooming all around town, and I saw them in full bloom on a drive to the coast (60 miles away) 10 days ago. Mine are not quite at full bloom yet. We always have blooming daffodils on the first day of spring here. Though on warmer years, they are almost done, on that day. Still 10 days to go, but I don’t think that warm of weather is expected. Once the sun starts shining, the flowers bloom and die so fast. This is a positive note for overcast, 60 degree (F) days.