Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Now that spring has sprung I'm worried that it will be fleeting.  There is still time to prune and transplant but not much.  Today I'm going to talk about Bulbs before they pass us by 'til next year.  The King of Bulbs, and I think you would have to agree, is the Daffodil.  Someone even named one King Alfred.  They are lovely and come in many colors.  But the many reasons I rate them King is that they are a no muss no fuss plant.  They arrive early, and they are very drought tolerant.  They are long enduring.....  You can find them in a field where there must have been a cabin or house long ago.  They are very drought tolerant.  They multiply year after year.  AND the deer don't eat them.  Did I forget something??  One small draw back is that it's best to keep their leaves after they bloom.  I just cut them down a third to a half and they look great.  The KINGS.

Now if Daffodils are the kings Tulips are the queens.  Lovely..... lovely.... but a little high maintenance.  They are edible to man as well as to the animal kingdom so they get readily eaten.  I treat them more like an annual, and put them in containers.  They will come back for a couple of years, but they eventually fade away.  My personal favorite is the Lily Flowering Tulip.  But I can get lost in a catalog of Tulips easily.  If you are careful you can extend the season by planting early bloomers and late bloomers.  Like I said.......  lovely.

I rate Snowdrops or Galanthas really high because they are the first to bloom.  They reliably bloom in February.  So sweet.  If you put them with Hellebore they can cheer you up on a cold wet winter day and they will multiply over the years.

The Scilla sibericas are pretty nice especially  en masse.  They readily multiply.  The birds must seed them because I'll find them even in places I never planted, but not out of control.

Now I love all bulbs in the right place, but I have to say Alliums or Flowering Onions are a show stopper.  They are big and flashy and deer resistant.  If you want to make a statement plant an Allium.  In a naturalistic garden plant them with Knautia and Japanese Blood Grass.  You can't loose with this one.

Right now a good combination I have in my garden, that I like, is the Native Bleeding Hearts or Dicentra formosa with Wind Flowers or Anename blanda.  They do a nice job of filling in a shady spot.

This time of year I always enjoy what I have and realize I have to make changes.  I like to write it on my calender in August so I remember what to buy when the time comes.  Enjoy the colors of spring.

Sunday, April 10, 2011  Here's the link.  I'ld like it to be permanent on my website.  Still have to work on that.

Hood River Weather Web Site

In my job the first thing, well the second thing, or maybe the third thing I do when I get up in the morning is.....  Check the weather.  A friend turned me on to this website to maybe speed up the process a bit.
Now I have to figure out how to add it as a link to my blog.  Hood River Weather.  Hummm  I'll give this a try.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The good behind the rain

Once again on Tuesday it rained, rained and rained some more.  The good news is that we planted 300 trees for the Port of Hood River on Monday and the rain came in perfect succession.  I'm sure the trees..... Pacific Willows....  are happy little campers.  Over the weekend I planted by seed much of my vegetable garden. AND I don't have to worry about watering.  That is what is great about the rain.  Hope it comes back.

What I have planted so far in my vegetable garden is..... Spinach, Romaine Lettuce, Red & Green Lettuce Leaf, Raab which is a leafy Brocolli, more Coriander and Chard.   Coriander, Italian Parsley and Arugala have self seeded.  The Arugala is ready to add to salads and the Coriander is ready to add to my salsas that I love to make.  I'm hoping to get my Oregon Sugar Pod Peas in this weekend.  And I think I'm going to go nuts with Spring Onions, Onions and Shallots.  I've decided to forgo the Corn this year.  I think I'm going to try Fennel.  I've planted it before with some good results but I didn't really know how to cook with it.  Now I know that all you have to do is substitute it for celery.  What a concept.  I have several Italian recipes now so I'm planning Fennel into my garden this year.  I have to think about my Asian cooking also.  I think I'm going to plant Kohlrabi.  Then my garden will be good for a while until summer. 

Sometime I will have a discussion about how to make your vegetable garden EASY to do year after year.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Arabis & Chionodoxa

Ok.   My imagination is great. The Arabis looks lovely with the Daffodils like I said, but I need more Choinodoxa. It's the blue in the bottom picture. I do have a little bit in with the Arabis but note to self. Order more Daffs & Chionodoxa next August. I'm marking it on my calender. Just so you know that's my vegetable garden in the background & my small greenhouse.

spring combinations

Yea!!!  I feel that spring has officially sprung in Hood River.  Forsythia always announces that spring is on it's way, but when the Plums & the Daffodils are in bloom it's official!!!!  All the flowering trees & shrubs are now going to herald their happiness, as well. Now that there is a little sunshine I'm on my way to my vegetable garden.  But that is not what I want to write about today.  I admit that I tend to be a little depressed with all the rain, and I left out the early spring bloomers.  One of my favorites in my garden is the Arabis or maybe you know it as Rockcress.  It starts early when the Forsythia shows it's first bloom and lasts a long time, long into April.  My favorite combination with it is the Chionodoxa.  It's a bulb that blooms at the same time.  If you like blue & white it's lovely.  Add any Daffodil and you can't go wrong.  The huge benefit with this is that it is very drought tolerant.  And last but not least is that it is EVERGREEN.  It looks great all year.  Use it on the sunny side of your house and you will love it spring after spring.  OK.  I'll have to take a picture & post it.