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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Weather Teeter Totter

While the eastern half of the nation enjoys warm temperatures and an early gardening season, Western Oregon is in the throes of record-breaking winter-like conditions.  Truls was out in the nursery for many hours overnight clearing wet and heavy snow off our hoop houses.  Meanwhile I huddled inside with our lazy Border Collies and my sore back.  The weather is improving this morning and I grabbed my camera to survey the results.  Truls’ hard work paid off and we survived another snowstorm without major damage to any structures or nursery plants.

The major casualty in the garden is the beautiful Japanese Maple near our deck.  Elsewhere the snow load has broken a few branches here and there.  

Garden plants are snug and protected beneath the layer of snow as seen here in the rock garden.

I am impressed that the temporary early season structure protecting the spring bulbs appears intact.  It was never meant for snow.  The orange seed pots on the near table are enjoying an extra measure of cold stratification.  We are always pleased to see a flush of germination in some pots after a storm.

The open air ramada has once again provided great protection to the cold hardy saxifrages.

Look closely and you can see how the alpine frame with its steeply pitched cover sheds snow with just the force of gravity.  It never needs attention during a snowstorm.

 Tour over, Lucy leads us home.  Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Special Events This Week

The 2012 Season is getting off to a fast start this week with three big events on our calendar.

On Friday, March 9th Wild Ginger Farm will be one of the featured nurseries at Plant Nerd Night.  This much anticipated annual event is hosted by Mike Darcy and is attended by a large and enthusiastic audience.  The event includes a plant sale and short slide show by each nursery. 

Pacific Coast Iris Hybrid 'Dorothea's Ruby'
Emma was on Mike’s radio show last Saturday talking about our plant special, Pacific Coast Iris Hybrid ‘Dorothea’s Ruby’ and Mike asked that Emma bring a selection of her PCI hybrids as well as named cultivars to the sale.  Emma’s presentation will include photos of several of our own plant introductions and a mention of our propagation efforts, including a segment on the Pacific Coast Irises.

Tulipa 'Red Riding Hood'

Meanwhile, Truls is heading to Everett for the North American Rock Garden Society Western Study Weekend where he will be a featured speaker.   The topic for the weekend is ‘Roadside Botanizing East of the Cascades’.  On Saturday morning, Truls will make a presentation entitled 'Blue Skies Crying in the Rain: Eastside Plants in Westside Gardens'.  He will focus on growing this challenging group of plants and describe some of the special considerations and methods we have found work best.

Lewisia glandulosa

Truls is also a vendor at the NARGS event and we have put together a nice selection of alpine and Western native plants to offer for sale.  Plants will be available for purchase by attendees throughout the meeting and also by the general public on Saturday from 12:30 to 5 pm.  The event is being held at the Holiday Inn in downtown Everett.

Primula marginata 'Kesselring's Variety'

Finally, Saturday is opening day at the nursery.  We have a number of alpine plants that are in full glory including the beautiful Primula marginata cultivars and of course the cushion Saxifrages.  This is a great time to visit for those who want to expand their selections of early spring flowering plants such as many choice alpine plants, spring flowering bulbs, as well as woodland plants such as Erythronium, Trillium and Dodecatheon. 

Erythronium 'Pagoda'
Wild Ginger Farm will be open Thursday through Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm this season.   Check our website for details about our Open Hours and Calendar of Events including our participation in a number of regional plant sales.  We hope to see you soon!