There may be life on the market, regardless of April being the sixth straight month of winter. I am not exaggerating! Issues started chilly and moist in November, and we have struggled to achieve 50 levels since then. Most days have been within the mid 40’s, nights within the 30’s. Loads of snow and almost every day rain. No surprise I am drained and albeit, slightly depressed. Quickly I am positive we’ll flip the swap and it is going to be not solely NOT winter however full-on summer time, scorching and dry, soil turning laborious in a single day. 
Okay. Sigh. Rant over. The truth is that it is turning into two seasons and it is starting to impression my psychological well being. Thank goodness I nonetheless have the driving want to go outdoors even in crummy climate for a minimum of I nonetheless get some vitamin D. Anyhow, sure, gardening goes on, life on the farm goes on and I nonetheless take photos of crops, so this is a have a look at Chickadee Gardens this week:
The solar got here out for an hour or so; I used to be bedazzled.

This is an Arctostaphylos ‘Sentinel’ and its bizarre, curly limbs.

A wider shot with the arcto on the left.

I’ve a love/hate relationship with this Douglas fir tree smack in the course of all of it. I adore it in summer time when it is 98 levels and it offers slightly aid. I really like its stunning form and that it is a native tree to this area. I hate it a lot of the remainder of the yr for the tens of millions of pinecones and needles it sheds, plus branches galore in storms. There was an distinctive quantity of tree litter the previous two years, starting simply after Warmth Dome in 2021. It hadn’t been that unhealthy earlier than that worrying climate occasion. The birds adore it, so it stays so long as it is wholesome.

Dramatic lighting

Earlier than: The meadow space has been a daily hang around for the wild birds. I go away it standing so long as attainable, delaying clear up till the final minute. I’ve began cleansing it up now that it is April as hopefully all these perennials tucked in there’ll quickly emerge and the sunshine will do them good.

After: We had a pleasant hour or two with out rain, a possibility to wash this up. It’s going to fill in shortly as soon as the soil warms up (apologies for the shadows/lighting).

Arctostaphylos pumila, which normally blooms in February, has not bloomed but. Nonetheless, it is beautiful and sparrows have made it their dwelling.
Erica ‘Rosalie’ is lastly exhibiting me its wealthy colour. This too normally blooms like this in February, a full two months late this yr.
A second Arctostaphylos ‘Sentinel’ that’s smaller than the one pictured earlier however was planted earlier, too. Fascinating. Additionally it is blooming extra profusely. I’m wondering if they’re each certainly the identical plant now that I evaluate them.
Sedum spathulifolium ‘Purpureum’
Jovibarba heuffelii (I believe), I purchased this years in the past and by no means recorded its species. It sits on this little pot yr after yr. Maybe I ought to divide it and plant some within the backyard.
Native deciduous shrub osoberry, Oemleria cerasiformis, is likely one of the very earliest crops to bloom in late winter. It’s simply now getting going. It is a beautiful multi-stemmed shrub, particularly in hedgerows and for habitat gardens.

Carex conica ‘Snowline’ sends up its flowers this time of the yr giving a spiky look which catches the sunshine. That is such a helpful little evergreen grass for half shade, it stays pretty small and regularly will increase its measurement by rising in a bigger clump. It would not run or set seed. It by no means complains concerning the climate, both (not like yours really).
Hacquetia epipactis (apologies for the fuzzy picture, it is in numerous shade and would not focus) is a candy little woodland plant I purchased as Pleasure Creek Nursery was closing with Maurice’s suggestion. I am thrilled to see it emerge and sit up for it rising in my backyard.
Lastly, my Garrya elliptica, silk tassel bush, has flowers. Hooray! Just a few however I am thrilled. This huge, evergreen native shrub might be in an excessive amount of shade to ever be a prolific bloomer, but it surely’s pleased in any other case so it stays.
Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ emerges which makes me pleased. Our Podophyllum pleianthum, alternatively, has no signal of life and I concern it died. Time will inform. FM is extra hopeful, saying it is simply actually late.
Pachysanthum macrophyllum rising up via the Oxalis oregana. It is lastly, within the final week or two, grown and bloomed. That is normally in bloom by February. The basal foliage is evergreen, nevertheless its new foliage in late winter freshen it up an add to its woodland appeal, although the foliage is obscured on this instance by the oxalis.

The moss is pleased with the cool moist climate. I am pleased with the moss. Silver lining.
Edgeworthia chrysantha blooms made it via winter, a small miracle. Nonetheless a reasonably immature plant in my backyard, I sit up for a plethora of flowers because it ages.

Foliage of Asphodelus albus has been up for a number of weeks. Quickly it can have spikes of white flowers a couple of ft tall. From the Mediterranean, it likes solar however will tolerate half shade. It goes summer time dormant. From the Missouri Botanical Backyard’s web site, an fascinating little bit of historical past: 
In Greek mythology, the asphodel flower (species selections weren’t made in these days) was related to mourning, the underworld and dying. The souls of most deceased folks went to Asphodel Fields which was the resting place for the mass of unusual people who lived common lives. Asphodel was as soon as believed to be a favourite meals of the lifeless. In a extra fashionable vein, Professor Snape informs Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Thinker’s Stone that powdered root of asphodel is an ingredient in a sleeping potion often known as the Draught of Dwelling Loss of life. 

Good to know.
I understand this Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’ is just not a lot to take a look at however the outstanding factor is that when it loses its leaves in winter, virtually instantly new ones seem. It has been at this stage for a lot of weeks, so it wins the award for cheering me up and searching ahead to the eventuality the climate will catch up and spring actually can be right here. Plus it is so forgiving, adapting to solar or shade and has recent, teeny white flowers which can be simply starting to bloom. In additional solar its foliage takes on a golden solid and it actually brightens up this nook of my backyard.
Agave parryi ssp. parryi, one of some within the backyard. Even with wonderful drainage and planted on a slope most of those have a minimum of decrease leaf issues, some have rotten leaves all through. They are going to develop out of it when it warms up but it surely’s been a brutal winter for agaves basically round right here. I am fortunate, Portland pals had it a lot worse than we did.

Aaannnnd….cue the daffodils. Lastly.

Helleborus foetidus flowers. I’m excited to see seedlings at its base this spring, as I need to distribute this robust and wonderful plant all through my shade backyard.

Yucca gloriosa ‘Variegata’ all look fairly good regardless of the climate. I believe now that their trunks are attending to a sure measurement, they’re far sufficient from the bottom to keep away from pathogens splashing up onto the leaves when it is actually moist and chilly. That is my principle.
Hooray, the Ribes sanguineum, whose flower buds have been tightly closed for six weeks, is opening up.

Now for some ugly bits attributable to one other tremendous moist, lengthy and chilly winter. My Agave bracteosa has been just about spotless till this winter. I’ve since cleaned it up a bit and sit up for it (hopefully) recovering.

Grevillea ‘Neil Bell’ had a department cut up on the trunk. It did not rip aside, slightly simply leaned down. So, my experiment is to go away or not it’s and see what occurs. My first intuition was to chop it off however that would go away an open wound to try to heal within the worst climate, so I opted on the very least to go away it for defense till it warms up. Now, for the reason that leaves are nonetheless wholesome and it is blooming on each sections, I will wait and see. I’ll report again in a couple of months.

I’ve two Fatsia japonica ‘Spiders Net’ – this one was extra uncovered to snow and appears horrible. The opposite smaller one is below the cover of fir bushes which I consider stored it pretty snow free (a light-weight quantity in comparison with this one). It seems to be stunning. Hardiness is considerably depending on particular situations inside a backyard, it appears. Crops are endlessly fascinating.

Most of my Rosemarinus ‘Huntington Carpet’ seems to be like this. Darn. I’ve to consider this one. Related harm has occurred up to now which it grew out of. This feels worse, so I am leaning in the direction of eradicating them, however they’re fairly established, so it could be an enormous job. Plus, they only may bounce again.

OK, now onto FM chores. Right here is my hero, hanging out with the hens. He lets them out of their (third of an acre, thoughts you) pen a minimum of as soon as a day to get some recent grass within the orchard. You will discover the apparel, dressed for the Arctic. Sure, it has been that chilly right here.

Hens! We’re as much as 18 nowadays and so they hold us on our toes. And hold us in eggs, too. Hooray!

Considered one of our Acer macrophyllum had a big department break and get caught within the cover. FM managed to get it down safely, now I’ll use the biggest bit right here, some 10′ lengthy, within the shade backyard and plant ferns throughout it. How cool is that?

He was in a position one dry-ish day so as to add these brick steps to slightly slope that has been the supply of potential damage for a while. Thanks, FM, I adore it!

And the good factor is that this! We obtained a cistern. After all, we’re going to make a shell of the identical siding materials our home is manufactured from so it matches. It is 2500 gallons and is now formally hooked as much as our downspout that handles runoff from the west facet of this a part of our dwelling. 

We’re super-excited for slightly aid in the best way of water for summer time irrigation. It’s going to take a while to pay for itself but it surely’s one thing we have needed to do for a very long time, particularly because it’s solely getting drier in the summertime months. Is smart to try to seize a few of that winter runoff. Oh, and Annie is photobombing the shot for measurement reference. FM needed to take away three slightly giant shrubs and a patch of asters to make room, but it surely’s value it. The shrubs had been all replanted in different areas of the backyard, extra on that one other day.
That is a wrap for this week at Chickadee Gardens. As all the time thanks a lot for studying and commenting, we love listening to from you! Let’s all collectively cross our fingers for kinder climate this spring. I am prepared.


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