Friday, January 15, 2010

It won't stop raining this week, but in the nursery there's some non-gray color coming in. I took a few shots with my phone today... Here's Jose one of the plant buyers saying "Come on in, we' got all kinds of ... Primroses!" Cool color!

Is that the extent of it for winter color? I mean primroses are a great "workhorse" for winter color here in the northwest winter, but come on, is that all?

Not so fast!
I found a few cool things outside the primula family!

A few nice Hellebores that have a variation of bloom color as the bloom matures. Hellebore Niger 'Jacob' is a newer variety known for being an early bloomer with a tight growth habit. Our designer just used a grouping in a container last week and mixed it with a red-twig dogwood (Cornus Alba), a small purple-leafed Rhododendron "Thunder" and a golden Juniper pfitzeriana. It makes a nice hardy display. We'll be seeing how that new Hellebore goes works here in the shifting northwest climate.

Of course, for those cool, but sheltered areas, there's always the Cyclamen for bright reds, whites and pinks. As long as the wet freeze doesn't hit them for too long.


Friday, January 8, 2010

January Decisions...

Happy January!!

Out in the field, we are often tempted to do that late winter pruning as these January days hover in the 40's to low 50's. But hold back the pruners a bit from things like the Red-twig dogwood and Cotinus and don't go whacking that Miscanthus grass down quite yet. The swing from freeze to thaw and back are inevitable. Some selective cuts can be made, but the big work should be done in a month.

The other day, one of our landscape crew-leads was hovered over a few seed catalogs with highlighter and pencil in hand making some decisions about her spring vegetable garden. Despite what some may think, I've been reminded that early to mid January is the prime time to be purchasing (in store or on-line etc) those seeds that you'll want to have growing in April. If you want to do some veggie gardening, now is the time, especially if you are going to be one of the ambitious ones and start them in-doors. Many early vegetables need to be started in mid-february. So get started!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

After the freeze there is Life...

Back to work from a busy holiday season and in my garden today, I saw the heads of the first crocus peaking up! It was a good thing since the rest of the place looks like a flopped mess. THere are a few hebes around town that look worse for the ware, but we're just leaving them in (mostly) for now as January moves along. The really dead ones are coming out, but some could survive a hard late spring cut-back.

All day long the sky is a gloomy gray. Under the dirt its all sleeping. Or is it?...