Tuesday, February 14, 2017

In between rains

A deluge ended last week and another one is expected to begin late tonight but the weather this past week has been fantastic. I think everyone is hoping that the nasty snow and ice business is behind us. The mornings always start out cold here - a wet cold - uncomfortable enough that I put on a thermal undershirt. Around noon, however, I am shedding that as temperatures have been approaching the upper 50s. It has been beautifully sunny too. 

I have been out in the garden - planting, pruning and building. Although there has been lots of rain, our soil drains so well that it never feels wet or soggy. 

A few weeks ago, I finished this project - an arbor to cover our garbage and recycling bins. Of course, I have an ulterior motive for it - climbing plants! I have planted clematis 'Bill McKenzie' to grow over it and will maybe mix in another clematis or a rose. I still may add doors to this if I can figure out a way to do it.



I also planted Canadian hemlock 'Emerald Fountain' (Tsuga canadensis 'Monler') on one side.


I finally got a row of Arborvitae 'Smaragd' planted on the west side of the house. This is a strip that is only about 6 feet wide. We wanted something to provide some shade in the summer and help cool the house. Do you see the strange limb hanging from the mature arbovitae in the background? That is from the snow storm a few weeks ago.


Less gardening space means finding plants that stay narrow. Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Green Arrow' is a recent find.

 

It seems that everything I planted last year needs to be moved. I am constantly questioning where plants should go. It never ends. It is also rose pruning time.


Now it is on to one of my bigger projects - landscaping the hillside in back of the house.  Right now it doesn't look like much but the final vision in my head features terraced beds, steps and maybe even a rock wall at the top. I am desperate for some division and garden rooms. Right now, everything just runs together.


I started digging steps today. This is scary but exciting work. I do not have a knack for this type of thing and I am not precise enough to do it the way a professional would. Just trying to figure out what type of rock to use drives me nuts. I told Michael that maybe I should just hire a professional designer to help me with this and he said I was crazy. So, now I am ready to work and the rains begin again. Fun!



Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Garden Share Sunday: The Oregon Garden

The Oregon Garden, Silverton, OR 
The Oregon Garden in Silverton is a great garden to visit in the middle of winter because of the fantastic conifer collection. I visited in January of 2015 and have never been any other time of year but maybe I will remedy that this year. 

If you would like to share, post a link in the comments section.


The Oregon Garden, Silverton, OR

The Oregon Garden, Silverton, OR

The Oregon Garden, Silverton, OR

The Oregon Garden, Silverton, OR


The Oregon Garden, Silverton, OR


Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy