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Posts Tagged ‘Hamamelis mollis’

From a sunnier day: I think I forgot to post this lovely crocus, the first of the large ones, back by the bogsy woods.

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From February 6

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

A hard rain followed by light drizzle gave us a day off. The forecast suggests five more days of rain will follow.  I looked at last year’s spreadsheet and saw that, except for one Long Beach day at the end of January, we did not begin work till February 10th, so we have not fallen behind yet.  And we had so very much more to do last year.   Sea Star Gardening has taken on our Boreas Inn and Casa Pacifica jobs and Andersen’s RV Park was a huge spring clean up job that we no longer have (since owner Lorna sold the place in July of 2015). We have one less private garden as well, and Todd now cares for his brother Eric’s Wiegardt Gallery, so we have eight fewer days of garden clean up to do in February and March.  That makes me happy.

Before enacting my plan of settling in with a book, I took a walk around the front garden.  (I wish Smokey could have joined me.  He is still having to stay inside while his paw heals.  He is not a happy cat.)

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view from the porch

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Geranium macrorrhizum is certainly blooming early…

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Acanthus ‘Hollard’s Gold’ continuing to brighten the scene.

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Allan’s box of succulents

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double hellebores

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single white hellebore

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“black” hellebore

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way in the back of Allan’s garden, a hellebore that escaped having its tatty old leaves trimmed

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Hamamelis (witch hazel)

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moved these from the back patio to front garden last weekend…

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front path, looking east

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last year’s allium head blown into the garden

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last year’s alliums

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Many hellebores need to be turned up to see their greatest beauty.  They’d be best dangling over a wall.

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Crocus tommies are in a decline…soon to be followed by larger crocus.

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In the front garden, with the dark foliage of a “black” hellebore emerging at lower right

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Scrophularia variegata (variegated figwort sounds prettier) and hellebore.

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Japanese maple in a pot not looking very lively.

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Not happy about this great hellebore  being hidden behind the big pot.

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Love the bright new foliage of the lamprocapnos and the promise of flower bus

What, you might ask, is Lamprocapnos?  It is the new name for Dicentra, I am sorry to say.  You can read all about the change here, where I also learned its common names aside from Bleeding Heart, including “Venus’s Car, Lady’s Locket, Lyre Flower, Tearing Hearts, Our Lady in a Boat, Chinese Pants”

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grape hyacinth and a fern that needs trimming, backed with Euonymous ‘Wolong Ghost’

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Iris reticulata and some fine looking soil with good texture.  And a California poppu, lower right.

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first narcissi in the front garden

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Daphne buds backed with Azara microphylla variegata

For readers who’ve been enjoying the excerpts from my mother’s garden diaries of 20 some years ago, I’m sorry to say she did not make any entries for February 10th.

My plan for reading a book changed to reading and transcribing her diaries and scheduling them to appear, by month, at the end of each month of 2016.  I’ll continue to add pertinent posts to matching dates in my ongoing journal of the year.

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Allan brought back this photo of one of the Ilwaco planters today.

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“Look at the camera!” says Ed.  Ed and Jackson Strange came over for a minute but only Allan saw them; he was string trimming the lawn while I was indoors typing away.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

noon:  On this stormy day, I continued to be obsessed with transcribing my mother’s diaries, even though a gardening book arrived from the library that I am desperate to sit and read.  I am (surprisingly not frantically) concerned about being sent to a neurologist in March; as soon as my primary care RN invoked the words “possible brain tumor, benign or malignant”, I imagined going blind (as happened to a good friend and avid gardener, Mary F., who later died from her gioblastoma) and thought, “I must get these diaries set up NOW to publish once a month through 2016!”  Yesterday I completed transcibing them through May and hope to make much more progress today, while the gardening book by Dan Pearson taunts me from the other side of the room.  The monthly entry will include more illustrations and non-gardening posts than the daily share from her diary (which I am adding to my blog posts day by day).

I remember my mother getting many tests, including CAT scans, to try to get to the bottom of her dizziness (and migraines) and she never got a diagnosis that helped to cure her of the problem.  I find that mildly reassuring.  My primary care RNs other ideas were TIAs or “maybe just glucose” so…we shall see, as the results of assorted tests roll in.

Later: I got June, July and August and one year of September transcribed.  I am a fast (if not accurate) four finger typist.  Still, how do people sit at a desk all day?

Transcribing the month my father died was a poignant experience.

Here is my mom’s entry from 21 years ago today:

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1995 (age 70):

Feb 11: Supposed to be below freezing by tomorrow so: Finally I spread mulch on as many flower beds as I could before I ran out of mulch and strength.  (I got very dizzy and nauseated.)  I used all 5 bags of shredded leaves from last fall and recent shredding.  The stuff in old burn barrel was all composted below 1/3 of pile.

 

 

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Monday, 23 February 2015

After nine hours of exhausted sleep, I still found it rather hard to get going on my day-off garden projects.  Allan headed off in the early afternoon to float his boat around somewhere.

What to do?  The back patio certainly could use a good weeding:

Ruching out the weedy grass and leaving just the poppies would be a good patio project.

Ruching out the weedy grass and leaving just the poppies would be a good patio project.

In the spirit of procrastination, I was propping up the front fence telling a passing friend, landscaper Steve Clarke, how I planned to pull many the shotweed out of the front garden today, when my neighbours Jared and Jessika (of Starvation Alley Farm organic cranberry fame) appeared.  I asked them if they would mind if I made a half moon edger line down their side of my east fence and they said it would be fine.  So there was my day’s project, even though I had originally meant to spend the time removing fiddly little weeds.  Because Jared and Jessika were bundling their dogs into their vehicle, it would be a good time for me to dig the edge on their side of the fence without making the dogs feel trespassed upon.

I had a walkabout while questing for the red wheelbarrow.

crocuses in the back garden

crocuses in the back garden

a bad sight: hardy fuchsia with annoying orange montbretia popping up at the base.

a bad sight: hardy fuchsia with annoying orange montbretia popping up at the base.

Allan is lucky he went boating or I would have asked him to totally remove that fuchsia/montbretia combo for me.  I found the red wheelbarrow (just the right size so I don’t overfill it) in the bogsy woods with some river rock that Allan had been gathering for the swale.

By the gate into the neighbouring yard, I saw another project that needs doing: In several areas of the garden, I need to remove the rampant seedlings of “touch me not”, AKA jewelweed, policeman’s helmet, or wild impatiens, before it smothers good things.

a field of touch me not

a mess of touch me not

The project began at 1:30.

before, the east side of our fence

before, the east side of our fence

an hour and a half later, after removing two strips of sod

an hour and a half later, after removing two strips of sod

Jared and Jessika plan to till out a bed here for planting beans to grow on the fence.  Digging out the strip along the edge will benefit them, and it also greatly benefits me as the grass grows under the fence and makes the narrow garden bed on my side very hard to weed.  I did the same sort of edging outside the west fence (Nora’s back yard) earlier this year.  I have hope that the edging will help the maintenance with or without a bean bed.  Last summer, I edged along the fence down by the gear shed and the line has held up well since then.

This was a mess  last midsummer.

This was a mess last midsummer.

When the edging was done, my big plans for the day went awry as I went into the house, sat down, and did not manage to get up again for an hour or more.  By then, the sun’s angle was blinding for seeing little weeds.  I did remove some shotweed from the front garden, since I’d said I would, and then tried to return to the mission of weeding my side of the east fence.  By then, I’d missed the warm and balmy afternoon and the soil was cold and I was mad at myself for losing so much time to sitting (not even reading, just goofing around looking at Facebook on my iPhone!)

I was reminded of this poem:

Timothy Took His Time

by Frieda Wolfe

Timothy took his time to school and plenty of time he took

but some he lost at the tadpole pool and more at the stickleback brook

ever so much at the linnet’s nest and more at the five bar gate.

Timothy took his time to school but he lost it all and was late.

Timothy has a lot to do, how can it all be done?

He didn’t get home ’til close on 2 when he might have been home by 1.

There’s sums & writing & spelling too and an apple tree to climb.

Timothy has a lot to do, how shall he find the time?

Timothy sought it high and low, he looked in the tadpole pool

To see if they’d taken the time to grow, that he’d lost on the way to school.

He found the nest and he found the tree and he found the gate he’d crossed

But Timothy never shall find (ah me!) the time that Timothy lost!

I dawdled a bit more by walking around admiring plants.

Lonicera standishii has been blooming for weeks.

Lonicera standishii has been blooming with small ultra fragrant white flowers for weeks.

Sedum 'Xenox'

Sedum ‘Xenox’

narcissi backed with hellebore

narcissi backed with hellebore

another hellebore

another hellebore

Sorbaria sorbifolia 'Sem, given to me by Sheila.

Sorbaria sorbifolia ‘Sem, given to me by Sheila.

It's supposed to be a runner, which is why it's back by the bogsy woods.  There it is, running, with a kazillion baby touch me nots.

It’s supposed to be a runner, which is why it’s back by the bogsy woods. There it is, running, with a kazillion baby touch me nots that need pulling.

I further procrastinated by looking for growth on the plants given us by Todd.

I further procrastinated by looking for growth on the plants given us by Todd.

I am embarrassed to say that when watering in the greenhouse, I found a dried up little Garnet Wiegela from Todd, in a little pot in which I had planted it to give it time to grow on, and which had gotten shoved behind another plant and dried up.  Sorry, Todd!  Very careless.

Hellebore 'Golden Sunrise', still a baby

Hellebore ‘Golden Sunrise’, still a baby

I pondered whether to cut the hardy fuchsia, below, all the way to the ground, or just trim the ends off since the branches are putting out new growth.  I like fuchsias to be tall. But the new basal growth looks lush. Such musings can use a lot of time.

hardy fuchsia

hardy fuchsia

The ribes (flowering currants) are starting to show some colour.

The ribes (flowering currants) are starting to show some colour.

I returned to crocus admiration, after noticing that the Corylopsis pauciflora is in bloom.

I returned to crocus admiration, after noticing that the pale yellow Corylopsis pauciflora is in bloom right above this patch.

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You may note a lot of twiggy debris on the soil.  I’m influenced by two gardeners in that regard.  Ann Lovejoy recommended the “chop and drop” method of garden clean up.  And Anne Wareham’s book The Bad-Tempered Gardener firmly makes the point that it is senseless to haul debris to a compost heap, let it break down, and then haul it back into the garden.  Unfortunately, I cannot use this brilliant method of gardening at work because most of our gardens are public and people expect to see neat and tidy soil in winter.

To the obnoxious former neighbour who cried "Why PURPLE?" when we painted our house:  This is just one of many reasons.

To the obnoxious former neighbour who cried “Why PURPLE?” when we painted our house: This is just one of many reasons.

Pulmonaria in Allan's garden

Pulmonaria in Allan’s garden

Impatiens omeiana already popping up among the black mondo grass in Allan's garden

Impatiens omeiana already popping up among the black mondo grass in Allan’s garden

a handsome hellebore

a handsome hellebore

In the front garden, a potted, struggling daphne had put out some incredibly fragrant flowers.

In the front garden, a potted, lopsided, struggling daphne had put out some incredibly fragrant flowers.

It looked to me like deer have been putting their heads over the low front fence and tasting these tulips.

It looked to me like deer have been putting their heads over the low front fence and tasting these tulips.

I searched the garden for an old piece of birdcage to protect the tulips.

I searched the garden for an old piece of birdcage to protect the tulips.

a line of early species tulips coming up in the front garden

a line of early species tulips coming up in the front garden

Oh dear, one of TWO big clumps of epimidium that I have not cut back to let the flowers show.

Oh dear, one of TWO big clumps of epimidium in Allan’s garden that I have not cut back to let the flowers show.

Hamamelis mollis in front garden, smells like apricots

Hamamelis mollis in front garden, smells like apricots

haze of yellow Hamamelis mollis flowers

haze of yellow Hamamelis mollis flowers

Ribes speciosum in the front garden

Ribes speciosum in the front garden

grass path toward back garden, where I SHOULD be, weeding the east edge

grass path toward back garden, where I SHOULD be weeding the east edge

I ponder how I could get more garden space by narrowing the lawn, but there is something comfortable and expansive about the wide swathe of green.

By now, you can just imagine how much of the time that I took out into the garden today has been lost without much getting done.  At five o clock, I entered the fray of weeding the narrow east bed.

It was a mess.

It was a mess.

The first bit I tackled had that horrible grass, not couch or quack grass but another one with tiny, tightly meshed roots.  It is tightly matted around the base of an old lilac, and the soil feels tight, too.

It's a tight mess.

It’s a tight mess.

Adding some mulch would help loosen this soil so that the roots slip out easier.  Right now, it’s a misery to weed in cold, damp soil.

My beautiful Drymis winteri cheered me up.

My beautiful Drymis winteri cheered me up.

It's blooming!

It’s blooming!

Seems early for such fat buds on Clematis 'Crystal Fountain', whose tag says "blooms June through September".

Seems early for such fat buds on Clematis ‘Crystal Fountain’, whose tag says “blooms June through September”.

By dusk, I had the narrow bed looking not perfect, but much better.

By dusk, I had the narrow bed looking not perfect, but much better.

Allan said last night that he wondered why gardeners back east, when reading Pacific Northwest gardening blogs, don’t all move here when they see how mild our winters are.

 Because I got so much less accomplished today than I had wished, I long for tomorrow off, as well.  It cannot be, because there are still gardens where we have not even begun spring clean up.  I swear that next year I will have more time to spend at home where I am happiest.  I swore that last year, too, and the year before.  Life is short and I simply must figure out how to make it happen.

 Next:  Allan’s day off on the water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We went from this on Saturday, 8 February….(which is my excuse to stick in this photo I forgot, sent to me by Garden Tour Nancy)…

Nancy and Phil's garden and home in snow

Nancy and Phil’s garden and home in snow

…to warmer temperatures and rain, then 60 mph winds on the evening and into the night of 11 February.   We got an email confirmation that we are officially IN the Garden Bloggers Fling!

pdx fling logo revised

During the rainy days of Sunday and Monday, I did much reading, including a small book called “Living By Water.”  The same author wrote I Want to be Left Behind, a memoir I read not long ago and would have given ten Goodreads stars if I could!

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from Living by Water

from Living by Water

On rainy Tuesday, 11 February,  I frittered away hours of valuable daylight reading time doing accounting and then helping a friend sort out some Facebook intricacies. In the evening,  Allan and I went out to a birthday party at the Lightship Restaurant.  Inside, because of its stout thick walls, we could not even hear the wind slashing though the parking lot.  Patricia Moss, art historian, was the guest of honour.

Patricia's 65th...with the birthday girl hidden from view.

Patricia’s 65th…with the birthday girl hidden from view.

left side:  Pat, and Eugene and Barbara, who have a wonderful garden at the north end of the Peninsula what Allan and I saw in its beginning stages.    To the right, Allan, then Joe Chasse, local artist and entertaining eccentric, and Heather, owner of my favourite gift shop ever, NIVA green in Long Beach.

Here’s the birthday girl!

Patricia's cake arrives

Patricia’s cake arrives

applause, and a big hello to Ann, to Patricia's right, who reads this blog.  Thanks, Ann!

applause, and a big hello to Ann, to Patricia’s right, who also reads this blog. Thanks, Ann!

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The elegant and delicious cranberry carrot cake was by Pink Poppy Bakery!

The folks who had to drive to the north end left a little early to avoid potentially falling trees.  Wind roared around our house later in the evening as we cozily watched an excellent episode of Midsomer Murders (“A Rare Bird”), and the power stayed on.  We both stayed up quite late reading, as we were sure the next day would live up to its prediction of much rain.

But….NO!

The sun peeking in the curtains woke me at eight thirty on Wednesday, 12 February, after not nearly enough sleep. I fretted for awhile as I tried to adjust to a completely different plan from a day of reading.  I had been so sure we would have several more bad weather days in a row.  I can’t say I was displeased, though, as had been itching to get to the Wiegardt Gallery in Ocean Park to clean up the messy ornamental grasses.  By eleven o clock, we were there.

Wiegardt Gallery before

Wiegardt Gallery before

after

an early rhododenron

an early rhododendron

grassy beds...during clean up

grassy beds…during clean up

after

and after

sword ferns by the gallery, before...

sword ferns by the gallery, before…

and after

and after

Thus begins the ritual trimming of sword ferns in many gardens.  I was actually too hot trimming ferns against the house and traded jobs with Allan.  I was wishing I had my summer shirt with me.  It was 52 degrees!  Might as well have been midsummer!

Next, at the Oman Builders Supply Ocean Park store, we trimmed the dead flower stalks off of Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ and cut down some small ornamental grasses.

I picked a new angle for the weekly photos...looking north!

I picked a new angle for the weekly photos…looking north!

We had over two hours of daylight left so we decided we could start on the spring clean up at Klipsan Beach Cottages; at least we would get part of it done before Presidents Day Weekend, a big three day holiday coming up fast on the 15th-17th.

At KBC:  Allan talks to Mary-mom with Bella in the foreground.

At KBC: Allan talks to Mary-mom with Bella in the foreground.
Luis had also come for his first work day, pruning the raspberry patch.

Luis had also come for his first work day, pruning the raspberry patch.

Allan begins the mission of cutting grasses, Sedum 'Autumn Joy', and some sword ferns

Allan begins the mission of cutting grasses, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, and some sword ferns

after

after

warm tones of Sedum 'Autumn Joy' dead flowers...before the chop.

warm tones of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ dead flowers…before the chop.

Outside the deer fence in the big lawn garden area, I found several harbingers of spring.

outside the deer fence: Euphorbia characias wulfenii

outside the deer fence: Euphorbia characias wulfenii

Iris reticulata

Iris reticulata

Hamamelis..winter witch hazel

Hamamelis..winter witch hazel

Its little spidery flowers smell like apricots.

Its little spidery flowers smell like apricots.

a curve of white heather

a curve of white heather

But o! sadness:  A Hellebore has lost its blooms, perhaps to the hard freeze we had last week, or perhaps to a blight.  The leaves looked pretty clean so I think it was just the cold that hurt the flowers.

that is sad!

that is sad!

I plan on a quest very soon to get more hellebores.

I went over the the big, woodsy A Frame garden to see if the vast sweeps of Narcissi are up yet.

There are hundreds of bulbs planted in this area...

There are hundreds of bulbs planted in this area…

and dozens along the deck

and dozens along the deck

a few narcissi and crocus...

a few narcissi and crocus…

some Muscari (grape hyacinth)

some Muscari (grape hyacinth)

the new bed we dug out at the end of the 2013 work season

the new bed we dug out at the end of the 2013 work season

with some Narcissi foliage emerging

with some Narcissi foliage emerging

The ivy behind that bed is, unfortunately, on the neighbour’s property.  Or perhaps fortunately, because otherwise I would surely be pulling it out.

We focused mostly on tidying up inside the deer fence garden.  We like to leave the ferns in the woodsier areas untrimmed until after the busy Presidents Day Weekend as they go through an awkward stage till the new fronds begin to charmingly unfurl.

looking into the tidied fenced garden

looking into the tidied fenced garden

deer

I hope the Meliathus major returns next to the greenhouse...

I hope the Meliathus major returns next to the greenhouse…

I limbed up the bay tree...as seen on TV (maybe The Victory Garden show).

I limbed up the bay tree…as seen on TV (maybe The Victory Garden show).

Fingers crossed that Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Steroidal Giant' still has some life in it.

Fingers crossed that Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Steroidal Giant’ still has some life in it.

On impulse, we stopped at The Depot Restaurant for dinner (burger night, including portobello mushroom burgers) and on our way out, who should we see but Denny, Mary, and her mom (also Mary) at the window table.  Mary-mom celebrated her 95th birthday last fall!

the cast of KBC

the cast of KBC

Now as I finish this blog entry, I can hear the spring peepers (little frogs) outside in the ditch behind the bogsy woods.  More rain is due and another spate of 60 mph wind.  I am just hoping for another surprise nice day tomorrow so we can do some more clean up at the Depot garden, Long Beach, and The Anchorage Cottages before the big tourist weekend.

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In our garden, and as we return to work:  Flowers in bloom on the Long Beach Peninsula from  January to February 15th.

On January 10th we attended a going away party at Olde Towne Café for our friend Patt.  Below, you can see how many edible flowers were blooming in our garden on that day, as I used them to garnish the potluck bowl of tabouli.

tabouli with calendula, violas and borage

tabouli with calendula, pansies, violas and borage

After that, heavy frost finally arrived and took down those lingering flowers.

29 January: first signs of spring in Ilwaco at Jennifer Hopkins' accounting office

29 January: first signs of spring in Ilwaco at Jennifer Hopkins’ accounting office on Lake Street

1 Feb, Judy's bulb markers

1 Feb, Judy’s bulb markers

Tom and Judy, our neighbours four doors down, use toothbrush handles to mark where they have planted bulbs.  This has led to many questions over the years about the purpose of said handles, especially when their garden was on tour last summer!  I love the look of tiny little spears of foliage emerging from the ground.

1 Feb in our garden, Euphorbia showing colour

1 Feb in our garden, Euphorbia showing colour

1 February in our garden, crocus

1 February in our garden, crocus

1 Feb: Hellebore in our garden

1 Feb: Hellebore in our garden

1 Feb, Hellebore in our garden

1 Feb, Hellebore in our garden

The Northwest Perennial Alliance used to have a member’s “Hellebore Walk” garden open every early spring.  I am working on a Hellebore walk in our garden but am not sure anyone would want to walk through on our boggy ground while they are in bloom.

Narcissus cantabricus, the white form of "Yellow Hoop Petticoats" (Narcissus bulbicodium), in bloom by our garage since late December

the first flower

3 Feb:  Narcissus cantabricus, the white form of “Yellow Hoop Petticoats” (Narcissus bulbicodium), has been in bloom by our garage since late December.

6 Feb, the very first Narcissus in the very northeast corner of our garden.

6 Feb, the first larger Narcissus in the very northeast corner of our garden.

6 Feb, Ranunculus ficaria in our garden

6 Feb, Ranunculus ficaria in our garden

Above:  This ranunculus with the pretty name of lesser celandine is not a nasty thug like the dreaded creeping buttercup.  I have read that it can be a bit thuggish, though.  I got it from my mother’s garden where it had been planted by the previous owner who (name dropping for locals) was the sister-in-law of beloved Senator Sid Snyder.  So I have ranunculus with a Snyder connection!

7 February, Iris reticulata in our garden

7 February, Iris reticulata in our garden

8 Feb, a crocus and a bee in our garden

8 Feb, a crocus and a bee in our garden

On February 8th we had to stir ourselves out of our own staycation world and go back to work.  The reward: early flowers in the Long Beach planters.

10 Feb: Long Beach

8 Feb: Long Beach

12 February: back to work.

Above, crocuses in bloom on February 12th at the Time Enough Books garden at the Port of Ilwaco.

On February 15th we made it to our favourite job, Klipsan Beach Cottages.

15 February crocus at KBC

15 February crocus at KBC

15 Feb: crocus and bee at KBC

15 Feb: crocus and bee at KBC

For more about bees, check out the expertise of our friend Julie Tennis, who could tell you what kind of bee the above is, or if it is even a bee at all.

15 Feb at KBC

15 Feb: crocuses at KBC

15 Feb: Iris reticulata at KBC

15 Feb: Iris reticulata at KBC

I had to bring Mary, KBC owner, all the way down from her deck and across the lawn to smell the thrilling cloud of apricot scent handing around the Hamamelis (witchhazel) by the road to the cottages.

15 Feb, Hamamelis mollis at KBC

15 Feb, Hamamelis mollis at KBC

15 Feb:  Rhodo at KBC

15 Feb: Rhodo at KBC

15 February at KBC

15 February: Euphorbia at KBC

15 February: the first of what will be many narcissi at KBC

15 February: the first of what will be many narcissi at KBC

15 Feb in my garden, shiny glossy yellow crocus

15 Feb in my garden, shiny glossy yellow crocus

The first of the tiny bulbs started to bloom on our patio on my latest plant table.

15 Feb in my garden

15 Feb in my garden

15 Feb: my window view with Maddy

15 Feb: my window view with Maddy

On February 16th, The Basket Case reopened for the season with some primroses and violas and pansies.  This is a fine local collector’s nursery, partly because they let me chose cool plants to order from the Blooming catalog.

16 Feb: primroses at The Basket Case

16 Feb: primroses at The Basket Case

My favourite primroses are the ones with the delicate picotee edges like the pink one in the foreground above. While the ruffled pansies for sale are lovely, I prefer the tinier violas because they hold up to February and March pelting rain much better.

16 Feb: pansies vs. voilas

16 Feb: pansies vs. voilas

primroses and shop cat

primroses and shop cat

I took the telephoto shot below from my window at the end of a workday when I was tired.  There is actually more space between the Euphorbia (always one of the first perennials to bloom, spectacularly and at length) and the clean debris pile against the east fence.

16 Feb: Euphorbia characias wulfenii

16 Feb: Euphorbia characias wulfenii

At the same moment, the sun shone and I captured that perfect promising greenness of spring; on the same day I became aware that the evening frog chorus had begun on the meander line at the south end of our property.

16 Feb: spring green

16 Feb: spring green

I have never agreed with the way the year is divided into seasons.  To me, winter is November, December and January (NOT December 21st through March 21st) and spring is February, March and April (NOT March 21st through June 21st!).

My mind boggles at the wonders of technology when I can go out into the garden and take photos with my phone, and by the time I sit back down they have flown up into iCloud and are already waiting for me in iPhoto.

18 Feb: Hellebores in our garden

18 Feb: Hellebores in our garden

18 Feb: Hellebore

18 Feb: Hellebore

18 Feb: "black" Hellebore

18 Feb: “black” Hellebore

18 Feb: Hamamelis 'Diane' in our garden

18 Feb: Hamamelis ‘Diane’ in our garden

18 Feb: my young Hamamelis mollis

18 Feb: my young Hamamelis mollis

18 Feb: crocuses in our front garden

18 Feb: crocuses in our front garden

And on our front porch, the basket that Nancy from The Basket Case gave me for my birthday in March 2010 has returning narcissi and pansies!

My Basket Case basket

My Basket Case basket

(I put the old garden tool in there to keep the cats from sitting in it.)

Next:  Some actual work!

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