Six On Saturday — February 26

Six months have passed quickly since I posted about these gardens. I haven’t neglected reading about other gardens, but it’s been very refreshing to take a break from writing. Recently I’ve felt the urge to dive back in. Autumn and most of winter were as busy as usual here, although at the end of October I experienced a serious hamstring injury which reduced the amount of time I could spend leaning over and cleaning up the garden. Spring is less than a month away, snowdrops, crocuses, and primroses are blooming, and soon I’ll have to make up for what I neglected. Thankfully, I’m fully recovered and back to “normal.” 😉

ONE – Winter 2021-22 has brought some snow to the Pacific Northwest, mostly around the holidays. Right now about half an inch of snow blankets the shady parts of Coppertop. This weekend’s warming trend should put an end to that. At the turn of the new year and today:

TWO – My hope is to get into the rose garden when the slope isn’t slick or icy and begin the pruning there. A week ago I took this rather sad before shot of over 20 rose bushes and some perennials that await me:

THREE – I began starting flower seeds in the garden shed at the very end of January. The perennials and annuals I started are intended for another May Master Gardener plant sale. Germination was a success, but a double whammy of travel and a voracious mouse have done in some of my seedlings. Plenty of dianthus, delphiniums, digitalis, hollyhocks, and others survived, but the cosmos and sweet peas were decimated. It’s hard not to be discouraged. Various mouse elimination strategies have been deployed! The long row of heated seed starts, and evidence of mice:

FOUR – One of the larger snowstorms dumped over a foot overnight, and our precious willow tree by the pond suffered severe breakage of its upper limbs. Rather than have it look off-kilter and be prone to further damage, we radically pruned or pollarded it. It’s sad for right now, but anyone who grows willows knows how quickly it will rebound. Pictured in the center below:

FIVE – The travel I mentioned earlier included a few days at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle — a tradition with special girlfriends. I thoroughly enjoy the seminars, display gardens, shopping, and time with friends. Returning this year were the glorious Fleurs de Villes displays, all made with fresh flowers and rejuvenated daily:

SIX – I recently returned from the final leg of my trip visiting North Carolina. My eldest daughter’s family is living there for one year while completing another round of studies. The Duke University Gardens were gorgeous even in winter, with highly-fragrant Edgeworthia chrysantha shrubs throughout, bridges over water features, a stellar children’s garden, and a bamboo forest for climbing grandsons.

The Six on Saturday weekly meme was started by The Propagator in the U.K. a few years ago and continues to encourage gardeners worldwide. Visit more posts here:

31 thoughts on “Six On Saturday — February 26

  1. I’m glad to see you back, March. Your energy is contagious!!! When you attended to your ‘wounded’ willow, I hope you left the trunk etc that you cut off as a partial wildlife tree in your garden? Birds, insects, and small mammals need wildlife trees; we’re trying to encourage people around here, in Vancouver, to leave what is uprooted or cut down as wildlife trees.

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    • Hi Sabine. Good to see you! We’re grateful the wildlife have no shortage of stumps, broken trunks, and branches on our land. And we’ve moved the broken willow branches to an edge of the wild area here where they can do some good. 😉 Sounds like Vancouver has it right.


  2. Good Day! Oh my, it has been a while. I still have not made my trip to the Pacific Northwest! I was supposed to be there months ago, and then to Southern California prior to about now. It is a long story. I may actually get there within two weeks or so. I want to get to Silverdale before the apple trees bloom, so that I can prune a few at my Pa’s farm. They have not bloomed here yet, and are likely a bit later there.

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      • Ha! I just got off the telephone with him. I still hope to get there prior to bloom, but may need to prune stone fruit trees while blooming. Gads! I hate to do it, but am concerned that they may collapse from the weight of the fruit without pruning. I am not at all concerned about the quality of fruit. I just do not want the trees to get any more disfigured than they already are. Cherry trees do not get too heavy, so I could delay their pruning. I suppose it is not as bad as it sounds, since there are only about three or four stone fruit trees besides the cherries; a pair of Italian prunes and two types of plum. The yellow plum may be gone now.

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  3. Good to get an update March. So sad that your willow was damaged, but it will be as big as ever by next year, I bet! We had to cut the top out of one that got damaged by wind last spring, and by the summer you couldn’t tell. 😃

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  4. Good to see you back! Beautiful photos from the flower show and your seedlings hold so much promise. The mice are frustrating, but I see many healthy starts remaining.
    No sense in rushing that cleanup 😉 the snow should melt, things will need to dry out… you’ll be out there in no time!

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    • Such encouragement, Frank! Yes, somehow it all gets done. And what doesn’t get done, wasn’t crucial anyway. I’ve been admiring your garden from afar, as usual. Seems like your winter has been milder than normal, but others may disagree. Ah, those snowdrops!

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  5. What a great post – full of interest! I am green with jealousy over your very well organised propagating benches. Wow! Such a shame that you suffered losses while you were away, but hopefully you can ‘make good’? And those pictures of the Seattle show – wish I could have seen that! But at least I have your pictures!

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    • Cathy, it has been great to have the space in the garden shed for all the lights and mats and seedlings. I do look forward to this time of year for the propagating involved. Your own frosty scenes are absolutely gorgeous. Your tidiness is exemplary.

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