Dan Hinkley’s unique garden

My garden club has a reputation for organizing many interesting field trips every year. Being relatively new to the area (six years already) I have enjoyed this type of orientation to the local gardening world. I really didn’t know about Dan before we went on the trip, but judging from previous trips with this group, I just knew it would be fun! It did not disappoint. 

A garden needs to have acreage to be able to grow several types of bamboo. That is just one of the many unique features of Dan Hinkley’s hidden garden on the waterfront. Dan told us about bamboo the pandas eat and how to cook bamboo shoots! He broke off one and handed it to us for inspection.  As we wandered about, I noticed that none of the plants were labeled but every question about variety or source location brought an in depth answer. Many of the plants on the property were started as seeds collected in places like Japan, China or Tasmania. 

Plants for Pollinators Among the Peas

Every fall I sow crimson clover cover crop to avoid rain compacted soil in spring. Most of the crimson clover gets turned in around February 15th a few weeks before sowing Cascadia Sugar Snap Peas and Oregon Sugar Snap II. I always leave a few of these plants to get to the bloom stage and hope that the bloom time coincides with the pea blooms. This year I have seen the first pea blooms today from seeds sown March 14. That date is several weeks later than usual in my Western Washington raised beds but this past winter was a record wet winter and I feared planting earlier would result in rotting seeds. I am happy that I waited this year because now the peas are ready to bloom. 

Winter weather has us shivering

The Pacific Northwest is in one of the coldest winters of the last decade. Last year was the winter that wasn’t. This year my ground is frozen and the air temps have gone down to 20- 29* F overnight for the past two weeks. I do still have Snowdrops trying to push up and bloom and a few Helebores getting ready to bloom also. I think a weather shift is coming however. We expect rain and relatively warm weather later this week.

More fuchsias today

I wrote an article on hardy fuchsias for Westsound Home and Garden a few months ago and  during my research, I got really hooked on these plants. I always like to grow a few plants before I write because I like the first hand experience.    Before I moved west, I was only familiar with the annual types of fuchsias. How limiting was that! Here are a few more in bloom today.