Another noteworthy specimen plant in Dan Hinkley’s garden is rhodocoma capensis plant from South Africa. This plant grows in the USDA zones 8-10. Dan said when we get an occasional snowfall the plant will go flat due to the weight of the snow, but will bounce back after snowmelt. We saw several varieties of this plant thriving in his garden.
One of several focal points in the Hinkley garden is a Dove tree. Dan explained that it was planted by previous gardener before he owned the property. The plant is originally from China and the the “doves” are actually white bracts.
To learn more about this rare plant collector follow these links:
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.
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.
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.