The plants just keep getting better, and there was the wildlife!

Background information from Wikipedia:
Telopea truncata, commonly known as the Tasmanian waratah, is a plant in the family Proteaceae. It is endemic to Tasmania where it is found on moist acidic soils, similar to Western Washington west of the Cascades.  

The flower heads, known as inflorescences, are terminal—that is, they arise on the ends of small branches—and are surrounded by small inconspicuous hairy bracts.

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Lots of space needed for this beauty! 

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. 

More unique plants 

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:

Dan’s web presence
Monrovia Dan Hinkley collection

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.

Unwelcome visitor

This year I planted about 24 bean seeds three times. The first time the soil was too cold and they did not germinate. I think the same thing happened the second time. I have a tendency to rush the season, beans are cheap and I only plant 24 since I am feeding two people now. The third time, around the very end of May, they actually germinated and grew and I harvested them twice, but then Sunday night my husband forgot to close the gate and I did not check and overnight the open gate welcomed a deer into my garden. Deer love beans. It/they snacked on a few roses but totally took out the beans.

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