Observations

Observations

Between March 1 and June 13 we’ve got had 15.25 inches of rain. We skilled the wettest April on file at 5.75 inches; the typical is 2.89. The typical annual rainfall complete is round 37 inches. We have already had 47.27 inches for the Portland space and we nonetheless have 4 months left within the “water 12 months,” which begins October 1. We additionally loved not less than a dozen days at 15 levels beneath common temperature. Oh, and keep in mind the 8 inches of snow we had in mid-April? One other file. 

The place’s the solar? 

That is the third wettest interval on file for our area ever, so says our native meteorologist. It is chilly and moist, certain, however this time final 12 months we have been coping with file excessive temperatures and continued drought. Final April was the driest on file. As irritating because it all is, the sample of extremes appears to be the traditional course these previous a long time. All I can do is observe and report on the backyard whereas propagating the hardest of the crops that may deal with extremes. Here is a snapshot of some observations at Chickadee Gardens the place we pray for dry climate and golden sunshine.

Tetrapanax, rudbeckia, Solidago ‘Fireworks’ and extra have quite a lot of foliage happening. This can be a theme proper now, i.e., a lot of foliage and never a lot in the way in which of flowers. This space, nevertheless, has many late summer time blooming crops.

The vegetable backyard is just about non-existent. That’s, till we’ve got some first rate solar. Two tilled areas, this one and one within the distance plus 4 raised beds in between have been planted with begins from the greenhouse in addition to seeds straight into the soil. The corn is up however not a lot else. My cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage begins needed to be replanted as a result of they perished within the chilly, moist mud. Onion and shallot seedlings are additionally struggling whereas the few tomatoes we’ve got snigger at us as they die. Nonetheless, I press on hoping for solar. The artichokes that often have dozens of flowers by now have three, and three of the six crops have but to emerge – doubtless useless from root rot. Lettuces are on fireplace, although, and regardless of the slugs, the radishes have been considerable.

The orchard is an unknown at this level. Our Bing cherry had nice new leaves then when the April snow hit, all of them curled up and went black and died a number of weeks later. Now there are substitute leaves, however I do not know if the tree is on its means out. The Van cherry subsequent door seems to be high-quality. Apples and pears appear to have suffered from April snow exhibiting little indicators of fruit. Our raspberries are fully useless though they could have one thing occurring within the soil – some pathogen or simply too moist too heavy too chilly soil. FM is constructing raised beds and we’ll fill them with contemporary clear soil that’s well-drained and check out once more. Meals crops want solar and are, in a phrase, struggling. The gooseberries look nice, nevertheless. Additionally, I feel I harvested three ripe strawberries at present.

A favourite evergreen shrub (silver foliage) for full solar and sizzling sizzling sizzling south dealing with mirrored warmth, Atriplex halimus, went stomach up. That is the world it stuffed up till February. We reduce it again tremendous laborious, that stump is what stays.

A troublesome to see picture as a result of the leaves are so miniscule, the Atriplex halimus has life regardless of appearances. I maintain out hope. A idiot’s hope nevertheless it’s hope. That was one enormous shrub so I’m hoping the roots are alive. This previous 12 months it feels as if I’m observing my backyard die little by little. A lot of my time spent is fixing issues, taking out useless materials, cleansing up fallen tree particles, cursing slugs. The enjoyment, to be trustworthy, has been laborious to come back by. So I cling to somewhat little bit of hope right here and there for a number of favorites which have seen higher days.

The “garden” is just too moist to mow so all of it seems to be shaggy. That is okay, the least of my worries.

Buddleia globosa has grown significantly and has blooms this 12 months. It did not thoughts the rain in any respect.

Calycanthus ‘Hartlage Wine’ has extra buds than ever, additionally appreciating further moisture.

A dwarf type of Pinus strobus, these have a forest of recent development. They positively responded properly to further rain.

Lupines usually have fared properly and are trying high-quality. I significantly like this coloration. Talking of pinks, one other commentary is that some crops that bloom white have began out pinkish this 12 months. Two examples are Dianthus hispanicus, a reliably white species carnation began out pale pink this 12 months, fading to white. One other instance is Spiraea betulifolia ‘Tor’. Is the rain responsible? I don’t know.

Within the heart of this backyard there’s now a stump of what was a Salix gracilistyla ‘Melanostachys’. It up and died inside the span of per week. I do not know for sure what prompted its decline however I believe borers of some kind as there have been no indicators of blight or critter injury on the roots. Not an enormous loss as these surrounding shrubs will fill in shortly and obscure the opening within the heart. 

Plenty of inexperienced, not quite a lot of bloom. Often it is a sea of flower coloration this time of the 12 months. Limnanthes douglasii (Douglas’ meadowfoam) are the white and yellow flowers within the foreground, heart which have been in bloom for weeks, actually. They’ve by no means gone this lengthy for me – and it isn’t simply this location, they’re all around the backyard simply starting to wind down. The creeping thyme alongside the sting of the trail on the left seems to be good, nevertheless there’s a fairly bigger space of it simply out of shot on a slight slope that’s struggling, barely pushing out inexperienced. It does that yearly, going semi-dormant in winter then about April it fills out properly as this one pictured has. It will likely be high-quality nevertheless it’s most likely six weeks behind the place it often is that this time of the 12 months.

The Arctostaphylos ‘Ghostly’ foreground proper has thrived with an abundance of recent development. In actual fact, all of my arctostaphylos have responded positively to the climate, which is kind of a shock. This explicit plant additionally responded with fast development in the course of the warmth dome final 12 months – that’s to say it appeared comfortable in each extremes and regarded horrible throughout our common climate. 

There are three gigantic crops on this shot – Melianthus main, entrance and heart, behind it a Romneya coulteri and behind it a cardoon. All three are far delayed and are 1/4 the dimensions they often are this time of the 12 months, however they’re alive and rising.

Arbutus menzesii, our native madrone tree (this was a volunteer), had misplaced many leaves and was trying fairly scrappy this winter, nevertheless it loooves this rain. Take a look at all this new development.

The dry backyard has fared okay, all of those Mediterranean and domestically native summer time dry crops have placed on quite a lot of foliage development and are having a delayed bloom time. Baptisia australis on the precise simply started blooming. Santolinas within the background are lined in buds and floppy new foliage, I’m glad I reduce them again pretty laborious in early spring.

Salix repens var. argentea, as with most salix within the backyard, is kind of comfortable about all of the rain.

Sedums usually appear pretty unchanged. 

Phlomis russelliana is lastly blooming and fairly bountiful this 12 months.

Kniphofia thompsonii has settled in and is sending out very tall flower spikes this 12 months, which is nice as a result of the encompassing foliage is fairly tall proper now. Different tall spiky crops corresponding to eremerus are very late and haven’t began blooming but, however quickly.

Teucrium chamaedrys, the three small inexperienced shrubs on the left are nonetheless considered one of my prime 10 favorites for ease of care and wonder. They weren’t visibly modified in any respect by the chilly moist spring nor warmth dome. They’ve been constantly good-looking evergreen small shrubs and once they bloom the bumble bees are somewhat loopy for them. Whereas they obtain no further water from me in summer time, they didn’t thoughts the water that fell from the sky. The one upkeep is pruning them in late winter to form them, however that is not solely vital however I love to do it to take care of a compact kind. The Cotinus ‘Pink Champage’, the purple leaved shrub within the heart, had a number of branches that both didn’t produce leaves in any respect or the leaf nodes are sitting in a suspended state. It grew leaves very late this 12 months nevertheless it has since almost caught up with the place it often is that this time of the 12 months. Simply barely seen on the far left heart the peach-colored Helianthemum ‘Cheviot’ together with the opposite helianthemums liked the additional rain and had a banner season for flower quantity.

Apart from flopping open somewhat, Nepeta ‘Dropmoore’ is correct on monitor. Straightforward and rewarding perennial for pollinators.

Parahebe perfoliata was a horrible mess a number of weeks in the past so I reduce it again pretty laborious. The brand new development is contemporary and beautiful, trying higher than ever.

A comparatively unchanged scene, Acanthus mollis seems to be about the identical if not bigger than regular.

There are a number of species of artemisia on this backyard and all have suffered this spring. This, A. frigida lastly emerged and I feel will likely be okay, though would admire some warmth. 

Kolkwitzia amabilis (now Linnaea amabilis) is appreciating the moist spring and is blooming prolifically proper now.

For an quaint flower floozy shrub, it’s elegant.

Geum ‘Completely Tangerine’ has flopped over nevertheless it’s nonetheless blooming its coronary heart out. The cool climate has preserved many flowers, making them final for much longer than if it have been hotter. A silver lining for certain.

Philadelphus lewisii, our native mock orange doesn’t just like the moist chilly climate in any respect. It’s vulnerable to fungal ailments in a great 12 months so I am not stunned. I discover it does fairly properly in hotter years.

Succulents, sedums and the like did not actually miss a beat.

That is one of the best that Eucomis ‘Oakhurst’ has ever regarded, apparently appreciating the additional moisture (geum stem within the foreground, picture bombing my eucomis shot).

At our entrance door, a lot of new foliage development is most welcome, though late. My “fern desk” within the background, made final autumn, has stuffed in properly.

From below the porch overhang you look out to a sea of foliage.

Carex flacca behind the chairs, though drought-tolerant, have simply doubled in measurement this moist spring.

The scene on the prime of the driveway has many shades of inexperienced, not a lot on flower coloration but. I reduce the Grevillea x gaudichaudii below the arcto on the far left somewhat to scrub it up and assist stimulate development. Hopefully. It is nonetheless alive however seems to be terrible. The Arctostaphylos ‘Concord’ had quite a lot of lanky development and was rising downwards so it received a little bit of a trim final week. Talking of trimming crops, I gave many ceanothus a great haircut final week as they have been extremely floppy after the heavy April snow and by no means righted themselves.

Our native Pysocarpus capitatus, Pacific ninebark is late blooming however lined in buds.

Physocarpus ‘Diabolo’ (for the longest time I learn that as ‘Diablo’ however Pleasure Creek Nursery set me proper) is surprisingly smaller than it has been up to now and the flowers are smaller, too. Fairly and wholesome, simply smaller.

Clematis recta ‘Purpurea’ has an incredible quantity of flowers this 12 months and is taller than it is ever been. Its purple foliage is further electrical this 12 months.

I benefit from the colours on this shot, the darkish foliage and oranges on this a part of the backyard with a heuchera flower within the foreground.

Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ has actually grown with the additional rain. 

A local annual wildflower, Gilia capitata, is comfortable.

Sedum album ‘Murale’, a darkish foliaged and fewer aggressive album kind seems to be fairly pretty this spring. I do not imagine I’ve ever seen it bloom, this could possibly be the primary 12 months.

Silvery flowers of Stipa barbata are starting their wonderful bloom. 

The elephant within the room is that this little drawback. The moles have been SO ACTIVE it is actually overwhelming. A very good 15 massive mole mounds each morning (that we are able to see). I simply scoop the soil apart, make the “restore” with extra gravel and curse. So much. The garden is dangerous sufficient however they’re venturing into previously untouched areas of my gravel backyard. Further worms below there this 12 months?  

Our native sword fern, Polystichum munitum, are HUUUGE this 12 months. It is a Jurassic forest in these elements.

Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ is beautiful. In actual fact, the entire shade backyard is loving the additional moisture, it is essentially the most they’ve skilled since we moved right here and it is as if that they had been simply ready for a great soaking because the fir timber have a tendency to take in all the encompassing moisture. The shade backyard due to this fact has all the time appeared somewhat stunted in development to my eyes – all the things could be very sluggish to get established.

Our native goat’s beard, Aruncus dioicus appreciates the additional moisture. Final 12 months a number of of the a number of I’ve barely reached 3′ tall when this monster is well 9′ tall. Plus, final summer time they fried within the warmth.

Hydrangea aspera ‘Plum Ardour’ has gigantic leaves this 12 months. I pruned this beautiful laborious in late winter because it was flopping ahead, so to appropriate its form. It clearly loves the rain.

Extra observations: 

      • Tens of millions of ants are showing within the gravel. They present no indicators of stopping. Very uncommon, by no means occurred like this earlier than.
      • SLUGS!
      • Ozothamnus have had a tough 12 months, I’ve pruned out about 2/3 useless materials however the shrubs nonetheless dwell.
      • A number of die laborious crops – spiraeas for instance – have been absolutely leafed out once we had April snow and the leaves at the moment are black and falling off – new ones coming however not a fairly sight.
      • Daily pine needles and particles from Douglas firs and different fir timber is overwhelming. I feel this is because of warmth dome final 12 months, they’re nonetheless harassed.
      • Daily a ton of particles from the native white Oregon oak timber falls. That is 10 instances what’s regular – branches, residing leaves, moss, twigs, oak apples.
      • Prunus avian, the wild cherry timber are dropping black leaves on daily basis in addition to a myriad of different particles together with branches, unripened fruit, useless blossoms and extra.
      • Some heat-loving crops actually suffered whereas others liked it. I feel a part of what makes a plant survive this moist is that if it has glorious drainage.
      • Salvias and agastaches usually are both being eaten by slugs or are tremendous late to emerge.
      • SLUGS!!

The observations shall proceed. As a lot as we do not like this eight-month rain interval, we do want it, I understand. There are numerous associates in California, for instance, who might actually use it. I want we might blow some down your means. I can not change it so to take care of sanity I’ll merely attempt to settle for what’s and make observations, hopefully making good selections for the backyard transferring ahead. And scream somewhat on occasion. Oh, and propagating the crops that thrive in each extremes. 

Additionally, to all of you who got here out to my newest plant gross sales, THANK YOU to your assist and for braving the rain! I received to see some previous, fantastic associates and meet new ones. I admire you all.

That is a wrap for this week at Chickadee Gardens. Thanks for studying and commenting, we do love listening to from you and what you’re observing in your individual gardens. Glad gardening, be it in warmth, rain, snow or hail.

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