U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Two Letters To Spring

One day in February, my garden sent an invitation letter to Spring. It was said in the letter that everything was ready for it. Primulas, hellebores and miniature daffodils were blooming:

Tulip leaves were gorgeously green:

Daylilies, bleeding hearts and lamb ears were enthusiastically alert:

For Your Majesty Spring arrival, even a special guest from outer space was invited:

Spring got excited and started to pack her suitcase when suddenly another letter was handed to her.
“Hello dear Spring! I heard that Tatyana’s garden is cordially inviting you to come over. I decided to join the party and made some lovely preparations for your arrival.

I sprinkled a white powder to freshen the air:


I covered the garden table with a clean white cloth and spread a white carpet underneath it for you:


I decorated the plants for your pleasure:

White is once again in style this season. Do you know that?




I took care of fresh green chives and young garlic to give them additional flavor:


I dressed the house and lawn for your arrival:


The golf course behind the garden is also prepped up:


It’ll meet you all clean and quiet. I made sure no noisy people with clubs and balls would disturb you!


…Who walked on the white? Who left the tracks? OK, I’ll find the culprit later!



I took care of daffodils. They need to be more modest and don’t poke out so early!




As you can see, everything is ready for you, Your Majesty!




Even your drink is chilled!









So, what would you say, dear Spring? Would you rather wait a bit? It’s just February and you are not in a rush, are you? It would be wise to wait let's say until March! I always trusted in your wisdom. See you later, dear!"

The letter was signed:


Your loyal friend WINTER


Copyright 2011 TatyanaS

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February Field. Oregon

The picture was taken from a moving car
Or should I call it 'February Sky'?
This picture, taken on the 18th of February in Central Oregon, hypnotizes me. Time will come, and these wheels start turning, sprinklers will come to life and water will moisten dry soil. But, right now everything is still, quiet and sleepy. The sky is dramatic. I can imagine an alien spaceship appearing from it and landing here. Do you see what I mean?
Copyright 2011 TatyanaS

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pampas Grass - Little Observation

To cut or not to cut pampas grass? If to cut, how much? These are the questions many people ask. I see a lot of visitors on my blog who check my post Pampas Grass - A Bad Guy? after using key words 'cutting pampas grass' on the web.
I am in no way a person who can give advice on this matter. But, I can share a couple of little observations which I made.
1. Is there any connection between cutting back pampas grass and abandance of plumes?
I have one dwarf pampas grass plant. I compared it with several pampas grasses in one of our neighbors' gardens. They look like regular, not dwarf type, but I think I still can make comparisons.
Last spring, I cut my plant all the way down. All summer and fall I had a nice green plant.

Photo: September. My pampas grass that was cut in spring.
The neighbors' plants, which were not cut, looked, in my opinion, not so nice. You could see old yellow blades mixed with new green ones.

Photo: September. The neighbors' pampas grass which wasn't cut
Now, let's see how these grasses performed in term of blooms.
When the time came to bloom, my plant gave only TWO plumes:

Click on the pictures to enlarge themThe neighbors' plants gave MANY plumes:
February 2011.
Of course, the contrast in 'blooming power' could be explained by the difference in the plants' age. The neighbors' plants could be older, more mature. But, could there be a connection between cutting the plant down and number of blooms?
What if my grass didn't bloom profusely because I drastically cut it back? If I would want more plumes on my plant, I probably would not cut it back at least one year. But, I like the clump itself even without blooms, so I am not willing to sacrifice the plant's overall appearance for sake of getting more plumes. My dwarf pampas grass looked its best in 2007, the year after I bought it and before I started to cut it.
Do you think there is a connection between the number of plumes and whether we cut or don't cut the pampas grass?
2. Is there a connection betwen the severity of cutting and the pampas grass' appearance?
As I told in the previous pampas grass post, I cut it not very low one year and down to the very base another year (two pictures below).

I didn't notice any considerable difference in the size of the grass clumps. Both years, the plant grew the same size and had very few plumes. By the way, when should the cutting be done?
Everyone likes to leave the plants for winter interest. Not to damage any new growth, should it be done in late winter?
I need to ask the owners of this garden, in the picture below, whether they cut their pampas grass? This is how great it looked in early November:

What are your observations regarding pampas grass?
My last post 'Looking at My Pampas Grass' (May 2012) is HERE

***Copyright 2011 TatyanaS

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Plant ID needed

I am almost sure you did it too: picked up seeds from a plant growing in a garden or park with the hope that a plant will grow in your own garden. This is what I did four years ago when we visited beautiful San Juan Island. The blooms were already gone so I couldn't see them. The seedpods were intact. It looks like the seeds were good since I have the plant! However, there are two problems. First, it doesn't bloom. I suppose it should bloom. If not, where would the seeds come from? Second, what is the name of the plant? Does anyone have any ideas?

The plant is perennial. Spreads naturally, and I have three plants already. Nothing more to say. Here are the pictures.

The size can be seen in the next picture. I traced the unknown plant with O.

This is the scan of a branch.

The foliage is pretty attractive, but I hope it is something that will bloom one day.
I hope it's not some poisonous plant. It grew in a garden visited by many people, so I guess it shouldn't be. I touched it many times in my garden and never had any skin problems.
Zone 7. Deciduous.
Please, help!
Copyright 2011 TatyanaS

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