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Message from Anne

Summer 2009

Oregon summers are often slow to come. This year we thought it had arrived in late May when we had at least 8 days with temperatures in the 80’s, but then it was time for the Rose Festival parade and the cloudy skies just had to make their appearance. The morning of the parade there was a little drizzle and much cloudiness – just a typical Rose Parade Day!!!

summer gardenAs gardeners, the cloud cover in the morning with afternoon sun breaks is a great way to grow beautiful plants with blooms that last for the maximum length of time. Somehow I can never seem to get all the vegetable garden planted and that’s another reason to be grateful for mild temperatures as it allows for ‘delayed’ gardeners like me to keep working away at transplanting without the danger of 90 degree + temperatures burning up the new seedlings.

Just the other day I was able to find a spare half hour and I seeded zinnias in a few blank spots of the parking strip on Corbett St. Every summer I want to do this but in recent years I’ve not found the time to accomplish it. I’m already envisioning the bouquets of cut flowers that I may pick once August arrives, not to mention the great sight they will provide for anyone driving by. We used to have a neighbor down the street who planted the whole parking strip in zinnias each year and what a sight they were. That was so many years ago – if I have success this year maybe I can start the new tradition of parking strip zinnias for the neighborhood.

summer gardenThe garden grows well this year after the coldest winter in years. Most plants had no problem and have come back more vigorous than ever. The Southern Hemisphere Cordyline was our greatest loss – it was about 6-7 ft. tall and the beautiful bronzy leaves fanned the garden above the stream. Luckily, I was given a beautiful new variety from Monrovia last fall and I kept it safe in a greenhouse for the winter. It now begins to grow in the same place as the original and we’ll see how many winters it can weather. Two new additions this spring that we’re particularly excited about are Cercis chinensis, ‘Avondale’ and Cercis chinensis (multi-trunk). Both of these have outstanding forms – ‘Avondale’ being shrub-like in growth to 10 ft. x 10 ft. and the placement of the species multi-trunk variety in the front bank will provide a nice architectural element to this part of the garden. They both should provide quite a show next spring with the pinkish buds blooming right off the bare wood of the plant. Our other Cercis canadensis, ‘Forest Pansy’ is growing beautifully and its purple leaves are putting on a nice show even now after only two years in the ground.

We now look forward to enjoying the ongoing show of the garden without having to work so hard physically. Yes, there is the deadheading but what a joy it is to do that early on a summer morning while watching for new blooms and smelling the scents of the garden. There are still two opportunities for you to come by in July and August and see our garden this season – please check the homepage for the dates. Above all, enjoy your own garden and all the joys of outdoor living our beautiful northwest summers bring.