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Message from Anne

Summer 2008

As I write this late in July we are well into a beautiful and memorable summer. It took a while to get here, as you may remember those early days in June when the temperature felt more like April than June.  This last month most days feel like the ones I remember from the first 10 years I lived in Oregon – a few warm days into the 90’s but plenty of days that stretched from 78 to 85 degrees. That is perfect for me and desired by most ornamental plants though the tomatoes and other sun lovers would prefer the 90 degree days.

The summer has been a busy one with lots of activity in the garden both plant wise and in visitor numbers. For the first time we participated in the Metro Garden of Delights Tour in early July. It took place on one of the last hot days a few weeks ago and more than 400 people visited the garden. It gave Gary and me the chance to fine tune our garden hardscape and to touch up all the gardening beds as best we could. The hardscape project was the permanent path and entry into our vegetable area we had hoped to get completed for the past two seasons.

As all gardeners understand there is often not enough time in a season to get to all the projects. As you can see from the photo Gary’s finished product is attractive and inviting, and come this winter we can walk to the compost bins without dealing with mud on our feet! All the space in the vegetable and flower-cutting garden did not get planted but somehow that’s just fine. I love seeing the great edge that the steel cuts as it curves and undulates toward the compost area and how great the compacted gravel feels under the feet. There seems to be great satisfaction in just seeing the completed path with no need yet to fill the space with plants.

The oriental lilies have been gorgeous this year with many of the bulbs multiplying beautifully. My all time favorite is an ‘Orienpet’ hybrid lily called ‘Orania’. The description from the Pacific NW Lily Society catalog says it is a Dutch hybrid with soft, subtle melon color shading into peach and a pink reverse. The 2 bulbs I began with 3 years ago have multiplied into at least 4-5 and I estimate this year we had at least 50 blooms on all stems. You can see from the photo what a statement a lily like this can make in your garden. If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Society and eligible for the semi-annual bulb sales please contact them at webmaster@pnwls.org.

This time in the summer is so great for just enjoying what has been accomplished so far this year. With the work we have done over the last few years to create long lasting color in the borders, we are being rewarded now with the second bloom on the roses, Lobelia hybrids just coming on and other late blooming perennials like Helianthus, ‘Lemon Queen’ and hardy fuchsias. Everything in the garden is so full and robust that the problem areas we were thinking of reworking seem to be just fine for now and any thoughts about them can be put on the list of things to do in late September into early October.

We are approaching our last open garden of the summer season soon and if you were unable to make it by this season be sure to watch the website for opportunities in the future to visit our garden. In the meantime, enjoy what you have created, start thinking about the plants you may want to buy at the soon-to-be-coming fall sales and dream a little about the garden you have always wanted as there is always time for that.