Spring plant sales

Spring, my favorite time of year. Nothing beats it for me – the joy of seeing things starting to grow again, seed planting, the spring plant sales. Then, this happened Monday, April 11th.

Snow! Luckily, this was about the extent of it for us. It was gone by Monday afternoon and it snowed once more briefly Wednesday morning. Now we’re back to intermittent rain and sun.

Our friends up in the Portland area got about three inches of snow, which ended up breaking a lot of branches on any trees and shrubs that had begun leafing out. Apparently, a record late snow. Keep in mind that all of this followed a balmy, hot 80°F (27°C) the week before.

I snapped this photo Monday morning on my way in to work of a lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria ‘Flore Pleno’) before the snow melted.

Yellow flowers of lesser celandine covered by snow
Ranunculus ficaria 'Flore Pleno'

Sigh. The stupid hebes. The branches had just closed up after the last snow and were looking normal again, and then the recent snow splayed the branches open again. Drama queens.

Hole reopening in my Veronica (Hebe) pinguifolia 'Sutherlandii' because of an April snow
Veronica (Hebe) pinguifolia 'Sutherlandii'
Hole opeining in my Veronica (Hebe) cupressoides 'McKean' because of an April snow
Veronica (Hebe) cupressoides 'McKean'

On to my spring plant sale purchases. I can’t believe it is the end of the month and I still haven’t posted them. First up, my purchases from Hortlandia 2022 on April 1st. I snagged a a dwarf, yellow-needled form of mugo pine (Pinus mugo ‘Laarheide’ for the rock garden.

Yellow needles on Laarheide mugo pine
Pinus mugo 'Laarheide'

Below: From left to right, a species clematis (Clematis viorna), spring gold (Lomatium utriculatum), -holly-leaved cherry (Prunus ilicifolia), Corydalis solida ‘George Baker’, poet’s laurel (Danae racemosa) and an Asian skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus var. latissimus). The large container in the back has some sedum and a Corokia cotoneaster that I planted last year.

Some of you may remember that I bought a holly-leaved cherry last fall too. However, it was looking pretty bad this spring after a chaotic, weird winter. I thought it was dead, so I bought this new one at the plant sale. However, I just discovered that the cherry I planted last fall might have made it because I noticed a new bud starting to grow. Maybe there is hope yet and I’ve got this new cherry to plant elsewhere.

Annoyingly, after the 80°F high temperature a few weeks ago, we had a sudden drop to the mid 20s, a lot of plants got frost bitten, including that poet’s laurel. It doesn’t look nearly so good now, but it is still alive.

A couple weekends ago I ended up heading down to Central Point to visit Kathy Allen’s rock garden plant sale. It was my first time there and I was happy to buy this flat of very cute rock garden plants. No idea if some of them will make it through our very wet winters here. Central Point is so much drier than us, they get about half the rainfall that we do. We’ll see. Kathy had a lot of very healthy, nicely priced plants.

It was sort of a spur-of-the-moment car trip. I had heard about the sale the night before and decided to drive almost 4 hours to Central Point the next morning. So glad I did. It is such a beautiful drive this time of year with mountains covered in lush greens and yellows. I could see myself living down there someday, but I have no idea how it looks in summer once things dry up. Here’s a list of what I bought at Kathy’s sale.

Asyneuma limonifolium var. alpina

Chrysanthemum weyrichii

Clematis addisonii

Dianthus petraeus var. neoanus

Draba longisiliqua

Edraianthus pumilio

Eriogonum kennedyi var. austromontaum

Eriogonum umbellatum var. porteri

Eriogonum wrightii var. subscaposum

Frankenia thymifolia

Helichrysum praecurrens

Iris ‘Green Spot’

Iris setosa ‘Nana’

Saxifraga andrewsii

Silene acaulis ‘Frances’

Tetraneuris acaulis

Last of all, two more plants that I bought at Sebright Gardens in Salem last weekend. A green iris, ‘Ribbit’ and an ice plant (Delosperma floribunda ‘Granita Raspberry’). I planted this variety of ice plant in the rock garden last year hoping that it would make it through the winter. But, it didn’t and it melted to a mushy mush pile of mushiness. I am going to try again, but have resigned myself that this is probably an annual at our house

Greenish-yellow flowers of Iris 'Ribbit'
Iris 'Ribbit'
A new iceplant with flower buds, Delosperma floribundum 'Granita Raspberry'
Delosperma floribunda 'Granita Raspberry'

4/10/2022 to 4/30/2022: Lowest temperature for period = 25°F, highest = 70°F.  4.35 inches of rain.

Notes: Both the Anna’s and the Rufous hummingbirds have come back – I think they were out feeding on all the red-flowering currants (Ribes sanguineum) blooming up in the hills. Heard my first house wren on 4/24/2022.

Garden chores accomplished: Weeding and planting.