I moved from Santa Barbara, California, to an upstairs apartment in Portland, Oregon. These are my adventures learning to garden in small spaces in the Pacific Northwest.Ask me anything
Here’s a brief summary of how my plants are doing in January, 2013. Faithful readers of this blog — that’s right, all eight of you — may recognize some of the container plants, which I brought to our new house from our old apartment a few miles away. The other specimens are plants that were put in by the landscaper before we moved into the new home, and I didn’t have any say in what was chosen.
Japanese Lily of the Valley
This plant came with the house. I like it, but I’m not sure if I’ll keep it in the garden when I do my own landscaping in springtime. Later in the year, the pink buds will bloom into delicate white flowers. It can be a gorgeous shrub when the bloom happens, but during the rest of the year, it looks like this. While I do like the contrast between the pink stems and the green/white variegated leaves, I’m still not positive it’s the plant for me. (Nevertheless, it will stay in the garden for a few more months, because the ground is too cold and hard to remove or plant anything right now.)
Purple and Yellow Primroses and Red Primroses
I planted these primroses in a container in late December, and they are still thriving. Though the plant tags they came with claim they are very cold hardy, I have been moving them into the garage during nights when the temperature in the Portland area dips below freezing. (Lately, this has been almost every night.)
Since the primroses are the only plants in my garden right now with any flowers on them, I really appreciate their ability to thrive in cold weather. Plus, in case you didn’t notice, they are pretty gorgeous.
Blue Star Juniper
This little dude also came with the house. I love its turquoise-y color against the brown mulch, but the plant grows low to the ground (at least at this stage in its life), and isn’t exactly a showstopper. Our new dog — did I mention my significant other and I adopted a dog?! — is intoxicated by its scent.
Rhododendron PJM Elite
You may remember this black-leafed shrub from previous posts. I bought last February it at a garden center in nearby Sherwood, Oregon, and planted it into a sturdy ceramic container. It stayed on the north-facing balcony of my old apartment (which is just a few miles away from the house), and grew gorgeous pink blooms a few weeks later.
The rhododendron is still in the same container, but now lives on my porch. I expect it to bloom in a month or so — as you can see from the photo, buds are starting to form in the center of the leaves. After it is spent, and the ground gets warm enough to start plant, I will promptly plant it in my front yard, so it can start establishing roots and keep growing for years to come.
I have moved to a brand new house(!) about a mile away from the apartment I started this blog from.
As my scenery changes, so will my garden.
I’ll continue to update this blog after I get settled in to my new home.