What's A Gardener to Do in Winter Time?
However this past weekend, the garden lust bug bit me so strongly, I HAD to visit a nursery, so I popped by Portland Nursery, a lovely large nursery just down the street from me (for good or for bad. They have most of my paychecks, believe me). I hadn't bought anything since probably October so it was time.
In keeping with my Backyard Habitat Certification Program theme and wanting to add native plants as much as possible, I was thinking all along of replacing the Scot's Pine which I blogged about here with this lovely Pinus contorta 'Murrayana' which I had seen around nurseries. I ended up planting a gorgeous Leptospermum lanigerum or Tea Tree, but still wanted one of these. So, when I saw one in a gallon sized for 1/3 the price of the larger ones I had seen earlier this year, I snapped one up.
Here he is! Isn't he cute?
Kind of a fuzzy pic but the curvy nature of the trunk shows up.
Pinus contorta 'Murrayana', native to Oregon's high elevations, slow growth to 3" a year. (That's inches, not feet!) Sun, dug from the Diamond Lake District by permit.
Here are some stats from the Theodore Payne Foundation website:
Also known as lodgepole pine, tamarack pine, Sierra lodgepole pine, Sierra-Cascade logepole pine.
Can form dense stands; Highly recommended for snow or freezing temperatures. Versatile: can hand both wet and some dry conditions. Does not tolerate shade or fire.
Plant Family: Pinaceae
Plant Type: Tree
Height by Width: 50-80' H x 20-25 W"
Growth Habit: Tall, upright, narrow canopy
Growth Rate: Fast
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Soil Preference: Well-draining
Water Requirements: Drought-tolerant to moderate
Cold Hardy to: 11,000'
Flower Season: Cones
Flower Color: Cones
Endangered?: Not Listed
Distribution: Klamath Range, High Sierra and Cascade Ranges, San Gabriel Mtns, San Bernardino Mtns, San Jacinto Mtns, Great Basin, Oregon, Northen Baja
Natural Habitat: Lodgepole forest, wet meadows, cold places, in mixed conifer forest
OK, what else can a gardener do in the middle of Winter? Get outside and hike, I say! So David and I took a short but sweet hike on Christmas day to Wahclella Falls in the Columbia River Gorge.
A beautiful and easy hike, very family-friendly, we also pet lots of doggies along the way.
While hiking along, I thought I'd like to remember Christmas 2013 for more than just presents, I wanted some kind of special memento for David and I. We kept seeing these fabulous lichen-covered twigs and had an idea to collect some and make a wreath. So here it is.
I don't know how long it will last but for now it makes me smile every time I pass through our door, memories of an outdoor Christmas day.
There it is! A few fun activities to keep the restless gardener occupied. Happy New Year and Happy Gardening to everyone!