Snow Part II

All I have are snow photographs. I want nothing more than to show photos of projects we've been working on or new plants recently purchased. However, none of the sort has happened. Therefore, no photos. What you see is what we've experienced this winter, which is frankly Enough! thank you very much. Not to sound like a complainer, but we just don't usually get this kind of weather in the Portland area. Or so I thought.

We have had snow on the ground here at Chickadee Gardens for more than three weeks.

We were hammered with over a foot of snow last night. The whole city shut down, as many of you who live here know by the 24-hour news coverage. We've got nothing else.

In lieu of a proper post, I give you the scenic beauty (ahem) of a snow-filled landscape, a la Facilities Manager for he took a stroll around the property and captured the spirit of today. --UPDATE-- I have added a few photos from Thursday the 12th, the following day, as the sun came out and it was especially pretty.

This is one of the newly added images from Thursday...sunrise over Mt. Hood in the background. More sunny snow photos have been added at the end of the post.

 The twin maple trees all dressed up. The driveway runs between them but you simply cannot see it any longer.

 The wilder areas are especially pretty in this weather, I admit.

 Maybe next year's postcard for Christmas.

 Hazelnut branches heavy with snow touch the driveway. 

The suet feeders were quite busy this afternoon. No customers here, but rest assured our feathered friends were well cared for.

The last remnants of Christmas. The lights actually melted the snow a little.

There is a Carex textacea under there.  I have a lot of fears about this weather. I have so many new plants in the ground that are small, I don't know how they will fare. Many evergreen or woody shrubs are what I am most worried about. I started uncovering the many hebes and ceanothus that literally were not visible at all. You could not tell any plant was under much of this snow, I had to go by memory. After uncovering several, I asked my friend and local nursery owner Paul of Xera Plants if I should leave them under the snow or uncover them. Leaving them for snow protection for upcoming sub-freezing temperatures or uncovering them to relieve the snow weight. He suggested I leave them. Darn. But some were so overwhelmed that they were going to break. My olive trees for example were flat on the ground. They haven't broken (yet) but they nearly did. Time will tell what will live.

Our little veggie plot has given up the ghost.

 Flat fern.

 The fir trees were so heavy with snow that I had to walk around them rather than under. Quite a strange sensation.

 This was about the only green (besides the fir trees) seen today.

Facilities Manager's second wood pile. 

This is the beginning of a brush pile we are leaving for the birds in the far northeast corner of the property. I plan on adding to it and just leaving it to decompose and do its thing, providing shelter for the little guys. I hope to add a couple more in this general area. That is when the SNOW goes away.

 It is pretty, though. 

 The funny little fence that divides our property (not for long) actually accumulated snow.

Poor little Charlie Brown tree. 

This is my favorite photo of the day. So many little birdies!

I don't see this kind of beauty every day, I wanted to share. Enjoy, and hopefully no more snow photos after this:
 Sunrise was especially spectactular.

 The row of trees behind the house.

This beautifully illustrates the land south and west to us is a forested area, possibly a tree farm.

The native dogwood tree is apparently home to a one-way squirrel.

As I said, I am worried for my plants. I have put a lot into this garden and it's so new and un-established that anything can happen. That this is one of the more terrible winters on record gives me anxiety. I don't know if I could do it all over again. 

But I would.

I should be embracing this beauty. I will try and let it go, for there's nothing I can do about it. I am fairly certain I've lost a phormium and who knows about the Astelia 'Red Gem' and other borderline goodies. I had a Grevillea gaudichaudii that was looking fantastic. If it makes it, I will be a believer. Right now I can't find it. It's that far under the snow. But the birds are a treat to watch. We've had so many visitors to the many feeders - suet, sunflower and hummingbird. Oh, the rotation of hummingbird feeders to keep them melted has been an adventure. Facilities Manager rounds them up every evening after the tiny birds have had their final fill and stores them indoors. Every morning before the sun comes up that's the first thing he does - places them right back out where he got them and inevitably a hummingbird is waiting nearby.

OK, that's my story for this week. Let us all hope for melty green weather before a lot of Portland gardeners go crazy.


By the way, I am using this down time to migrate my blog to the website You should have no problem finding me, it should automatically redirect you. I just wanted to make life a little simpler. So that's it for this week at Chickadee Gardens. As always, thank you for reading and until next time, happy gardening! 


  1. I fear the Phormium and Astelia are goners. I've tried Astelia up here and they've yet to survive, even in a fairer winter. I do think unless the snow is about to break branches, you are better off leaving the plants under it. Remember in the spring, things might still come back from the roots even if top growth looks dead, so give things a little time. You poor Portlanders, you have my sympathy these past few days.

    1. Aaah, you are right, Alison. Well...I will take it one day at a time. I plan on leaving the phormium in place even if the top growth dies because after many brutal Portland winters I saw them regenerate from the roots. I'm so glad to have your sympathy. As of three days after the storm, we still have the same amount of snow on the ground and likely will for the next three. Ugg...

  2. My wrist was aching last night from swiping the snow off everything with a broom handle. I've probably none more damage . At least it's blue skies and sunny today. I've been worried about the hungry birds , I found a bag of dry fennel cuttings , so I've left little piles of them out side :(

    1. Gosh, I'm sorry Linda! But good for you for feeding the birds. I've gone through almost an entire huge bag of black oil sunflower seeds in the past three days. It's nuts! They are sooo hungry.

  3. Gorgeous photos. That fern looks like a giant snowflake and I love the wire fence photo. This is a hard time for the birds as well as all other outdoor animals.
    Looking forward to Spring :)
    Connie :)

    1. Thank you Connie! Oh, those poor birdies. As I mentioned to Linda, I have gone through many pounds of sunflower seeds these past few days as we have constant visitors by dozens. They are getting lots of food out here!

  4. Thanks for sharing all this Tamara. I am SO in agreement. There will be grieving along with this beauty.

    1. Uggg...grieving and plant shopping. Thanks for being a comrade in this - that helps!

  5. Pictures like these bring the reality of the news reports I've heard alive. It's pouring buckets here, which conceivably may bring an end to our drought, but I fear that the local news will soon be reporting mudslides and downed trees.

    I hope your infant plants surprise you with their resilience. I'm sure the birds appreciate your attention to their needs.

    1. I have seen your rain on the news! Quite impressive. I hope and pray no landslides, oh gosh....we just all want to catch a break!

      Thanks for the sentiment about survival. I will leave "dead" ones in place for long enough to really give them a chance to regenerate...if they are so inclined. Let us hope!

  6. We're in the same boat, Tamara, with our extensive, unestablished new plantings. I hope we both have more happy surprises than losses come spring. I'm so looking forward to the warmer weather set to arrive in the next few days. I'm an anxious, distracted mess. I haven't been able to focus or get much done.

    1. Oh, Evan, let us cry in each others' arms. I hope we have more happy surprises, too. I am also a distracted, anxious mess. And if we could GO somewhere, nursery hopping would be an excellent form of therapy.

  7. When this all happened in the infamous 2008/09 snow storm my garden was all new and I suffered the setbacks and carried on. This time even though many things are established there is just SO MUCH SNOW, and after all the ice, well...I fear nothing will ever be upright again. California is looking better and better.

    1. Did you? What did you lose? Oh gosh. To hear you talk like this makes me sad :( I know, California IS looking pretty damned fine right now. Are you serious about maybe moving?

  8. Wow, just stunning photos. A vote for next year's Christmas card would be "Row of trees behind house"--the lighting on the trees and the tiny detail of the lights on the rail--just right for holiday card.

    My sympathies about the potential destruction! I have no idea what that must be like. Here we're only accustomed to plants dying of thirst.

    1. Oooh, I like your suggestion for the card, Hoover Boo. Thank you for the destruction. We all have challenges of different sorts, my sympathies for the drought situation you guys face. I hope you are getting some rain - we've seen a lot in N. California so fingers crossed the drought will end for you guys.

  9. Those sunrise shots are sooo beautiful! We're trying to keep our pioneer spirit alive, but three cheers for finally getting back online (just now).


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