March 20, 2018

Poised for Spring

February teased Spokane with spring-like temperatures at the beginning and more cold and snow in the middle.  Some of my hellebore buds turned to brown mush after temperatures plummeted from nearly 60 degrees Fahrenheit down to zero.  March feels more like a normal Spokane spring:  still chilly but almost pleasant when the sun is out and the wind is slow. 

This year I'm hoping to do a better job of comparing the changes in my garden through the seasons, so I went out and took a bunch of photos of the garden in its current bare state.

An 'Otto Luyken' laurel, 'Blue Star' juniper, 'Green Velvet' boxwood and 'Green Tower' boxwood give the only color in this shot of garden.

The west garden is clean and ready for growth.  A new layer of composted bark fines makes everything look more tidy.

Here is the west side of the backyard path.  This year I left a lot of the fallen crabapple and lilac leaves in place under a thin layer of the composted bark fines.  Decomposing leaves can add valuable organic material to the garden, but I'm not sure if they'll break down well during our drier summers.  So it's an experiment.

The northwest corner is a continual work in progress. My latest plan is to remove the 'Invincibelle Spirit' hydrangeas (currently cut to the ground) from both sides of the arbor along the fence and plant more 'Green Mountain' boxwoods instead.  The boxwoods will be lower maintenance and make an attractive, appropriately-scaled backdrop for this area year-round.

This summer the main sunny backyard bed will be filled with dahlias, lilies, agastache and Russian sage if all goes according to plan.

I love sitting in the NE corner bench and looking west at this view. 

The swing set is getting an update this year.  We're replacing the little swings with one big bench swing that is more comfortable for older people like me.  There were a few protests from my youngest son (who actually hasn't spent much time swinging), but the rest of the family will get more use from the bench.

Here is the east backyard bed.  A month from now this will be covered in green, and six months from now it will be full of tall perennials.  For now, the garden and I are poised for spring.