Summer survivors


The nursery plants are heaving a collective sigh of relief:

“Aaaahhh!  No substitute for pure, fine, generous rain!  Especially when our roots are hostage inside a hot black container and the people who are responsible for our unwilling domestication are not noticing our suffering!  But in spite of neglect and the indignity of captivity, we have survived another summer in Tadpole Haven Gulag.  And – Dang! – we look GOOD (well, most of us).”

“The fact is, us natives are MADE to handle the long dry spells we have every summer (though it is a challenge when our roots are hampered by being in a pot).  Free us from our captivity and we’ll really show what we’re made of.  But remember, we each have our niche where we thrive!”

Well, maybe I’m hearing things, but that’s what the plants are saying to me (it’s been a quiet summer — I must be short on human contact).  And though I didn’t like being accused of neglect, I agree with them that they look good, mostly.

It’s a little early for fall color and falling leaves, and right now some of our most dapper prisoners denizens are several evergreen shrubs and groundcovers that thrive in some of the driest conditions known to western Washington gardeners:  the parched, sometimes dark, shade of tall evergreen trees.  We’ve got four especially beautiful natives that thrive where others perish:  Evergreen Huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum), Cascade Oregon Grape, (Mahonia nervosa), Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum) and Salal (Gaultheria
).  This foursome is an adaptable set, able to handle variety of conditions.  It’s nice to have these evergreens as part of a landscape:  they look good all winter, and provide a good contrast with  the changing hues of native wildflowers and deciduous trees and shrubs.  I got some of these internees residents to pose for a group hug:   IMGP4839evergreens

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