Will it ever stop raining?
Having spent the morning weeding the rock wall, I’ve discovered that my waterproofs are not as waterproof as they should be. While this deluge may forestall summer drought (we hope!), and is helpfully irrigating the many newly-moved plants in our Traveler’s Garden, this spring’s atypical weather has had less helpful consequences in our gardens. By now, we should have already planted tender bedding plants in the Potager, preparing for the summer floral extravaganza, but spring is hanging on there and the tulips are still in bloom. The sullen cool temperatures over the last month have prevented us planting out our Texan cacti and other collections into the Rock Garden’s new extension. Our tree ferns are only just beginning to unfurl new fronds and we are hesitant to move large pots of begonias outside, lest they fall victim to a late frost.
On the plus side, this elongated spring has benefitted some plants, especially spring-blooming bulbs and alpines. Many residents of the Rock Garden have flowered for the first time and our two original rocky outcrops are starting to show their ornamental promise. If you’re interested in alpines and rock gardening, there’s still space on our next in-person class this Tuesday (5/23), which focuses on alpines and hardy succulents and the best ways to grow them; get tickets here. Many of our bulbs and woodland plants are also flowering long beyond their typical season. Mother Nature gives with one hand and takes with another.
If our current weather patterns are getting you down, then why not plan ahead for the summer? Beginning at the end of May, I’ll be leading two tours per month around the garden, with lunch and a Heronswood plant thrown in. Our Heronswood Heritage Tours delve into the history of the garden, the many fascinating stories behind its world-class plant collection, and the cultural history of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, which now owns the garden. Get tickets via the Events Calendar on our website. You’ll also see several in-person classes available throughout the summer months. Heronswood classes are great opportunities to meet other gardeners and learn new skills, while enjoying a guided tour of our beautiful landscape. This Friday and Saturday will see the return of our tribal weaving class, passing on valuable skills to the next generation of tribal members. Garden visitors can watch their progress and view completed woven artifacts. Whatever the weather has in store this weekend, I hope you get to enjoy some time in the garden.
Dr. Ross Bayton, Heronswood Director