November Sun – Cold Color Celebration


Sunny November days in Seattle are a pure unadulterated bonus. Our gardening climate is alternately dazzling and maddening at the same time. The depth of gray in winter seems to last forever and the utterly outstanding glory of summer here fall at the opposite end of our horticultural universe for an exquisitely painful short period of time.

“November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.”
–   Emily Dickinson

We can grow such wide array of plants here that it makes many in other parts of the world green with envy. So, on a crystalline blue-sky day like today, it feels like we are COMMANDED to get outside and document its glory for everyone to see. I did just that in my robe and jammies this morning for you! If nothing else, it may just be to document it for us so that when we are nearly suicidal on the gray days in January and we want to hop a plane to Las Vegas, we remember why we live here.


Fatsia Japonica blooms

It occurred to me as I took this shot that the years of the heaviest Fatsia bloom, we’ve also had the hardest winter. Hmmmmm……..

We rely on many a Huechera for some November color here in the Northwest because we don’t really have too many flowers at all. So the WIDE variety of foliage colors are a very welcome sight here in gray land.


Note the Fuchsia near the bottom still doing her thing! I scared the (bleep) out of a poor local Hummingbird trying to get this shot. Ooops!


Another plant that “tolerates” our wet cold winter climate, is Phormium, or New Zealand Flax. You need to understand that I do say this somewhat tongue in cheek today. I lost about 27 of them a few years back after an ice storm. When the cold almost 2 inches of thick ice melted off of them, they actually looked fine until they succumbed to Crown Rot.
That was about 5 years ago now and I have recovered from my cynacism toward them, but only enough to have two. So, far. I just refuse to fall in love again and have my gardeners heart and wallet broken again. 🙂

Having said that, I do have a torrid love affair with my Fatshedera. If I have to buy a new one every year, I’m cool with that. This variegated one was particularly lovely with cold weather color and the light of the morning coming through her.


“If I’m ever reborn, I want to be a gardener—
there’s too much to do for one lifetime!” 

–   Karl Foerster

Like this post? Come and visit me on Facebook too at The Personal Garden Coach!


Gardener Give-Away! – Down to Earth Designed Apron

Raw Matrials Utility Apron

Janna Lufkin from Raw Materials Design sent me this apron to try out and I immediately fell in love the minute I opened the box. This is no wimpy thing. It’s truly a tool in your arsenal for the gardener who is not easy on things. This is one TOUGH piece of fabric and sewing. This apron was even featured on the TODAY Show!

I’m NOT easy on tools or clothes when it comes to gardening. I have been through many many aprons. So, when I endorse a product like this, its because it truly does what I need, it stands the test of ME! Here is a link with an informative Q & A about Janna’s products and why she is SO passionate about them.

Here is a great pic of my friend Jessi Bloom wearing hers at the 2013 Northwest Flower and Garden Show! How cute is Jessi????? 🙂

Jessi Bloom KIS Organics
Now you have two ways to get your very own Raw Materials designs apron too, you can simply go to this link and order one for yourself right now. OR you can WIN one of your very own!

Here are the contest rules:

1) Go to The Personal Garden Coach on Facebook and “Like” the page.

2) Post a photo of yourself showing everyone why YOU deserve to win the Raw Materials Apron here in the comments section or on the FB page.
Good Luck! May the dirt be with you!

In the mood…

The Inauguration is days away and the excitement is building. I don’t have a ticket to this historic event, but I can watch on TV and on the Internet. My participation is pretty much limited to a small number of avenues. But, after the holidays are over and most of the country is either trapped by weather or recovering from weather, I think we’re all in the mood for some fun. And since I can’t make it to the most major party of our time, I can participate another, that for a Gardener, rivals it. The Northwest Flower and Garden Show. (Angels and Choirs inserted here)

Northwest Flower & Garden Show

There has been some recent research that shows Gardeners are online in HUGE numbers from October through April, blogging, Twittering, Facebooking , you get the idea. And then after that nothing. Apparently it was some huge surprise to the researchers that we dropped our keyboards and picked up pruners! That’s because we’re like heroin addicts looking for a hit! We’ll take anything that looks even remotely like it could grow. The discussions online regarding seeds, seed starting, seed catalogs- are gaining speed and they may hit a compost landmine any minute!

I, for one, have been TRAPPED inside for weeks. Dramatic you say? “Snowmageddon 2008″ as I have dubbed it, had us under almost 4ft. of snow (IN THE SEATTLE AREA!!!!)  and as of this writing on a now otherworldly sunny day, 48 degrees, it’s not melted yet for some! Still too dramatic? After the snow, we had 14” of rain in 48 hours. Still the snow remained.You can’t even go out to really accomplish anything of any real consequence in those conditions.

So, in horticultural state of frenzy, we will all gather for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. We will worship anything that is put in front of us. From the smallest point of titillation, in the form of Narcissus, to practically surgically enhanced versions gardens we can never attain, we are in the mood to celebrate. Cheers!Pansy-pix-3-2008-028