Saturday, December 7, 2013


Winter is not messing around this year. The National Weather Service website predicts a low temperature of -3 tonight. For those of you living in Alaska, (Christine) or The Great White North, (Barry, Joy, Barbara) or Nadezda in Russia, this is just everyday stuff. Or even my sister in Baker City on the eastern side of Oregon who endures horrific winters with style and grace. But not western Oregon. Our average low temperature is 35 degrees F. Although we're classified as USDA Zone 8, most winters never go lower than Zone 9--below 20. So this is highly unusual weather. 

I heard on the news tonight that today the average high temperature for the continental United States was 14. That's pretty freaking cold for all most of us so I'd better quit my whining.  

At 2:00 PM my lovely, rusty thermometer on my covered patio read 38 degrees.

At the same time, the thermometer on the outskirts of my garden read 39. 

This is what our street looks like. Packed snow. 

And now, on to the backyard where all the fun is. I have a ton of photos so I'll keep my comments brief.

May I present the Ghost of Banana's Past

Not much prettier close up. 

Beyond the fence you can see down into the Willamette Valley.
Before my neighbors planted these trees we had a gorgeous year-round view.
Now it's visible only during the leaf-less winter months. 

An attempted snowman. 

The birds have been enjoying the Cotoneaster lacteus berries. 

I am not a good bird photographer but I lucked out today. 

They were waiting for me to get lost so they could resume their feast. 

Here you can see two robins drinking the melted snow run-off from the gutters. Adorable. 

Fortunately, so far the hummingbirds are doing okay. If you look closely
you can see one sucking on a Arbutus flower. 

My Kale 'Lacinata' is looking very sad. 

Notice the icicle on the right? There are lots of those. 

There's a solar light under there. 

The sign reads: "There's always thyme for flowers." 

The aesthetic state of my Tetrapanax is not good. 

Viburnum bodnantense 'Pink Dawn' trying to bloom. 

Behind the low hedge is Feijoa sellowana “Pineapple Guava."
So far it looks to be doing okay. 

A close up of the Felojia. It looks perky.  

Below that dollop of snow is a cluster of red-hued Hens & Chicks.

Another icicle. 

My Carpenteria californica looks no worse for wear. 

A Rosemary and Phygelius are also no worse for the wear. 

Scott, this grass makes me think of you.
Miscanthus sinensis ‘Sarabande’ 

Check out all the plump buds on my
Chimonanthus praecox “Winter Sweet” 

Here is a close up. Aren't they cute? 

Under this pointy tent is my Melianthus major.
I have no idea whether it's dead or alive. 

Eucalyptus nicholii or Willowleaf Gum is also looking good,
despite of the cold. 

I'm keeping my fingers crossed. 

Fatsia japonica is looking sad but alive. 

Throw me a blanket, it seems to be saying. 
Keep warm everyone! 


  1. Wow, will your wonderful garden bloomers survive this?

    Have a lovely Christmas season.


  2. Oh My! So much snow! Your pictures remind me of my winters in Massachusetts. I don't miss it even the slightest bit.

  3. Wow...I can't believe just how much snow you are putting us to shame! That Miscanthus is the stems always turn red that way? Stay warm, Grace...hopefully we only have a few more days of cold left!

  4. It's hard to stop snapping photos when the mantle of snow transforms everything. I plan to use the rest of this snowed-in day to finish reading your wonderful book and write up something that I hope you can use to entice readers.

  5. Grace,
    I know this weather is a shock to your garden's system! I betcha that banana comes back. We would leave them in the ground in Memphis until they looked like that! I will keep my fingers crossed for you!

  6. So if I said we have no snow, would you still speak to me? Its -8 and we are headed for -15 before mid week....... I am sure the snow cannot be far off. It does add a chilled icy beauty to your property though...... hope that delightful Melianthus makes it through...... bundle up Grace, stay warm!

  7. Show has transformed your garden to a magical wonderland. We got no snow here just cold temps (lows in the teens) They're talking about a flurry or two Monday afternoon/evening. Fingers crossed for all of our borderline plants in the PNW!

  8. Oh dear! So much snow. I'm worried about your banana. But your brave Viburnum is going to give up.

  9. That was a great tour of your gardens. I especially like seeing the snow on some of the garden "art" objects. Looks great - but I am already looking forward to Spring! Jack

  10. As you say, we are used to the snow in the northeast -- we are experiencing a snow storm right now. I deal with it by staying indoors by the fire. I hope your garden survives the unusual occurrence. I love that first picture of a chair in the snow. Stay warm! P. x

  11. Gracie girl I get to see so much more of what is hidden treasure in your garden beyond the plants !
    I love all the step ladders and garden "trinkets" that make your garden more YOU ! haha
    I so hope the banana might survive all of this .. so many gorgeous plants shivering but just maybe they will have the stamina to hang in there.
    Like Barry .. I have to say we have no snow for now .. it rained the other day and washed most of it away .. but it is cool all the same ? haha
    Hang in there girl !
    Joy ;-)

  12. That is cold!! We haven't been anywhere near that cold here in NC for over 10 years!

  13. Wow, you have almost as much snow as we have up here in Wisconsin! I can't believe the hummingbirds are doing OK in the cold like that! And I love the robin photos!

  14. Your gardens are beautiful in the snow and so much of it! We just got our first significant snow here yesterday but it is already gone. You have us beat!


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