Spring in the garden
Spring in Portland, Oregon is a long affair. Spring in Massachusetts, where I lived for many years until I moved to Portland nine years ago, was short…sometimes it arrived in early May with tulips and daffodils blooming profusely for a week, followed by a blast of heat. And then spring was over and summer was in full swing. When I moved to Portland I was delighted to find that the first camellias bloom in early February and it’s a riot of blossom and plant growth from then on. The cool nights, rain, and temperate climate lengthen spring so that it stretches right on through May and into June. We hope that the “rain” stops on the 4th of July. And quite literally, it does. There is no rain when it stops - usually until September or October, although the vegetation typically remains lush. A gardener’s paradise!
I was curious about the season of “spring” and it’s length so I looked up the definition:
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines “Spring” as:
"a time or season of growth or development; specifically : the season between winter and summer comprising in the northern hemisphere usually the months of March, April, and May or as reckoned astronomically extending from the March equinox to the June solstice.”
The period of time between winter and summer in Portland is surprisingly long, and I enjoy every second of it. We’re growing peas like crazy now, same with pansies. Tulips and daffodils have passed, and tomatoes are in the garden if they’re protected from the cool nights. Spinach plants bolted this past week because of the three days of record-breaking heat, although loose leaf lettuce is holding steady. Bearded iris are in full bloom, and I noticed the nine-bark in bloom today.
Pictures from my walk in the garden today:
Fennel unfurling tender fronds…
Sweet pea blossoms…
Onion scapes - the flowers of onions and other alliums, typically nipped off before blooming to force growth into the bulb….and deliciously sauteed..
Examining the first rose of the season….
The buds of herbaceous peonies promise gorgeous full heads soon….
Loose red-leaf lettuce….sensuous in it’s beauty.
A climbing edible pea, the blossom stunning in it’s color…
The buds of Asiatic Lilies, intriguing in their color variation.
And a bee on a globe allium…