Category Archives: Maritime Pacific Northwest

Climate, Trends and Current Weather: A Nice Record Setting Fall Day

Looking south, upstream along the Willamette, to the Ross Island Bridge and the South Waterfront buildings hugging the western bank which house the pool in which I swim..

I puttered and pruned in the garden today until I produced enough waste to fill my yard debris wheelie bin, it didn’t take long. After lounging around and reading for awhile I walked the 2 and 3/4 miles to the pool at OHSU where I swam for 40 minutes, then spent another 1/2 hour doing yoga and some core exercises in my efforts to slow down my inevitable decline…then, I walked back home across the river. It was a bizarrely warm afternoon, and early evening, and I covered the distance in a tee shirt…and pants and shoes of course. Lots of walkers out crossing the Tilikum Bridge and walking along the river. People were taking advantage and enjoying the day. I wonder how many understand just how ‘weird’ this weather is? Continue reading

Agapanthus for the Maritime Pacific Northwest: Not all of these are well suited for us…or are they?

A fellow gardener asked the question about whether there were a list of sure thing Agapanthus, plants that a beginner could confidently choose and have success with in most of the maritime PNW.  I’m going to say no.  All of these are South African natives and while many of us can grow these in our gardens, because our conditions overall are marginal, a gardener is going to have to possess a good understanding of their site in particular and some knowledge of the cultivars that they are choosing.  I’m going to borrow here from Manning and Goldblatt’s book, “The Color Encyclopedia of Cape Bulbs”, which discusses the bulbs of the Cape Floristic region and those adjacent areas spilling over into other parts of South Africa. Agapanthus species are native there, endemic in fact, occurring naturally no where else in the world.  I’m also relying here on the SANBI website, the South African Natural Biodiversity Institute which has put together an incredible national program, which all countries should be building for their own countries.  Being a South African plant aficionado I visit it frequently. To this I add my own observations and speculations, having grown several Agapanthus over the last 25+ years in Portland: These come from warm temperate and subtropical areas in South Africa, 10 species total, 3 limited to the Cape itself, all of which tend to occur in rocky grasslands.  Other botanists have downgraded 3 of Manning and Goldblatt’s species and given them subspecies status recognizing only 7 species. Continue reading