This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

March 14th, 2005

Sure Is Green

White Rhody
In response to "Is it Spring Yet" and other laments about the long winter and continuing snow, I thought I would share a little of what Spring looks like out here in the Pacific Northwest. All the photos here are the result of a little walk my husband, JC and I took around our own yard today, with one of our digital cameras.

Weeping Cherry

JC and I moved here from Montana in 1988 because of our business - a unique thin-film technology. In a land of cows and grain, Montana was not exactly an address other businesses felt comfortable with - Washington however, fit the bill. We just didn't know how well.

Camelia Our first exploratory trips to Poulsbo, WA were made in February. Snow up to the butt of a tall Indian, and months of it back 'home' in Montana. The weather in Poulsbo was a bit wet, although not raining, and it sure was green. Not white, green. We did a lot of investigating before we rented a condo in town - we knew for sure we didn't have any idea where we wanted to live. But since we had found a place for the business, it made sense to live reasonably close.

President Rhody Bud We loved living in Montana for many reasons - but the cold and snow do get to one, especially as we get older. I thought at one time the companies who sell Spring bulbs and flowering trees probably sold more to folks living in Montana, per capita, than anywhere else in the country. Everyone is so grateful for anything resembling 'spring' they plant flowering bulbs anywhere they can find a spot. When Spring does arrive, Montana is in full bloom.

Evergreen Clematis Of course I had no idea there were places in the Pacific Northwest where things bloom year round. We happen to live in one of them. The climate here is listed as "Moderate" - we do get a day or two of snow, but usually not more than that. A few 80 degree days in the summer, and I believe they broke the existing record for 'hot' last summer over in Seattle, in the 90s. But that isn't common.

Daffodils and Narcissi Eventually, we started house hunting. We decided we didn't want to live in town, but close enough to make an easy commute to work. We would have liked to have had a home on the water, but waterfront property here is very expensive as it is in most places. What we found was a fixer-upper, in a very nice private community which owns its own shared waterfront. Access to fishing, clamming, crabbing, beach sitting and such. Beach fire pits and fresh picked oysters on the grill. We've been here 15 years and the price of real estate has doubled. Amazing.

Hyacinths We don't live right on the water, we have a nice water view, but living this close does temper both the hot and cold. My husband, JC, makes a town run nearly every day, and we can depend on summer temperatures here being about 10 degrees cooler than in town. We also almost always have a breeze - sometimes considerably more than a breeze - which makes casting on our beaches interesting and demanding.

Primrose We've totally succumbed to the lure of "it sure is green" and over the years I've planted several hundreds of bulbs. A lot of Spring flowering bulbs, and hundreds of lilies. Some of the Spring flowers have naturalized, and the lilies run their course and are replaced. There are some Spring flowering bushes as well, and one lonely Witch hazel which blooms well before Spring.

Grape Hyacinths

So while we aren't out fishing, don't feel as though we are too deprived, we have a lovely view and lots of blooming things to put a smile on our faces until we can fish again.

Pink Camelia Next week I have to start thinking about Easter eggs. I always have to give it some thought, and try and find the note I made last year. We don't have to hide as many, as we can't remember where we hid them. But it really is important that I find last years note - I have gone to color-coding the eggs. JC of course is just so logical, he insisted on the color code deal.

Naturalized Tulip

If I just dye and decorate them any old way it would be fine with me, but with the color-code system we know which year they were done. So as we come across one, (you saw this coming, right?) we know if it is from this year's batch, or if it is from a previous year and should be handled like a live grenade.

Now if I could just remember where I put the list. I'm sure I put it in a safe place... ~ DLB

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