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The Northwest Garden in Winter

Articles: The Northwest Garden in Winter

A Meyer lemon fruits heavily, even in this coastal garden. Photographs by Doug Ploehn

[sidebar]The Night is Mother of the Day,
The Winter of the Spring,
And ever upon the old Decay
The greenest mosses cling.

John Greenleaf Whittier[/sidebar]

It is February 2, as I begin to write this, and *the first miniature daffodils are already out. Much as I love them, I don’t feel we deserve them in this mild climate of the Northwest coast. Years of gardening in the Northeast tell me that the prerequisite should be a gray, bleak season. Although the daffodils are welcome here, they don’t burst upon the eye with breathtaking freshness, as they do in a colder climate after a long cruel winter.

Here, the garden chores continue through the winter— no sitting in front of the fire poring over garden catalogs and planning for spring. The weeds continue to grow, albeit not as fast, and all those plants that considerately die back in the Northeast wait patiently for the gardener’s pruning shears to declare dormancy At this time of year, the weather seems ripe for “moving around,” a major occupation for gardeners that...

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