Garden Rambo in “Last Frost”

When I got back from L.A. last week, my yard was exploding with life and new growth. Everything I planted last year survived and is now waking up from its winter slumber. I looked back at my blog from a year ago, and another from a month later to see what progress I can make this year. But first, here is a photo update on the plants from last year!

As you can see in the following photo, the cattails have exploded with new growth. I counted 29 or 30 new shoots. I think we had half that last year, and that was after a transplant. The rhizomes have actually grown into the grass and out of the aquatic pool I dug, because the ground is so wet right there (which is why I dug it out to begin with).

The Kiwis are leafing out which is awesome. I’m going to put a longer pole in for them to climb. I’m going to train them up the play structure but they need to get a little longer first.

I thought the arctic raspberries would die off, but they came back with a vengence! I kept checking over the last few weeks as the mustards and dead nettles came up, but didn’t see anything. I was so excited to come back from L.A. and see them all over the place! Hopefully I’ll be able to try their fruit this year.

The salmonberries looks terrible at the end of the year and a bunch of the branches died. But look at them now! Hopefully they will get nicely established and flower this year?

I was also worried the camas wouldn’t come back but there it is! With a few new growths too! It’s already sending up its flower stalks on most of the plants. I’m guessing the first year ones are the ones without flower stalks.

The baby Willamette Valley Pine has doubled in size, boasting four branches and counting!

I weeded this little area and transplanted some yarrow babies from the grass, since that usually gets cut by the mower, I had no idea yarrow was growing there. I don’t know how well they will handle the transplant. Their roots seems very established (fighting with the grass roots). Which confused me because I thought they were annual, not perennial. I’m wondering if they die only after they flower and go to seed, so if they don’t get the opportunity… do they keep living? I realize that may sound stupid but I’m also realizing I don’t know much about plant growth. I planted the yarrow in a circle around whatever the hell that thing in the middle is. My mom said she didn’t plant it, but it looks like an ornamental that was intentionally placed there by the spacing, so I didn’t weed it.

So that’s most of what I planted last year, plus the yarrow I just transplanted. Oh, the Pear tree is doing well. I forgot to prune it last fall, so I’ll definitely want to do that this fall. Ron finished the green house, so that will be available for sprouting this year and winter greens this winter.

Next up is to weed out the garden and plant the seeds. I’d like to fill in the rest of the water feature with cattail rhizomes. I think I’m going to buy a bunch more Camas and put it around the pine. I’d also like to plant some wild onion around the marshland. I need to sit down with my parents and draw up a plan for this year.

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9 Comments on “Garden Rambo in “Last Frost””

  1. Yay fruit! I’ve never had camas, i’m curious what it tastes like. My cherries and apples are finally coming around to waking up. Although spring comes much earlier down here in San Francisco than up where you are, I live on the coast in the fog, so I don’t get the benefit of the lower latitude since it’s usually cold and salty around here. Sigh.

  2. Fantastic returns for you Scout!

    Can hardly wait to see what pops out here in the E Coast!

    Have experienced all seasons out here save Spring. Well, have discovered one dandelion, and was absolutely delighted… dandelion fritters? Don’t touch my dandelions!

    Wish to plant for those forest beings, as well as for … well me ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for sharing,


  3. Thanks for showing the lovely photos. I had a great laugh over the pine tree growth… darling!

    I hope to move most of my plants west as the building blocks my side and rear porch. Most of my herbs thrived, what a relief. One poor lavender drowned.

    Have a fruitful gardening season this year everyone!

  4. the yarrow can be cut back all the dead/fry growth to the bottom during the winter when it is no flowering. it will come back year after year if you do that.

  5. I’m surprised that the salmon berry grows so well in the direct sun. Our salmon berries growing up in corbett were always deep in the shady forest. Thanks for this blog I really like looking at all the interesting plants you’ve been working with. Two questions: are cattails “invasive”? And what are rhizomes exactly?

  6. The camas in my semi-upland West Yorkshire garden is flowering at the moment. Beautiful. Not a big enough clump yet to spoil by harvesting (four years old) but its our native plants, especially woodland, that are giving a harvest. I would back you in planting the wild onion family. We are eating wild garlic (Allium ursinum) at the moment, leaves, flowers and bulbs, and they spread well in our damp clay shade. We are also eating corn salad (Valerianella locusta) leaving a few plants to seed so that it keeps going. Same for garlic mustard (Alliara petiola – not onion family, the leaves just taste of garlic). We also have leaves of cuckoo flower (Cardamine pratensis) but we lose that some years, and of wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella). I’m going to bring in one of your native’s again, winter purslane/miner’s lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata) to add some variety.
    Do I see some brooklime (Veronica spp.) in your marshland? We have some in our pond, and the odd leaf is welcome. The pond is too small for bulrush (what you call cattails) but there are wetlands out in the landscape near us where can grab a few roots.

  7. Garden’s looking good. What’s your plan with the cattails?
    Do you have any nettles growing? I just got CRAZY for them again. Guess they call that spring.

  8. Gardening!? Gardening!? Urban Scout, you permaculturalist sellout! Where do you get off, consciously managing your environment? I just can’t believe it dude. You’d just as well turn Seqouia National Park into a corn field/mine/landfill/highway/nuclear testing site. Who will the young rewilders look up to now? The messiah has failed us. The world will plunge into a hell of neat little rows of salmonberries. I’m going to go burn my hair off.

    (If you want it, I’ve got a list of about 200 species of food trees and shrubs for the Northwest, hardy to zone 6. Write me.)


  9. @Pondo: wow, that was…funny! but while urban scout speaks out passionately against agriculture and monoculture, i can say with certainty his green thumb celebrates more than just a first birthday this year. man knows how to get some guerrilla horticulture on!

    i remember when we lived off Belmont this hidden patch of nettles he had transplanted from some urban green space (Oak’s Bottom perhaps, Powell Butte maybe). for real, this little alley between duplexes had a tiny patch of soil announcing a grimy basement window and planted there he had a thriving semi-wild stand of nettles. i don’t remember us ever eating this nettle (probably would taste something like green, tonifying cigarette butts, pbr and piss); he mostly wanted to dry the stalks to process into cordage รขโ‚ฌโ€ a favored activity of another friend while scout plucked away on his banjo or came up with his next hit short film idea.

    ah, memories.