Rhododendron mucronulatum

Rhododendron mucronulatum

Man, did I jinx it last month or what? Freezing temperatures and a dusting of snow. Still, Spring is flirting with us. The amount of pollen coating my car each day as I leave the Garden is astonishing. The list of flowering trees and shrubs is growing: Corylopsis, Cornus mas, Daphne, and Rhododendrons. Alders and filberts are dangling their catkins. Even the cheerful presence of crocus and narcissus makes you eager for more. The dense patches of Erythronium are forming and sending their nodding buds upwards. By all accounts, it’s getting there, but the winter chill is hanging on just a little longer.

Spring cleanup continues as we spread more mulch. March is the time to prune your hydrangeas and roses. Be on the lookout for hummingbird nests. At the Garden, we’ve been observing Anna’s hummingbirds collecting spiderwebs and lichen for the last few weeks. We’ve been replenishing the feeder regularly. Ground nesting birds such as the Towhees and Juncos have returned “busy” (wink) and noisy. They favor the collapsed sword ferns for their nests—a good reminder to leave places of refuge in the Garden.

I made my annual trip to the Gorge this last weekend to see the Olsynium douglasii blooming. While still early, there was plenty to see, but far from peak. Fritillaria pudica was also starting to bloom. Other ephemerals such as Erythronium grandiflorum were emerging along with Fritillaria affinis. I threw in some yard work for Mom for good measure. I’ll look forward to returning soon.

March marks the end of this quarter’s internships. The last two years of working with Edmonds College have brought new life to the Garden, new friendships. We have truly benefited from the hard work and creativity of Hans Tietjens, Stan Dombrowski, Ben Skolthiem, Angie Vinyard, Hillary Ethe, and Caroline Rubin-Konig. Whenever I walk through the Garden, I’m reminded of them as I pass their projects.

I look forward to future internship opportunities.


Joe Abken, Executive Director