If you didn't notice by my little ditty last Thursday, I got the gardening bug. Yes, I know it's January, but I live in the Pacific Northwest and any day is a good day for gardening. Those several weeks of freezing weather made me feel cooped up. I don't garden constantly in the winter, but I like to know I can.
As I shopped for plants on Wednesday, I was literally the lone shopper at the nursery I went to and the Home Depot garden area. Both places were lean on the pickings, but not with what I was looking for.
I needed some blueberry bushes for the mason bees I'm adopting come March. Mason bees are native bees to this area. They look like gorgeous flies and unlike honey bees, they are not endangered. One of my neighbors makes the houses, has bee eggs on ice, and he's providing the kit and caboodle for free in the spring, and will harvest them and clean up after them in the fall. He told me they would be happiest if they had two varieties of blueberries in the yard. Their wish is my command.
I've been in a panic about where to find blueberries, it's not a normal plant for most store garden areas. When I took our old Christmas lights to the local McClendon's Hardware to recycle, they didn't have anything in their garden area. It baffled me because they are local and I thought they would keep native plants on hand this time of year. Then I remembered an outdoor nursery on the way home. It seemed there wasn't much even in their huge lot, but I was looking for bare roots, which means the bush or tree is dormant and doesn't have any leaves. Without leaves, plants aren't very noticeable when they're lined up in a gravel lot. They have no color to attract attention.
That nursery had exactly what I was looking for and more. I can't go into a nursery and not look at everything they have. It was raining a bit when I got there. I was overwhelmed at all varieties of blueberries they had and when the clouds really opened up and it began to pour, I stepped under the eaves of the building and did a little research on my phone.
It stopped raining by the time I made my picks: a Legacy, Elliot, and Pink Lemonade, because, well, it's named Pink Lemonade. I asked about an Oregon grape, which I'd also been looking for, because they are early bloomers and hummingbirds like them. He pointed me to the lot and I found the grape, two sweet heather plants that begged me to take them home, a gorgeous "Bud's Yellow Dogwood", which has the most interest in the fall and winter with its yellow twigs, and a huckleberry because Yogi Bear likes them and I like to say huckleberry.
I was pretty proud of myself for getting seven plants for $65. Price is another perk about shopping in the dead of winter. The salesman was impressed that I braved the storm and I told him I'd probably plant them in the rain, too. He called me a "hard core gardener". I laughed, because I've never thought of myself as one before, but my energy has been so good since last spring, I've made a lot of progress with my backyard.
Then because I had to go to Home Depot for a fridge filter (which they didn't have), I went into the garden department just to see what they had. They had very little, but there was a Gold Dust plant I was eyeing last summer that was much discounted, and a tree that was just pretty and also discounted.
When I got home with all my new friends, I had my work cut out for me. I looked on the weather channel app for the best day for the job and aside from three to six in the morning, which would have made the neighbors think I was burying dead bodies, Friday was good all day.
It was so blustery, I almost changed my mind. But I went out around noon and a couple hours later, I had myself some new foliage in my backyard.
Things are sprouting up all over.