March mixes it up

Morina longifolia

The month of March, fittingly named for the god of war, here at the coast is a pitched battle between winter and spring. Winter battles for supremacy lobbing hail, snow, and night-time freezing temperatures, but it’s a dead-ender’s ploy. Spring confidently retaliates with brilliant blue skies and blinding sunshine. And then, unless it rains, which it hasn’t the past few days, we plummet into the 20sF again overnight. It’s a dizzying mix, a month that alternately snarls and beguiles. The brief appearance of snow came not in softly parachuting flakes rimmed in poetic sparkle, but in goofy wet blobs that melted on impact, leaving no trace. But unlike rain or hail, snow, even this wet snow, falls so soundlessly that it creates a different kind of thrill as it makes its descent in charged silence. The hail dumps precipitously in noisy buckets, and this is what’s piling up in roadside drifts, hail not snow. Billie particularly despises hail, which always provokes barking jags. But typical of her species, she can’t help attempting to catch and eat falling snow.

Morina longifolia in flower last July

Some more plant portraits this morning:

Arctostaphylos ‘Sunset’
Euphorbia x martinii
the cardoon
house leeks

Some blog housekeeping that might provide some diverting reading in March. A hack at one point knocked out content mid-posts, and occasionally I stumble on the problems and restore what I can. Restored posts include Western Hills, Worldwide Exotics Nursery and San Marcos Celebrates 40 Years, links provided. Those posts and other longish ones can be found at the header under “Long Form.” Now to get Billie out for a walk while blue skies and sunshine are winning!

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7 Responses to March mixes it up

  1. Kris P says:

    Your first paragraph reads like a poem to the March season in Tillamook, Denise. I love both the foliage and the flower of Morina longifolia but sadly (in addition to the fact that Annie’s no longer carries it) it’d be unlikely to survive here in my dry zone 10b/11a garden. It’s particularly nice you recovered the post on San Marcos Growers given that they have to close the Santa Barbara site in 2025 🙁

  2. Denise says:

    @Kris, thanks for the kind words! I probably looked at the SM post because Gerhard had mentioned it in his recent post. Pretty sure I killed morina in zone 10 — it does like moisture.

  3. hb says:

    I guess in less mild climates there is a war between winter and spring? Here it’s more of a friendly conversation.

    Here it is in summer there is war: heat vs. plants.

    San Marcos…sigh.

  4. Tracy says:

    I’m happy to hear you have some sun, the frost on the edges of the plants looks so pretty. The Arctostaphylos ‘Sunset’ really catches the light.

  5. Denise says:

    @hb, oh, I remember that zone 10 imperceptible slide into spring, that I mostly marked in extending day lengths. Much more drama up here!
    @Tracy, the days increasingly belong to spring, the nights to winter — frost again last night!

  6. Jerry says:

    I prefer the long, drawn out springs – cool weather, wet, damp. Any problems adjusting to Oregon weather after moving from California?

    A hack? Oh my goodness, how does one prevent that from happening? That sounds awful.

  7. Denise says:

    @Jerry, in LA I definitely preferred a long spring, because it was so rare. I’ve always loved this kind of weather in Oregon so I still find it beautiful and fascinating — but I do have an eventual escape hatch to LA which no doubt makes a psychological difference, making this more of an adventure. After the hack security was beefed up, but it’s always a possibility — which is crazy for a small blog with relatively little traffic like this!

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