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January 2022: Happy New Year

This time of year is always a good time to sit back and reflect on the previous year in the garden. What brought you joy? What was easy with big returns? What lived and what died? Most of all what new opportunities are offered for the coming season.

We had a cold snap to end a year of bizarre weather. Afterward it’s time to survey the damage. We went into this cold snap with no real cold period for plants to harden off, so the damage may seem more severe than it actually is. A lot of deciduous shrubs such as hydrangeas and fuchsias still had green leaves on them going into this cold. The leaves on these plants are obviously dead but the limbs may or may not be.

My personal recommendation is to wait and see before you cut back. Believe it or not the dead branches and foliage may protect your plants from the next cold snap.

Now for some good news – this cold will have taken its toll on some of the garden pests as well, such as insects, slugs, and snails. We can hope.

This is also a great time to cuddle up with seed and plant catalogues. Have fun and dream big. Just remember to double-check photo info. Lots of these catalogues are notorious for exaggerating colors and sizes in their photos. Check zones to make sure your choices have a good home.

Visit public gardens to see how others have handled the winter garden. Some great public gardens in our area are:

  • Bloedel Reserve (Bainbridge Island)

  • Lakewood Gardens (Lakewood)

  • Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden (Federal Way). This is also the home of the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection.

  • Kubota Garden (Seattle)

  • University of Washington Arboretum (Seattle)

Another great place to find inspiration is the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, where we are honored to be presenting our own display garden, among many other amazing display gardens, lots of vendors and all sorts of free seminars all under one roof in the warmth of the Seattle Convention Center. The show runs February 9-13th. See you there!


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