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Winter is moving in…..visiting sounds better.

Winter is moving in…..visiting sounds better.

Snow is for me not a big event as I grew up with the white powder that is falling on our heads in Germany…..and plenty of it. BUT it becomes a big deal when you planted around 30 different exotic plants around the house in the Columbia River Gorge were the weather is always a bit different than in Portland. After we bought this property last year in December 2015 I recognized that the gardens around here are looking all pretty much the same during the spring and summer. Stocked with hardy plants that you find at Fred Meyers and Home Depot. Not my style!
It was time to get my hands dirty and redesign the garden with over 300 different Hostas in the ground looking at me. Sure they are nice in the summer when you give them a bucket of water every day in the drought season and that is were the story ends. Some had to go and found new homes in friend’s gardens….big smiles. Two acres of garden in transition from high maintenance to low maintenance plants. Most of them drought tolerant and evergreens from around the world.  Big question is how they will deal with the winter in the Gorge at 750 feet elevation? Lets step outside…..24F…brrrrrr

Nerium orleander doesn’t look bothered by the cold.


Eucalyptus perriniana is standing the ground. The base is covered with about a half foot of leaves.

Schefflera delavayi is holding its ground.

Schefflera taiwanese does surprisingly well in the cold.

Fatsia japonica is not doing as well as the Scheffleras.

Phormium tenax, New Zealand flax seems not to care at all. There is hope.

Magnolia is hanging in there.

Aztec Pearl is getting a beating.

Trachycarpus wagnerianus Japanesse Temple Palm….we will see in the spring.

Edgeworthia C. ‘Nanjing Gold’ …..cross fingers this one will bloom.

Mahonia gracilipes showing off winter color.

This Grevillea looks good so far.

Carpenteria californica…..we will see.

Mahonia x media looks happy.

Arbutus menziesii looks good. This plant was only 4inches tall when I put it in the ground in April.

Arbutus arizonica looks good as well.

Mahonia eurybracteata was blooming one month ago.

Metapanax delavayi does not look happy. Was blooming as well last month.

Tetrapanax papyrifer looks as expected. We will know more in the spring.

Yucca rostrate taking a bath in the snow.

So does Yucca aloifolia.


This walking “Tacca” is well prepared for the winter.