Thursday, April 8, 2010

Oregon Garden

Today we moved on into the state of Washington. The weather here is as strange as Oregon. It is not unusual  to go from a spate of rain to sunshine and then hail within a few minutes. And I have learned some new weather language, as liquid sunshine and chunky rain (large raindrops with icy particles). As I am writing this John is hooking us up to electricity with hail coming down on him. The prediction is that this odd weather pattern may continue for another day yet. One thing I have figured out about this weather is that when the dark patches of sky still hang around we can expect more rain, even if there are some white fluffy clouds and blue sky present. Yesterday, Tuesday, was suppose to be a beautiful day; no rain, and temps in the sixties. Sunshine was present at 7AM and it was downhill from there- an overcast sky with some sprinkles of rain. We dared to go to the botanical gardens and did stay dry! The gardens are still a work in progress, they were first opened to the public in 1999. They were initially under the auspices of the Oregon Association of Nurserymen and the city of Silverton. To ensure financial solvency a deal was later struck with Moonstone Garden Management which allowed Moonstone to build a resort on land adjacent to the gardens. One plant which I saw in the garden, and also all over Silverton, is the Lily-of-the Valley Bush. Is has clusters of white flowers with dark green and red foliage. It is in the azalea and rhododendron family. It is an absolutely beautiful bush and can grow 8-10 feet.
 In the gardens I also first met the Oregon state flower, the Oregon Grape. It is a native of the Pacific coast. Its pinnated waxy green leaves resembles the holly. The yellow flowers of early spring become dark blue berries in the late fall. They are not good to eat until they are first cooked.
 The gardens have an area representing the variety of Christmas trees sold in Oregon, of which there are eight different kinds. There are twenty different sections of the Oregon Gardens which we toured. I am sure a  lot more of its beauty can probably be appreciated once summer comes. Despite that fact and the overcast skies, we still enjoyed our walk in the gardens very much.

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