Crocus kotschyanunus ssp. kotschyanus 'Reliance'

Jane McGary
Sun, 16 Oct 2005 10:44:45 PDT
Brook Klehm wrote asking about moving to the Pacific Northwest (Seattle) 
from Sebastopol, California.

The rodent problems in the PNW will vary according to whether Brook is 
moving to an urban or rural area. In urban areas, the worst problem is 
introduced eastern gray squirrels. Gophers are present but not too common 
west of the Cascades and rarely enter cities. I live far out in the country 
and content with native Douglas squirrels, chipmunks, voles, field or deer 
mice, and the occasional gopher, as well as deer and rabbits. I just 
covered a planting of Iris cretensis with wire after rabbits ate it to the 
ground for about the fourth time (fortunately, it's evolved with goat 
browsing and will recover).

The winter survival of the Southern Hemisphere plants Brook mentions will 
also depend partly on the microclimate where he or she relocates. Seattle 
is colder, in general, than Portland, the city I live near, but presumably 
it also has some of the urban "heat island" effect that makes it warmer 
than the surrounding countryside. I have never heard of anyone growing 
outdoors the plants Brook specifically mentions ( "anyone have experience 
with Knowltonias in the Pacific Northwest?  I'm
>quite fond of the two species I have here: K. capensis and filia How
>about the various Restios?  I have thriving Thamnochortus insignis and
>T. cinerius, Elegia capensis and E. fenestrata, Chondropetalum
>tectorum, Rhodocoma capensis and R. gigantea "), though some Portlanders 
>have overwintered certain restios for a year or two. It sounds to me like 
>Brook will need a serious greenhouse to maintain some favorite species in 
>the long term, unless the new garden is in a very warm microclimate (for 
>instance, like Heronswood Nursery's property).

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA


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