Lilium bolanderi germination
Sat, 20 Jan 2007 18:45:53 PST
On 19 Jan 07, at 20:49, Jim McKenney wrote:

> I'll confess to almost total ignorance of west coast growing
> conditions.

Dispelling ignorance is what mailing lists are all about. Here goes:

West of the Cascades down to the Siskiyous in southern Oregon, it's 
all about the same. (East of the Cascades is near-desert.)

1. Coolish, very dry summers; soil cooling is evident by the 
beginning of August, witness crocuses starting to push out new roots 
and that you can walk on beach sand without scorching your tootsies.

2. Some moisture beginning around Sept 1, but the onset date is 
widely variable. ["Some moisture" may be nothing more than a fog.] 
The usual pattern (with many variations from year to year) is 
moderate rainfall well into December, heavy rains from late December 
to late February, gradually tapering off through the spring, with 
near-total drought June-August.

3. Winters not too cold; the coldest period is the month centred 
around February 1.

4. Soil dries out in the spring as much because of the growth of 
deciduous trees as because of the decline in rainfall.

5. The amount of rain varies widely from place to place. Here in 
Victoria, the annual rainfall is under 20" in the SE corner of the 
city and I believe Sequim, Washington is about as dry. OTOH, 
Issaquah, Washington gets some inordinate amount of annual rainfall, 
something like 100" iirc. The higher the annual rainfall, the shorter 
the dry period in the summer, the earlier the onset of fall rains, 
and so on.

6. Immediately adjacent to the coast (Pacific Ocean, not inland 
sounds and straits), summer fogs supplement winter rainfall.

7. With the modification of gradually increasing warmth as you go 
south, this also describes the California coast west of the Coast 
ranges, but not the Great Central Valley.

For those of you in eastern North America, the main difference is 
that you have a *summer* rainfall climate (as does Japan and much of 
eastern Asia), whereas the Pacific Slope has a *winter* rainfall 
climate, much like Greece, for example.

This difference partly explains why many Japanese plants are utter 
failures in the open garden on the west coast unless the drainage is 
good. If they don't desiccate to nothingness in the summer, they rot 
to mush in the winter. Ditto for some eastern American plants.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island

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