New Member Introduction

Mary Sue Ittner
Sat, 23 Oct 2004 10:38:44 PDT
Dear Nancy,

I live a couple miles from the ocean in Mendocino county just north of the 
Sonoma County border. Although we have an ocean view from our property, we 
are at about 800 ft. which makes a huge difference in our climate. In 
summer we are sometimes above the fog and on those overcast days the sun 
comes out sooner where we live. When it is so windy next to the ocean your 
hat blows off, it is less windy where we live. And on those days when it is 
hot it can be 15 to 25 degrees warmer where we are. I read in the paper the 
high for the day a mile or so away and it doesn't reflect our temperatures 
at all. In the winter when it rains sometimes the storms seems to linger on 
the ridge which means we get a lot more rain than they do at the ocean. 
When the 15 year average included the El Nino years we were averaging about 
65 inches of rain a year since a couple of years we got close to 100 inches 
or more. Lately it has been drier and the last two years closer to 50 
inches, mostly in the winter, but a little in the fall and spring. We 
rarely have thunderstorms which is good as it wouldn't take much to set the 
dry forest ablaze in summer. In winter our storms can be very powerful. 
Continual, gentle rain is possible, but so are downpours, hail, high winds, 
etc. A lot of people have generators where we live. Losing power in the 
winter is a given, whether it will be for hours or days is the question. 
Our local lilies are Lilium maritimum and Lilium pardalinum and they can 
tolerate a lot of rain. So it may be the hot summer temperatures that are a 
problem. We get frost, but not often and not for long. There are of course 
exceptions to all of this and every now and then we have a cold year after 
everyone has stopped being cautious about what they plant and a lot of 
plants die.

Jane is more protective of the bulbs she grows than I am and no doubt that 
means hers look and do better. I do try to shelter a few things from our 
excessive rain during the winter, but just don't have the room. Since I 
grow too many anyway I've come to be a bit more philosophical about the 
ones that are unhappy being rained on. I think many of us in this group are 
trying things that we shouldn't be able to grow according to the books. 
Sometimes we find what we have read is true and the bulbs dwindle or 
disappear, but there are frequent surprising successes reported. I think 
Jane's protecting hers until she has extras to trial is a good way to do it 
if I only had the room in my protected areas.

I'll let Kathy respond about her location, but her signature has said:
Paradise, California,  Sunset Zone 7 but my own observations suggest a
microclimate closer to 8 or even 9.  Mediterranean, 50 to 70 inches of rain
between November and April

Mary Sue

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