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Heather Garden Journal - 2005

01/09/2005 - Midwinter assessment
01/30/2005 - All winter blooming erica
02/03/2005 - In the Garden - with Mike Darcy!
03/17/2005 - One of the 'Golden Starlet'
05/18//2005 - Slugs and heather
07/25/2005 - The past three weeks

01/09/05 - About half of the heaths have enough blooms open to reveal their color, but only about a third of them are open enough to make decent photographs. I've attached all the successful images to the 'inventory list' on the main page.

All the heathers have been pruned to remove the long 'blank' patches on the stems where the blooms were. For the particular varieties in my collection it was a good job done in December, because now, in early January, new growth is beginning to appear. I'd guess it's probably better to trim early than risk having to clip growth buds at this time. "Red Fred", "Spring Torch", and "Naturpark" are so far the most obviously eager achievers.

The only plants appearing to struggle at this time are the pair of dwarf heather "Foxii Nana." I purposely planted them in different parts of the garden in hopes that one would survive. Somewhere I got the idea this variety could be a challenge. Looks like it may be. Everything else seems to be doing as well as one can tell in the dead of winter! (TOP) (BACK)

01/30/05 - All winter blooming erica are now open except for Aurea, Golden Starlet, and Porter's Red. Golden Starlet and Aurea don't even have any buds on them - transplant shock, I'm guessing. The effect is far greater than I anticipated for such tiny plants. Give them five years and they may overwhelm the yard! Here are a couple of shots that take in a wider area of the garden. (TOP) (BACK)

02/03/05 - In the Garden - with Mike Darcy! Airs at 9am Sunday, February 13, 2005 on KATU, Channel 2. During the taping of the show I discovered "Golden Starlet" had a few blooms on it I had previously missed. I spontaneously bent down to look at it and suddenly it became an accidental (and not so interesting) focal point of the segment. Sorry... Mike and his crew are the nicest people. It was a pleasant experience and I'm looking forward to having them back as the garden grows! (TOP) (BACK)

03/17/05 - One of the 'Golden Starlet' plants appears to be the first fatality. We had such an incomprehensibly dry winter that I think it just dried out. Rainfall by this time of year usually approaches 25 inches or more. This year we just cleared 11 inches yesterday with a .08 'downpour.' Typically I don't turn the sprinkler system on until May sometime, but this year I turned it on the first of March, but too late for this guy. (TOP) (BACK)

05/18/05 - Slugs and heather seem like an unlikely pairing. I don't know whether they are just hanging out waiting for an opportunity to attack the petunias a few feet away, or actually munching on the heather. I did notice a few brown tips but that didn't really look like slug damage to me. Since slugs are resposible for huge amounts of damage elsewhere in the yard, I'm going on the warpath rather than sit back and see if they really eat the heather. (TOP) (BACK)

07/25/2005 - The past three weeks have seen tremendous activity in the heather garden. Every one of the heath plants now has its winter buds. They came out almost simultaneously with the heather buds, but while the heath stopped short of opening, the heather burst right on ahead and opened. So far, most of the heather blooms all look pretty much alike.

The Tree Heath is taking a beating from some unknown source. Possibly raccoons are looking for bugs in it and breaking off branches. It now has only about half as many branches as it had when planted. It has potential to be a really nice plant but is quite brittle. It is very easily broken and doesn't withstand any sort of abuse.

Allegretto is one of my favorite heathers, but I don't have any pictures of it yet. It has dark, lush foliage with dark reddish stems. The buds haven't opened yet, but appear to be a rather deep maroon-purple. Foxii Nana is doing very well. Several heaths didn't make it. I'll have to do an assessment in the next few weeks, as well as collecting pictures of the summer foliage of the heathers.

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