Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The 2009 season is here

It is a magic moment to open up our summer home for the coming season. The 2009 season started first weekend of April. We arrived in beautiful spring weather, and I am glad to say that all is well with the old house and the garden, with a few exceptions. Those failures were, however, results of horticultural hybris.

Our summer home is close to the town of Tvedestrand – a quaint community with small white wooden houses that has existed around 200 years. It is located by the south eastern coast of Norway, and if you want good weather during summer, this is the area to visit. A rugged coastline with small inlets, embraced by the warm weather of the Gulf Stream. When the western coasts have rain and fog, the south eastern coast has sunshine.

This was the one of the reasons that I last year purchased a small palm tree at the local Garden centre, a European fan palm variety that is growing in the Atlas mountains. It would normally withstand the winters along this coastline, but as I arrived I found that it had died.

I have to add that the winter of 2008-2009 has been brutally cold, compared to the normal temperatures found along these coasts. To my surprise my Eastern prickly pear cacti had survived the winter. No wonder, as these exotic looking plants are growing along the eastern coast of America, even as far north as Canada.

I have already told you about my herb garden. I am glad to say that the herbs I harvest for my cooking were dormant, but alive, or had slowly woken up. My strong tasting ruccola had small, green leaves, and the oregano and mint were well alive.

The winter green herbs as winter savoury, thyme, sage, lemon sage, and lavender were green. I can therefore look forward to a wide variety of herbs in my food for the 2009 season.

My garden has plants that will or may defy the northern location of my country. This season I will try again with new exciting flowers and plants from different regions. One of the more species I plan to buy this spring is a Chusan Miniature Windmill palm (left) from Japan. It may survive temperatures of -10 to -15 degrees and will survive normal winter conditions.

Another is Agave Montana from Mexico, that may thrive in damp and even freezing temperatures. I have planted a Yucca Filamentosa, a species that may struggle, but may survive a normal winter.

So my plans for an exotic garden is under way, as you see. It is up to the Gods to secure a climate, but the Gods are full of whims, as you may know, but if they are generous to my little spot in the sun, I may create an illusion of more generous skies along my northern coasts. I will keep you posted.

Other stories from my herb garden

(Photo windmill palm: Thecoldmidwest)

1 comment:

loving said...

Awesome, I just planted some windmill palm trees too, I bought them from an online store called realpalmtrees.com . I read about them from this blog and found out they, the windmill palms, are from the foothills of the Himalayan mountains. I couldn't believe that, so i started looking for more info about them and it was true, they actually live in the snow. I thought palm trees only grew in Florida. The place where I got the info is WIndmill Palm Info and they tell you all about the windmill palm tree and what soil to use, its great and its free. I always say, if its free its for me... especially after getting married!