A GROWING CONCERN: Plan and plant away to your heart’s desire on Peninsula

AS I’VE MENTIONED before, our weather here is never hot nor cold and is extremely mild.

The most important fact to glean is that for all practical purposes, our weather is very forgiving.

Without the stresses of extreme hot and cold, our plants grow lush, thick and green.

And what is really beautiful is the fact that we are just cold enough.

Spring and fall

Because we are the last climatic zone to get frost, we can grow all the gorgeous spring plants that require cold temperatures.

We therefore have tulips, delphiniums, azaleas, daffodils, camellias, rhododendrons, witch hazel, lilacs, crocus, lupines, hyacinths, columbines — the list goes on and on.

Our just-cold-enough weather also gives us a great fall foliage season, so all manner of autumn color can be planted.

But yet — and yes, even this year — we don’t get Artic weather, so the damaging effects of a “deep freeze” do not hurt our plants.

No extremes

No huge frost heaves, no frigid dehydration of buds, no cracking of the bark, no frozen roots.

At the same time, we are warm enough to grow palm trees, all your fabulous flowers, lovely Mediterranean herbs (i.e., lavender, sage, thyme) and sedums, and we are even home to an indigenous cacti.

But we are not so hot out here at the tip of continental America to “brown things out.”

Our July and August weather goes into the 60s or even 50s at night, so no “heat stress” occurs in your plants.

They continue to bloom and produce throughout the summer.

Our hanging baskets look fabulous and our edible peas produce from May (if you sow now) until October/November.

The marigolds and zinnias stay ever-prolific because of our cool and mild evenings.

This, however, is why peppers, corn, eggplant and okra do poorly here: The evenings are too cool.

But this is why we have local producers.

So the big takeaway here is that our weather is ideally mild: never hot nor cold.

Our plants thrive here because the climate does not stress them out, yet we have enough cold and hot to grow an insanely wide range of plants from palm trees to arctic junipers.

Try something exotic

And what this really means is to plant and plan away to your heart’s desire.

Go crazy and find exotic plants because our weather here will forgive you.

Play around in your yard with a whole host and variety of plants.

And why not come out to the Sequim Gala Garden Show today for a great beginning to this end?

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Andrew May is an ornamental horticulturist who dreams of having Clallam and Jefferson counties nationally recognized as “Flower Peninsula USA.” Send him questions c/o Peninsula Daily News, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362, or email news@peninsula dailynews.com (subject line: Andrew May).