Featured Stories

Early Bloomers

Spring is here ... kind of. Between the snow and the frigid temperatures, we can see why you (and the plants) are a bit confused. There are some hardy varieties out there, though, that have bravely shown their heads. Here, the Outlook's Sharon N
by: John Klicker, This daffodil was weighted down by a little snow at Persimmon on Friday, March 28.

It was truly April Fools' Day Tuesday when the thermometer hit 28 degrees in Troutdale and a sparrow seeking a drink in a birdbath skidded on solid ice.

Spring is just toying with Boring farmer Tony Schedeen, who gripes that his blueberry blossoms are tucked up tight as a kid in mittens and refusing to open.

Last week, in Gresham a daffodil nodded gallantly under a burden of snow. But for early bloomers, we wouldn't know it's spring.

No one greets spring's first blossoms with more joy than a gardener. It is no accident that Kim Kincaid and her staff planted forsythia at the west entrance of McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale. Forsythia shouts, 'Spring, come on in and have a beer.'

'In the last five years, the garden at Edgefield has matured,' says Kincaid, who has worked there since its inception 17 years ago. Now garden manager and head of three fulltime gardeners and two seasonal workers, she's still a sucker for a garden catalog, and Edgefield often has the newest plants on the block.

Julie Schedeen baits her plant emporium at the corner of Cleveland and Division in Gresham with early blooming rhododendrons in Easter egg colors of pink and lavender. What gardener can pass up such fragile shades when the day is frigid?

'They're just about a month ahead of all the other rhodies,' says Schedeen, who is pushing the season herself by stocking geraniums. She's keeping them under cover. She learned her lesson when the hail beat up her hydrangeas.

Schedeen goes through her stock like a kid in a candy store, always picking out new flavors, but still keeping the tried and true.

Many plants get a jump on the season, making us happy after a long winter. It's a good idea to make a list of those we like best. When it comes time to plant something in the garden, an early bloomer - a first bright spot of color - is a wise choice.