Winter in the Garden

It rarely snows in Portland. When it does, the city goes into hibernation, which is good because it keeps people off the roads. It is beautiful to see snow in the landscape. Snow on trees and shrubs really highlight a plant’s form and structure. This Northwest Oregon grape looks beautiful covered in snow.

Oregon grape is one of my favorite Northwest natives. It is hardy, drought tolerant and looks great in the garden year-round. It is one of the first native shrubs to flower, which is a favorite food of hummingbirds.

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My main focus in the garden in winter is providing food for birds. I always hang a bird feeder, which is frequented by black-capped chickadees. Today, I saw an Anna’s hummingbird in the garden. I think he was trying to figure out why the sugar water in the hummingbird feeder was frozen. Poor thing, he will have a wait until it thaws.

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Hummingbird photo taken by Craig Tumer

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