This Spring has been an interesting one, constant rainfall and lower then usual temperatures, with very few of the sunny, warm days that we all slug through the winter here for.
But the bulbs are coming up strong now and despite having to fight a few more fungal issues like botrytis then I usually do it's looking like a productive growing season is coming on.
So last year when I posted up the bulb list I think the amazing amount of traffic caused the blog site to crash. I don't want to repeat that this year because I'm sure I lost customers because of it. So I'm considering getting an actual website to host the catalog. I've been pretty resistant to this because I operate this nursery on a cash basis and the added cost of maintaining a website and such is just another expense that up until last year hadn't been justified because the blog was working fine. So I'll keep folks updated on that if I decide to go that way. The other option is going back to an email list format, whereby folks can request a catalog and be added in to receive a mailing. This is more work for me and less desirable but remains on the table as an option.
In other news, I've had the plans and some materials for a climate controlled greenhouse in the works for a while now. I'm hoping this is the year that it comes to pass. Global Climate Change is a real thing that is happening and I've lived in this little part of Oregon for more than 3 decades now and I will tell you that I have seen the climate changing. We get more intense rain storms with colder temperatures in the winter and the summers have been far hotter and drier.
So hopefully adding a climate controlled greenhouse will give me an opportunity to expand the range of some of the species I'm growing. I've had a long fascination with some of the less hardy South African stuff, but I learned my lesson the first few years in the frost pocket that they won't make it here without better winter protection.
I'm hoping to continue expanding the bulb displays in the new rock garden this year as well. Anya has been busy sowing vegetable seeds in the little available space we have as well which we are working with a non-profit that is raising funds for feeding staving folks who are victims of a brutal regime in North Korea.
Thanks for all the support that the loyal and new customers have provided over the years, it's been fun to grow the nursery and continue the passion for the rare and unusual plants that I love so much.
Happy St. Patricks Day,
Illahe Rare Bulbs
at Illahe Nursery and Gardens.