Give thanks, you’re a gardener in Western Washington

Happy Thanksgiving! Time to celebrate all that is great about gardening and our beautiful native plants. I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world and enjoy gardens far and wide but home is where we have the most beautiful gardens in the world. No place else can gardeners choose from such a variety of plant material and enjoy the ease of growing in a mild climate with natural rainfall and year-round color. Give thanks!

So here are seven reasons to be thankful you live in Western Washington.

1. We get to experience spectacular fall leaf color and spring blooms from bulbs but (unlike on the East Coast) we don’t spend the winters shoveling snow.

2. We may have slugs and snails but they are easier to deal with than scorpions and tarantulas.

3. We do have deer that ear our roses but no kangaroos that destroy our landscapes, mongoose that devour our fruits or Grizzly bears and moose that fight for our blueberries.

4. Snakes? Yes, they can startle Western Washington gardeners as they go about their business of eating slugs and bugs but at least they are not the poisonous variety of snake that torment hikers and gardeners in arid Eastern Washington.

5. Our “sunshine” may be more liquid than the never-ending summer climate of Southern California but we do not battle as many wildfires, suffer from water restrictions or have laws that prevent us from enjoying a green lawn or enjoying thirsty fuchsias, hanging baskets and colorful beds of perennials.

6. Native plants here are lush and varied and without the sharp thorns and spiky surfaces of cacti, agave or bougainvillea. Brush up against a sword fern and you may disturb a small green tree frog. Brush up against the prickly pear cactus of Southern Italy and the spines can work themselves into your skin and cause injury and infection. I’ll take soft moss over cacti.

7. Most of all, our local nurseries and Pacific Northwest growers are the best in the world, with our amazing heucheras, hydrangeas and hellebores less expensive than the same variety you might try to buy in England, Scotland or Northern Europe. We take for granted the ease of growing these heavenly plants while the rest of the world struggles to provide the cool soil, ample rain and mild winters that heucheras, hydrangeas and hellebores need. We can also grow rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias – amazing evergreen shrubs with spectacular blooms that we often take for granted.

So this Thanksgiving, gather a few branches of shiny evergreen camelliaand mix in some berried branches or fall foliage. Notice our awesome mountain. Take the time to appreciate living in an area of exceptional natural beauty. We are all blessed to call this place home.

• • •

For more gardening information, Marianne Binetti can be reached at her Web site, www.binettigarden.com.

Copyright for this column

owned by Marianne Binetti.

More in Life

Join author Kurt Armbruster for a discussion of his latest book, “Pacific Coast, Seattle’s Own Railroad” at 6 p.m. May 16 at the Renton History Museum, 235 Mill Ave. S. Courtesy photo
Upcoming events: Pacific Coast Railroad history lesson; coffee with Renton cops

Symphony: Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra Spring Masterworks Concert will highlight Tchaikovsky’s Symphony… Continue reading

Renton Rotary’s Youth of the Month for May

Five Renton students were selected as May 2019 Youth of the Month to finish off the school year.

Gardeners love our veggie-friendly Western Washington climate

Here are the most incredible edibles to grow now.

A look back at Black River

Renton History Museum hosts event with Seattle writer and natural history expert David Williams.

It is a busy time in the garden with planting

Near the end of April the nurseries will be overflowing with color.… Continue reading

Thom Cantrell, one of the organizers of the upcoming International Conference for Primal People, holds up a mould of a Sasquatch footprint. He said the mould was taken in the Blue Mountains in Oregon by Paul Freeman, a well-known Sasquatch hunter who’s 1994 footage of a Sasquatch in that area made big waves in the believer and skeptic communities alike. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
All things Sasquatch in Enumclaw

Washington state is famous for countless reasons. It’s the birthplace of Starbucks… Continue reading

RHS Students gear up for Bubblin Brown Sugar dance competition

The competition is April 27 at Garfield High School.

Special police partners honored

King County Sheriff’s Office dedicates new memorial to honor K9 service dogs and handlers.

How to be a backyard micro farmer

Do you have a small space? Perhaps just a balcony or patio… Continue reading

Photo by Haley Ausbun.
Rooftop dragon roars over Renton

New 25-foot iconic sculpture draws crowd downtown.