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"My 'State of the Garden' address," by the Whistling Gardener

The Whistling Gardener shares his synopsis of this past year and make predictions for this coming year in his “State of the Garden” address. Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Nursery.
The Whistling Gardener shares his synopsis of this past year and make predictions for this coming year in his “State of the Garden” address. Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Nursery.

This weekly column is being reproduced with the permission of Steve Smith, The Whistling Gardener, and owner of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville.

There’s no point in letting the politicians have all the fun. I too can put together a synopsis of this past year and make predictions for this coming year so here goes nothing.

2015 was one of the best years on record from a gardener’s perspective. Our spring was warm and dry and most of us were able to get an early start on the season.

Granted, the summer ended up being a trifle on the hot side and due to a poor snow pack the previous winter we were all on a drought alert.

But overall the heat enabled us to grow some killer tomatoes and peppers and I even heard of a few success stories of growing a watermelon. Maybe this climate change stuff isn’t so bad after all.

Here’s what’s on tap for 2016.

The drought is over. Thankfully, we are getting copious amounts of snow in the mountains and our reservoirs are full so there should be plenty of water to go around for this coming summer.

Of course we still need to be good stewards and conserve it by using lots of mulch and proper watering techniques. For those of us that failed to do any supplemental watering last summer there are probably dead shrubs in the garden that need to be removed.

I have seen rhodies and emerald greens in many yards that didn’t make it through the summer and if you are unsure what is alive or dead then go with my motto: “When in doubt, pull it out.

The winter was mild. I realize winter isn’t over but so far we have had fairly mild cold spells meaning it rarely dipped below 20 degrees so it is safe to say that we will not experience the same kind of death and destruction we endured this last spring from the previous November freeze that took everything by surprise.

The missus’s Ayesha hydrangea which often freezes to the ground and loses all the flower buds for the next season still has green tips which tells me she will get flowers this summer and that is good news for the Smith garden.

I predict that 2016 will be another warm spring with gentle rain falling only between 10 pm and 6 am and never on the weekends.

The soils will warm up as if on cue and all of our seeds will germinate 100%.

There will be no rust, black spot or mildew on our roses, no brown rot on our plums, peaches and cherries and no scab, anthracnose or mildew on our pears and apples.

None of our tall perennials like delphiniums and peonies will succumb to rain and wind and prostrate themselves on the ground while we are at work.

Lilacs will be free of blight, leaf miners and mildew and bloom their little heads off for weeks on end.

Fall webworms, pear slugs and those nasty aphids that appear over night by the thousands will meet their doom by natural predators like lady bugs, lacewings and birds.

Slugs will succumb to lockjaw and not be able to open their mouths and ultimately wither away never to be seen again.

Finally, weeds will uproot themselves and jump into our yard waste bins while we are in the house sipping on a fine Merlot.

It’s going to be a glorious gardening season and you heard it here first.

Steve Smith is owner of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville and can be reached at online at info@sunnysidenursery.net.

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