Season’s Greetings!

My name is Hannah Curry and in April of 2022, I became the Head Gardener for the Lord & Schryver Conservancy. I am excited to be part of the team and I’m looking forward to all that we’ll accomplish in the future.

Winter is a time of rest and dormancy for many plants in the Pacific Northwest, but here in the gardens of Lord & Schryver there is always something of interest and beauty to enjoy. Back in April I wondered what the winter months would be like, what would keep me busy while most of the plants were sleeping? Turns out, there’s plenty to keep me busy this time of year between leaves falling like blankets, tulip planting and weeds poking up. Here’s a glimpse of what we’ve been up to lately in the historic gardens.

A beautiful Amaryllis blooms alongside Edith & Elizabeth.
Early morning frost in the North Lawn
Camellia sasanqua “Cleopatra” showing off its gorgeous blooms in the Drying Garden with a nice view of the espaliered sasanqua in the background.
These fungi have been busy all season, their hyphae hidden from view until conditions were just right to show off their fruiting bodies (often called toadstools or mushrooms), which will now sporulate to complete their lifecycle. They look so cozy amongst the ferns and Solomon’s Seal in the Evergreen Garden here at Gaiety Hollow. Often, mushrooms are a sign of healthy soil conditions in the garden and they can be quite beneficial to the plant life around them.
Toadstools growing in the natural area at Deepwood, aren’t they adorable?
Winter is the perfect time to dream and plan for warmer months ahead. These tulip bulbs in the Scroll Garden at Deepwood will bring beauty and color come springtime. These are Dordogne tulips, which will grow to a stunning height of 26 inches by late spring and provide a shimmering orange-pink hue. In order to plant nearly 100 bulbs in this bed edged with English Boxwood, I dug out several inches of soil and placed it onto an adjacent tarp. Next, I spaced the bulbs about 6 inches apart and covered them with the soil I reserved. I then added a good inch or two of good quality fresh mulch, patted them down gently and watered them in. The hardest part is being patient until spring!

Garden flags were used at Gaiety Hollow this year to indicate the quantity and variety of bulbs planted in each area.

When you’ve run out of flowers to gaze at and the green foliage starts to blur against the grey skies, one can appreciate the beauty of the hardscaping in the gardens. Shown here are some of the historic bricks in the Scroll Garden with photos taken before and after a good cleaning. These bricks were grimy and slippery before volunteer Lysa and I gave them a good scrub. The final step was to spray the bricks with a product called “Wet & Forget”, which prevents moss and algal growth. The bright red bricks compliment the intricacies of the ironwork in the fence behind and really set-off the greens of the boxwood and lawns.

Remember those leaves I mentioned at the beginning of this post? Raking is just one way to remove leaves from your lawn, and it’s a tiring one, sure to fill those yard debris bins quickly. Enter: mulch-mowing! See that clean line on the left of the photo? That was accomplished by using an electric mower set high which scoops up and shreds the fallen leaves with minimal effort. Mulched leaves can be added to garden beds, composted or placed in your yard debris bins- and they won’t take up as much space, either.

Thanks for taking the time to read my very first blog. From all of us here at the Lord & Schryver Conservancy, we wish you a wonderful holiday season! We hope you’ll visit us soon.