Monday, May 12, 2014


Spring is in full swing at Rare Plant Research and Villa Catalana Cellars. The Laburnum allee is in bloom, the Cannas are up and the olive trees are leafing out after losing most of their leaves in last Decembers deep freeze. In the deep freeze we lost a Jubea chilensis. We are a little colder then Portland (we had a low of 8f to Portland's 12f)  and probably it would have made it in Portland. It is one of the largest palms that gets a trunk of 4 feet wide and 60 feet tall. We even had damage on our Italian Cyprus, but fortunately they are starting to grow out. Several pleasant surprises were two South African bulbs, Hypoxis hemeralcaldea and Brunsvegia radulosa that proved to be remarkable hardy. They will planted  with more frequency in the garden this year. The trout are getting huge in the lower pond and it is time to get one on the grill! The grapes in the vineyard are leafing out fast and our wine is bottled and ready to drink. There is nothing like a nice glass of wine in the garden after a days work, maybe with a trout dinner. We have set up many dinning areas in the garden to help us enjoy different views. It is so important to enjoy the fruits of ones labors and to take the time to appreciate and savor. It is at these times that we often get inspired for new projects or reflect on past experiences with friends and family. Garden appreciation is food for the soul. The conservatory tasting room is finally completed and it will allow us to extend  gardening appreciation in the winter. Our winery is up and running and we will be sharing the conservatory with visitors on Saturday afternoons. We are pleased with the quality of our wine, especially our 2012 Pinot Noir. Being beginners in wine making, we feel fortunate that we have been able to produce something drinkable that people may actually enjoy! Especially when sitting in the garden.