Spokane County Conservation District new plant starts

aspen 7
aspen 7 Brekenridge CO

Every year we order new plant starts from the Spokane County Conservation District to improve our garden or landscaping with. The first time I ordered from them was right after I had placed our mobile home. We had Ice Storm and lost half of our trees, so I ordered as many fir as I could afford to replant with the next spring. I love that these horticulturist savvy people really understand our climate in the Inland Pacific Northwest and that their plants are economical small starts that have a real high success rate. They allow the poor folk to be able to care for the land. This year we got 4 different varieties to add to our landscape; 5 aspen, 3 juice grapes, 5 huckleberries, and 5 mock oranges.


Above is a picture of some aspen seen in Colorado, so hopefully we will have some color where we planted our starts during fall here at home.


grapes and sunflowersWe hope to be able to process grapes soon, our vines have had some problems but I haven’t given up on them yet. There are now two rows of grapes, the older row of grapes has two kinds of grapes and the second row has not got a fence or rail built for it yet.


huckleberry areahuckleberry start huckleberry start up close This is our splurge item. The starts were grown in Priest Lake Idaho area so we hope we are going to be able to get them to grow over here in Elk. This is a higher area on the property with a slope that we cleared as we put in our border dog fence last year. Pete planted the huckleberry above a log and we marked each of the five starts with a stick to be able to find them. They seem to be doing real good without any help from us. Yay!

Mock Orange

mock oragne start mock orange row

These are planted on the east fence of our garden between the garden and the house as a decorative hedge. They require very little care and want good drainage with lots of sun, so they have a lot of that where they are planted. Hopefully this row will be able to slow down water going down the hill naturally. We are hoping to be having the fragrance of the white blossoms to help attract bees, butterflies, and birds during the summer.

Magical Aspen Colors

aspens at Breckenridge
aspens near Breckenridge

One of the most solid memories for me as a child are the Fall aspens coloring the hillsides. Magnificent! I am 60+ years old and have finally been able to time a family visit trip back there, during this magically colorful event. I was born and lived in Lakewood Colorado and the mountains till I was in 4th grade, which is when we moved to Hawaii. I had the gift of many many weekends in the rocky mountains with my Grandparents (Mom’s side) exploring mines, beautiful rocks, fishing and camping out.

aspen hwy 6
aspen hwy 6

Experiencing these splashes of color across the mountains and valleys had a much larger effect on my emotions that I had expected to experience.

Hwy 6 A Basin
Near Arapahoe Basin Hwy 6

Memories of loved ones gone so long ago came right up into my face. I could see their faces, hear their voices and remember the frying fish over the campfire. It took my breath away.

Hwy 6 aspen CO
Highway 6 aspen CO

I loved the trip and took many pictures that I am sure will become paintings in the near future in the studio.

Hwy 06 aspen
Hwy 6 aspen

As we drove north on our way back home to Washington state tears rolled down my face and my heart must of cracked as I said goodbye to the family I was able to experience again.