As I write this and you read it, I am at my daughter’s and son-in-law’s home in Portland, Ore., helping with their new baby.
All is well — even their almost 3-year-old is enamored by his new sister.
As I seem to do wherever I am, I can’t help surveying the landscape and paying attention to plants and trees.
Portland has a much different climate than we do.
Their winter is not nearly so cold or so long, so they have a longer growing season than the North Country. They also get quite a bit of rain year round.
One of the first things I noticed while driving around the neighborhoods are the roses.
Roses are everywhere and are in full bloom. Portland has a reputation for being the “Rose City” and has an annual festival to celebrate it.
I think the reputation is well earned, as the roses are lovely.
Another thing that caught my eye was a great many Oriental and Asiatic lilies.
As those of you who enjoy lilies know, the lily leaf beetle has made growing lilies in our area challenging, if not impossible. They seem to find our lilies overnight and decimate them while we sleep.
It occurred to me that the lily leaf beetle might not be a problem here in Portland, so I did what we encourage all our readers to do — I called the local County Extension Office.
In New York, the Extension offices are affiliated with Cornell. In Oregon, they are affiliated with Oregon State University.
Speaking with a Master Gardener Volunteer in Portland, I was able to ask a number of questions and compare some of the gardening issues they have with what we experience.
As I suspected, they have not yet had the pleasure of lily leaf beetles. They also have not experienced the thrill of the rose chafer or the Japanese beetle, although I was told that they know the Japanese beetle is on its way.