SPRINGFIELD, Ore.—Most flowerbeds in Oregon won't start blooming for another month or two. But gardeners around Eugene and Springfield are finding ways to stay busy.
Two varieties of flowers are ready to plant and easy to care for.
On a usual frosty morning you'll likely find Richard Akers in a warm greenhouse tending to his young daylilies.
“It gives me an opportunity to take a plant and play with it and see what I can do to make flowers different and more intense,” Akers said.
Akers has grown the vivid flowers at Rogers Gardens in Springfield for more than a decade. He cross pollinates them, and collects the seeds until he finds the characteristics he's looking for.
“It's all about pushing the envelope, finding something more ruffled, bigger, more fragrant, rounder,” Akers said.
Not everything in the garden goes dormant in January. At Northwest Garden Nursery west of Eugene, they specialize in hellebores, an outdoor flower that thrives this time of year.
“Very surprising and a wonderful thing. And a whole greenhouse full of all of these colors is really amazing to behold,” Evelyn Hess said.
Marietta and Ernie O'Byrne have been growing the winter flowers for more than 20 years. The demand for hellebores in the Willamette Valley brings droves of gardeners to the greenhouse west of Eugene.
“They do not require much care at all,” Hess said. “They're completely hardy here. I have some at home that I really don't even water.”
Both daylilies and hellebores are easy to care for and are mostly resistant to pests.
Northwest Garden Nursery will open for the first time this year on February 22nd and 23rd and again in March.