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Newsletter 1/14/07 - New year, new web site, new features!

Well as I sit here in a coffee shop in downtown Poulsbo watching the Seahawks lose (not that I really care - does the winning team get to take our land? steal our women? No….so what does it matter?), I have finally finished uploading the new version of my web page! You will notice lots of new features, the most exciting of which is probably the Plants and Gardens Gallery, featuring about 160 photos of desert plants growing in the Pacific Northwest. I have been working on this off and on for months and I am very pleased to finally have it done! Now everyone can see what a wide variety of desert plants can potentially be grown here, and I think this will help to generate more interest in the web site, the nursery, and gardening with xeric plants in general. Other new features include this blog, which you have obviously found if you are reading this; a page where I can post articles about plants and other relevant topics, A Plant Photo of the Month, and lots of new Links. (This page includes some links to other nurseries - some of them have helped me out, so why not return the favor?) Also, I have finally added a gallery of Plants of Peru to the web site, another project I have wanted to finish for a long time.

So, why spend so much time on the web site when I could be outdoors working on the nursery? Well, for one thing, everything is frozen solid so there actually isn’t a lot to do at the nursery for once, except make sure the greenhouse heaters have enough kerosene to keep running. In creating the new site I had a number of goals: first, to be able to continue to use the site for plant sales; second, to make the site visually appealing and unique, which I hope I have achieved with my cute pictures; and third, to provide a resource that will provide information and stimulate interest in the use and appreciation of xeric plants in general. Fourth, and most importantly, I needed a site that would be easy to update frequently while remaining simple to navigate. The format of the last site wasn’t bad, but it would have become awkward if I had wanted to add a lot more content. Now I think I have something to work with: I can easily add more articles, galleries and links as needed. The newletter will be easy to type up and post quickly, and I can also use this blog to post pictures and other interesting tidbits. And the plant catalog has been divided into various sections, to which more offerings can be added, even though each category has only a small number of offerings now.

With the cold weather we are experiencing, some of you may be interested in the weather articles found here. Many times now I have heard “if this is supposed to be an El Niño winter, why is it so cold?” Besides pointing out that this winter is in reality about average to slightly below for the Pacific Northwest (as of this writing anyways!), I hope the articles will help to inform you about this subject!

Your comments about the new site are, of course, very welcome! I would appreciate it if you report any broken links, or errors grammatical or otherwise.

Of course, I haven’t neglected to continue selling seeds and plants - Winter is the time that I collect a lot of fresh Eucalyptus and Callistemon seed, so look for an update on that soon! The plants are all huddled together in the greenhouse, waiting for the warmth of spring. I seem to be keeping most of them alive, so I should have lots of exciting offerings for the spring shipping season, which begins March 15th.

Happy New Year and may all your plants recover vigorously from this rather wild winter.

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