Roses = Shrubs

Honey Perfume, a Florabunda Rose Shrubs provide structure, texture, color and scale to gardens. They are sometimes evergreen and often deciduous. And ideally they are low maintenance. Most often they require exposure to some sun during the day and often require a lot of sun. What comes to mind when you think of a shrub?  […]

Tidbits about Tomatoes

Sungold Cherry Tomatoes – Photo: WikiCommons It’s May 17 and today’s the day I bought tomato plants—at Garden Fever! this year—for my community garden plot. I intended to buy only three cherry-type tomatoes, but I couldn’t resist trying two others as well. Black Cherry, Sweet Million, perennial favorite Sungold, Oregon Spring (an Oregon State University […]

Favorite Garden Vignette…of the Moment

The view is always a little bit different each time I wander out into the garden. Yesterday, the part of the garden I kept coming back to actually is a view from my bedroom window. It overlooks a just-about-to-burst-open pink Rhododendrons yakushimanum, a stalk of bleeding heart Dicentra ‘Gold Heart’, a variegated Lonicera nitida (‘Lemon […]

A Tough Turf Job?

I have struggled to maintain a healthy lawn for a number of reasons: lots of shade, the soil is likely too acidic, grubs, and lots of wet soil (there’s a layer of grey clay that runs through my yard, which Barney, my adorable golden retriever, finds irresistible…and he’s willing to dig to find it). Doesn’t […]

Invasive Species Hotline

Giant hogweed* (Heracleum mantegazzianum). Photo: WikiCommons. Invasive species are animals and plants that are not native to an ecosystem and that cause economic or environmental harm. They can take over landscapes and drive native wildlife away. More than 50,000 non-native species have been introduced to the United States throughout our history, but invaders don’t have […]

Potato Towers

I have grown potatoes in potato towers for the past two years with moderate success. I planted one layer and then tried to keep up with the fast-growing stalks and leaves by adding alternating layers of straw and a potting soil/compost mixture. New potatoes grew along the elongating stalks. At the end of the season, […]

Large Shrub or Small Tree?

There is a Rhododenron for every size garden. You may have a too large rhododendron that requires an annual pruning to keep it at a reasonable size. Unless the rhody is too close to your foundation or otherwise gets in the way, or pruning puts you in the zen zone, there’s a better way than […]

Conifers for Shade

I have a shady yard, in large part because I have huge conifers—sequoia, spruce, cedar and fir. There are so many interesting conifers I would like to integrate into the design of my garden, but finding those that will tolerate a fair amount of shade has been an ongoing search. In the recently published Conifer […]

Spring’s Rebirth

In Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.                                     Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard’s Egg Bergenia ‘Lunar Glow’ April is an exciting time in the garden. It’s the perfect time to watch leaves unfurl, blossom bloom, and inhale the fragrance of the Earth and all that it offers us. Just like Mother’s, Father’s […]

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