Let Playing Dogs Roll….

By Gardennia nutiiI’ve learned to embrace unintended consequences. For example, the lovely flower show that resulted when Prunella vulgaris took over my lawn after I neglected weeding chores. Another wonderful unintended consequence occurred the first weekend in December when heavy winds blew the last of the delicate leaves from my laceleaf Japanese and vine maples […]

Gifts for Gardeners

As I write this, there’s still a week and a day before December arrives. Has this year flown by as quickly for you as it has for me? It’s the gift-giving time of year and there are lots of lists to offer help for the weary. But I wanted to offer a few suggestions that […]

Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary

There’s still a lot to see in the garden at this time of year. Many of us are a little burned out with all the gardening we’ve been doing since spring and we just want to sit back and relax. Well designed gardens offer year-round interest, the beauty of which can be a distraction from […]

Mushroom Hunt a Success!

Our Random Acts of Gardening mushroom adventure (see the November 1 post) converted seven gardeners into mushroom explorers. Steve Schmidt, Sustainable Consulting LLC, started us with a lesson in using a compass and edible mushroom recognition before heading into the Mt. Hood National Forest. Hedgehogs—including the largest one Steve’s ever seen, a whopping 6 inches […]

Naturally-Shaped Organic Christmas Trees

Larry Arendt, owner of Arendt’s Christmas Tree Farm, planted noble and Frasier firs a few years back as part of his retirement strategy. He decided he wanted to let the trees grow in their natural shape; no trimming allows the naturally wide-spaced branching to show off all those beautiful ornaments you are collecting. He also […]

Moments of Magic

Gardening —and nature—is miraculous and magical. We had our first hard frost Sunday morning turning brown leaves and blades of grass into works of art. I LOVE sparkly things (maybe I was a magpie in another life?!?). As I was walking Barney (my adorable golden retriever), my eyes were glued to the ground as I […]

For the Birds

Photo courtesy of Karen Rake A dear friend (and Random Acts of Gardening reader) shared these thoughts and photos with me. Testimony that we shouldn’t be too quick to tidy our gardens in the fall! “Here are some of the pictures I took the other day [in mid-November]. It is hard to see them since […]

The Ultimate Shrub

 Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Howard McMinn’Photo courtesy of HortMag.com  “Arctostaphylos is the ultimate shrub of the west,” declared Paul Bonin, co-owner of wholesale nursery Xera Plants, at an early November Hardy Plant Society of Oregon Gen(i)us presentation. Arctostaphylos is better known to most gardeners as Manzanita. According to Bonine, there are 60 species of Arctostaphylos […]

The Social Gardener

Ann Murphy (left), editor of RAG, and Whitney Rideout (aka Gardennia nutii) at a Farmington Gardens gardening workshop. By Gardennia nutiiI moved to Oregon 15 years ago to take a new job. My move here was right after I graduated college and was a solitary one. I developed the usual set of friends from work, […]

Praise for Alyssum Variety

A 2010 Yard, Garden & Patio visitor recently sent us a note of praise for Proven Winner’s ‘Snow Princess’™ Alyssum. Here’s what she had to say: Photo courtesy ofProven Winners “I just wanted to tell someone that the ‘Snow Princess’ alyssum (Lobularia hybrid) from Proven Winners is just amazing. It was blooming when they passed […]

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