Container bloomers that take the heat

The weather has been sporadic in many parts of the country, and here in Western Oregon has been no exception. We’ve had many hot days and nights, and in most areas, there has been little or no rain. At our house, we have a large deck that always has an assortment of containers with plants […]

Trees that stand above

Trees provide numerous benefits for all of us. They give us shade, provide food and shelter for wildlife and us, help hold the soil together with their roots, provide lumber for our homes, help to cleanse the polluted air, and give us a feeling of peace and tranquility. Perhaps Henry David Thoreau said it best: […]

Let’s address a dry topic

Previously, I have discussed some of the effects of the very dry summer season, not only in the Pacific Northwest, but in much of the western United States. Many readers and other gardeners commented about the article. Looking around my neighborhood in the Portland area in early September, I could see many mature trees that […]

Growing a crop of new gardeners

Just over a year ago, on March 6, 2020, Plant Nerd Night was held for the 19th consecutive year with more than 500 attendees. Little did we know that the following week COVID-19 restrictions would begin, and Plant Nerd Night suddenly had the dubious distinction of being the only large in-person consumer gardening event that […]

COVID-19 brings changes to garden centers

The year 2020 probably instigated more changes in the physical way in which a garden center operates than any other year in history. COVID-19 arrived in the spring, followed by devastating forest fires in late summer and the hazardous air quality conditions that resulted. I cannot recall a year with so many disruptions. Garden centers […]

A gardener’s optimism has no limits

Resilient is a good word to describe Diana and Colby Lamb. Resilience is defined as spirit, hardiness, toughness, strength, buoyancy, and resistance. On September 8 at 12:15 a.m., there was a banging on the door of their Gates, Oregon house. It was a Marion County sheriff’s deputy telling them that there had been a recent […]

COVID-19 lessons from plant societies

In this unprecedented period of a COVID-19 pandemic, several forest fires with lingering air pollution, and a very dry summer that has stressed all our plants, garden centers have also had to make many adjustments to retain their current customer base. On top of that, they also need to attract new customers. Some garden centers […]

Up, down and all around

Sometimes popular phrases never really disappear. They go dormant, but eventually come back again. We might call them “recycled,” but I prefer “dormant” — this is a gardening column. The phrase “up, down and all around” was commonly used in garden training sessions in the 1970s and 1980s, and of course it refers to the […]

Gleams of an extended garden season

Former Portland Rose Society President Rich Baer sent me photo of a bouquet of roses that he took this past Thanksgiving. The freshly cut blooms were from his yard. I have lived in the Portland area for many years. It is not often I’ve thought of picking a bouquet of roses at the end of […]

Scroll to top