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~Written and photographed by gardening expert
4.21A hylocereus triangularis flower

The foot-wide blossom of Queen of the Night (Hylocereus triangularis) has many stamens that bats must wade through to reach nectaries deep inside.

It’s curious that an agave that flowers once at the end of life produces such an enormous bloom stalk.  These can range from 5- to 15-feet tall, depending on the species.  Many of the flowers are clustered at the very top, which is an adaptation for one particular pollinator, the bat.  Because bats use echolocation to guide them, it can be more difficult to navigate their way through brush and thickets.  So naturally a plant that seeks these night-flying pollen vectors would raise its flowers above the brush where they are easily accessed by bats.  Without bats there would be minimal pollination of these plants, which are the primary source of tequila production.
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~Written and photographed by gardening expert
1-IMG_4619

There’s nothing like a fall patio bursting with colorful mums.

“The white chrysanthemum
Even when lifted to the eye
Remains immaculate”
∼Matsuo Basho

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~Written and photographed by gardening expert
IMG_8295 Dahlia Pooh

Staking dahlias at planting time will support plants all season and keep the tuberous roots from being pierced by stakes.

When visiting other gardens and with other gardeners, I find that people enjoy sharing their tips to make gardening easier. Even in my own garden, I often realize there is a better and quicker way to perform a particular task, and I cannot imagine why I had not thought of it before. Particularly on my radio program, when I ask listeners call in with tips, I almost always learn something new. Even though gardening is very enjoyable, I think gardeners are always on the lookout for a easier and quicker way to get something done.
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~Written and photographed by gardening expert
Raised Bed - Mike Darcy

All raised beds require crop rotation and soil replenishment to avoid the accumulation of soil-borne pests and diseases.

Mothers always admonish us “not to hang out the dirty laundry”, which is code speak for keeping unpleasant family secrets out of neighborhood gossip.  This same problem is afflicting the raised bed garden world where nobody wants to hear the downside of these tiny plots of food plants.  At the heart of it is the very old concept of crop rotation. Even the ancients knew that crops grown in the same place year after year developed big problems without rotation.
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~Written and photographed by gardening expert
A mix of peppers, both hot and sweet, is homemade salsa.

A mix of peppers, both hot and sweet, is recommended for really good homemade salsa.

Warm, late-summer days mean lots of tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and warm-season herbs for ardent gardeners and farmers market lovers. And what do these veggies all have in common? They’re the ingredients for homemade salsa—making this the best time of year for salsa making and canning. The bigger the batches you make, the more you have to enjoy through late fall and winter when summer is nothing more than a sunny memory. READ MORE

~Written and photographed by gardening expert
Rosa 'Perfume Delight' 2 JaKMPM

Despite the high heat here in the Pacific Northwest, the roses have done well.

Perhaps we have been through the “dog days of summer” here in the Pacific Northwest with our daytime temperatures reaching 90+ degrees. Not only have those of us without air conditioning suffered, but many of our plants did as well.
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Is your potting soil made by a horticulture company?

Sun Gro is North America's largest producer of sphagnum peat, and the largest distributor of peat moss and peat- and bark-based growing media to professional greenhouse operators in the U.S. and Canada.

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