Honeybees and native bees rely on sunflowers for pollen and nectar.
Annual sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are pure floral gold. Their immense blooms have an almost storybook quality. They track the sun, creating a glowing warm basin of golden pollen and sweet nectar to draw bees and butterflies. Abundant oil-rich seed heads follow, feeding both wildlife and humans. For Native Americans, sunflowers symbolized courage and were cultivated as […]
Ladybug adults and larvae (orange and black) waging war on black aphids!
Your garden is a battlefield with more life and death drama than the Serengeti during wildlife migrations. Among your beautiful plants and flowers there is that age-old war playing out every day as the insect world fights over who eats what. Some insects are pests that eat your plants – they are garden prey. Other […]
Monarch on tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica). (Image by Jessie Keith)
Over the last several years, I have become more aware of growing plants in my garden that are friendly to birds, bees, and butterflies. Plants to attract butterflies, especially monarch butterflies, are especially of interest. At one time, monarch butterflies were often seen here in the Pacific Northwest, but not anymore. Dwindling habitat and food sources have resulted in […]
This street-side strip went from sad lawn to glorious garden, and it inspired a neighborhood.
Gardening is contagious! I don’t mean that in a bad way, but in the way that it spreads from one person to another. Whether in a residential neighborhood, a condominium with a patio, an apartment with a balcony, or a community garden, people delight in talking about their gardens. There is something […]
Fruiting olive trees make resilient landscape specimens for edible landscaping in the West.
Olives (Olea europaea) originate from the Mediterranean region but have been important landscape trees in the American Southwest for the past 70 years, losing and gaining favor as trends change. After World War II, mature olive trees were transplanted to new family homes all over the West. Old trees were moved from California orchards […]
Roof rainwater trickles into a classic garden rain barrel.
Smart gardeners prepare for summer dry spells and drought. A little water can go a long way, if you plan ahead with effective water conservation techniques. Implement one (or more) of our five ways to save water in the garden, and not only will your plants grow better in dry weather, you will spend less time and money […]
New, budding gardeners learn how to grow vegetables organically.
Gardening is best shared with multiple generations, especially for our youngest gardeners. Whether we gardeners have our own children, grandchildren, or children in the neighborhood, it is an easy role to fill. Young Millennial families are embracing gardening, so the goal for older gardeners should be to share our garden knowledge to inspire young, budding plant lovers. When […]
Hosta is a traditional shade-loving foliage plant that comes in a wide range of sizes and colors.
It’s hard for me to list a top 10 list for any category of plants, but here I try. It is a stretch to come up with a definitive list because my favorites vary from season to season and sometimes from day to day. When people ask me what […]
‘Coral Charm’ has beautiful peachy coral flowers. (Image by Jessie Keith)
It’s time to plant peonies! Nothing says spring like a garden full of bright, beautiful peonies (Paeonia spp.). Their big, fragrant flowers are great for cutting and come in shades of red, pink, white and yellow and may be single, semi-double, or double. The plants themselves […]
‘Wonderful’ is a popular orchard variety pomegranate that also grows well in home gardens.
Since antiquity the bright red seeds of the pomegranate (Punica granatum) have been likened to rubies. The fleshy seeds are a sign of the nutritional treasure hidden inside the fruit’s tough, leathery rind. The covering of these Middle Eastern fruits protects them from birds and dehydration, unlike fully exposed stone fruits and berries.
The pomegranate […]