Winter aconite and snowdrops blanket a forest floor in February. (Image by Jessie Keith)
Here in the Pacific Northwest, this past November and early December were very warm and mild. My tropical red-leaf bananas did not die until a hard freeze shortly before Christmas (almost unheard of), and many gardeners had summer- and fall-blooming plants still in flower. Neighbors showed me their 3-4 inch spring daffodils that […]
Creating a Certified Wildlife Garden is one of many ways to garden sustainably.
By default, gardens help the Earth by providing vital green space, but there are smart ways to boost a garden’s overall value—environmentally, socially, and economically. Some steps are small. For example, growing your own food organically takes little effort and offers big rewards with fresh, low-cost produce. Composting your own food scraps […]
Every seed has a story. When it comes to heirloom vegetable seeds, those with great stories have been nurtured for hundreds and thousands of years by diverse peoples worldwide. Many heirlooms have been lost in time, but some have been preserved, bringing with them wonderful traits that tell us something about the people who grew them and the […]
Helleborus Cotton Candy (Image thanks to Terra Nova Nurseries)
In years past, Pacific Northwest gardeners have put their gardens to bed at the end of summer. This is changing. I see a greater trend towards maintaining garden color using ever-beautiful perennials and woody plants. This trend was reinforced while visiting a gardening friend last fall. He said that his garden looked too barren after he had removed […]
Large sprays of bright red berry-like fruits mature in time for holiday decorating.
In my old High Sierra home, I decorated with my own native Christmasberry (Heteromeles arbutifolia, USDA Zone 8) fruit every winter for nearly 20 years. Also called California toyon, this shrub produces large sprays of bright red fruits that are so seasonally welcome, I wondered why it was not more popular in landscaping.
Christmasberry makes […]
African violets are popular for their colorful, ever-blooming flowers and compact size. (Image by Jessie Keith)
I once heard someone say that the African violet was “America’s Favorite Houseplant”. While I do not know if this is true, it has certainly been a house plant staple for years. The compact pretty plants bloom throughout the year with flowers that come in a multitude of colors. They […]
The ferocious spines of the golden barrel cactus make them very difficult to pot. (Image by Jessie Keith)
The golden barrel (Echinocactus grusonii) is America’s favorite cactus. All over the Southwest it has become a coveted living ornament in landscapes. When back lit by the sun, the bright canary-yellow spines literally glow, creating high drama against blue agaves and succulents. A big yellow cactus potted […]
Mature Chinotto Sour Orange (Citrus x aurantium ‘Chinotto’) Fruits.
From the seventeenth to nineteenth century European aristocrats in the north grew citrus and other tender fruits in specialty greenhouses called orangeries. By the early Renaissance, pane glass could be sufficiently produced for the creation of greenhouses large enough to hold tropical and subtropical fruit trees. These glass houses were status symbols, in […]
After receiving many submissions for the “Show Us Your Black Gold® Garden!” Photo Contest, we selected the first, second and third place winners. The photos were judged by a team of five Black Gold® staff members. Photo content, quality, and written submissions were all considered in the selection process. We were so excited to see and hear stories about everyday gardeners having success with Black Gold® potting mixes and amendments! Here are our winners:
First-Prize Winner, Carolyn Frazier
Carolyn, a retired Horticulture Agent from the University of […]
Stewartia pseudocamellia fall color
The fall season is upon us and what a glorious time of year it is. As I walk around my neighborhood, and drive around Portland, the many deciduous trees are turning brilliant shades of color. The more brilliant they are, the better.
Favorite Fall Trees Read More »