Here it is October in the Pacific Northwest, and cool moist weather is upon us after a hot and dry summer. The recent rains and cool temperatures are a welcome relief to many plants (as well as to myself). Many summer annuals are still performing, and the hardy fuchsias and dahlias will continue to flower heavily up until frost. This is also the time […]
Branches laden with bright purple berry clusters can be a very pleasant surprise to those unaware of the virtues of beautyberry (Callicarpa spp.). These berries provide a bright spot of color, especially in the autumn garden when the color performance of many shrubs is over.
There are more than a dozen species of Callicarpa, however only a few are readily available to at plant nurseries. […]
Salem, Oregon gardener Harry Olson has taken vertical gardening to new heights, (literally). Harry’s home is on a small city lot and because of space constraints and shade issues from neighboring trees, Harry has, out of necessity, created a vertical garden. This has challenged him to creatively experiment and find innovative ways to maintain a productive edible garden. Many of his methods could easily […]
Spring pruning makes shrub roses tidier and prettier.
Pruning shrub roses in spring…exactly what does it mean when a rose is called a ‘shrub rose’? In Taylor’s Dictionary for Gardeners a shrub is defined as “A woody plant that is shorter than a tree and usually has several stems that branch from the base”. This definition would certainly fit many rose types, like floribunda (shrub rose crosses between polyantha and hybrid teas roses.), grandiflora […]
Moth orchids are one of the easiest to grow! (Image by Jessie Keith)
House plants have made a resurgence in popularity over the past several years and the trend shows no signs of diminishing. On a recent visit to a large Portland garden center that had just finished their annual January house plant sale, the manager told me it was the best one they have ever had. […]
Gardeners in an Oregon community garden harvest late-season vegetables. (Image by Dawn Grunwald)
Throughout the United States, urban community gardens have become a common thread that helps bring communities together, in cities large and small. Most community gardens have similar goals. In addition to supplying families with fresh produce, they encourage physical activity, provide needed green space, and a relaxed way to meet your neighbor.
No matter where […]
A layered bulb basket just begins to break bud in early spring.
Early in the new year, when I see the first crocus poke up through the soil to herald the coming of spring, I know that my bulb pots are close to looking spectacular. Each year, I plant up bulb pots in layers for extended bloom. I fill them with early crocus, mid-spring hyacinths and […]
Dwarf apple trees can fit into practically any sunny, small-space garden.
Walking out on your deck, balcony, or patio and being able to pick fresh apples off your own tree may be a dream to most gardeners. In the world of today, we often have small lots, which means less available space for a standard-sized fruit tree. Even if we did have the space, there may be […]
Garden abundance offers an opportunity to share food with your community!
This is the time of year when home vegetable gardens reach their peak with summer produce ready for picking. Just walking around my neighborhood, I see that the tomatoes are turning color, a sure sign that the harvest season is upon us. Once summer vegetables begin maturing, they continue at a rapid pace, often too rapidly. […]
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 […]
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