Garden Writers

VLOG: Top Six Mosquito Repellent Plants

Check out our top six mosquito repellent plants in this Black Gold video! These patio plants are great for repelling mosquitoes. Each has a lemony fragrance that keeps mosquitoes at bay, and many are culinary herbs or beautiful garden flowers.
Top Six Mosquito Repellent Plants

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Smart Spring Container Design

A simple arrangement of golden daffodils and purple viola will light up a spring container.
There’s something magical about a pot of spring flowers on the front step, porch, patio, or balcony. The colors, the fragrance, and just the act of getting our hands in the soil nurtures us gardeners as we reconnect with nature and start the new growing season.
Spring Container Plants
It used to be […]

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Pruning Shrub Roses in Spring

Spring pruning makes shrub roses tidier and prettier.
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 […]

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How to Grow Ramps and Ramsons

Freshly harvested ramps ready for cooking.
Ramps (Allium tricoccum), also called spring onions, are native woodland onions that have gained popularity among chefs and gardeners. The closely related ramsons (Allium ursinum) grow similarly, but they are Eurasian and have different floral characteristics. Both wild onions are grown for their greens and bulbs that taste of garlic and onion, and each makes a fitting addition to spring […]

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Fight Fires with Garden Flowers

This garden features the best drought-resistant, low-fuel-volume flowers for firescapes. (Maureen Gilmer)
You can fight fires with flowers. When landscaping around high-fire-hazard homes, the key is to think about minimizing fire fuel volume, or the amount of burnable material plants provide to oncoming fire. For example, a pine tree has a huge fuel mass, but a sage plant, with it’s lovely lavender-blue flowers, has negligible fuel mass.
To […]

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Eight Best Flowering House Plants

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. […]

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String of Pearls: Living Beads for Hanging Baskets

String of pearls is delicate yet tough, low maintenance and incredibly rewarding.
They are living jewelry no woman can resist, the most coveted house plant, string of pearls. This tender succulent is feminine looking, delicate yet tough, low maintenance and incredibly rewarding. There are two species that can transform traditional or modern spaces, indoors or out. Hang them like living necklaces to bring awe to your home.
Origins
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Best Sauce Tomatoes for Home Gardeners

Serious sauce makers should plant at least eight tomatoes to generate ample tomato harvests. (‘Roma’ tomatoes shown)
All winter long, my family relies on my fresh canned marinara from the garden. Garden-fresh sauce spiked with homegrown basil, oregano, garlic, and peppers tastes nothing like canned commercial sauces. The best sauce starts with great tomatoes. Sauce and paste tomatoes are unique in that they are fleshier, denser, and […]

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Making Space for Gardening: The Portland Community Garden Story

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 […]

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