Pollinator Gardening

Blooms in the Ice: The Joy of Late Winter Bulbs

IMG_3043Winter 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 […]

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DIY: Homemade Seeded Paper Garden Cards

CArdsSunflower seed circle and herb garden seeded homemade cards are shown. We made gift tags with the extra seed paper!
Making homemade paper is fun and easy to turn into seeded holiday gift cards with garden themes. Simply add a few dried petals to the paper pulp, sprinkle in designer compositions of garden seeds, and you have holiday grow-your-own-garden cards. These useful, impressive cards are […]

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Salvias for Fall-Migrating Hummingbirds

habitSalvia greggii (autumn sage) (photo by Maureen Gilmer)
Hummingbirds rely on the nectar of many fall-blooming salvias to assist in their late-season migration. The striking beauty, bright colors, and architectural statures of these plants also make them great for the garden. Most cultivated salvias are from Mexico and the Southwest United States, which is why pollinators migrating south are attracted to them. Their relationship is […]

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Preparing the Garden for a Hot Summer

Lantana, colorsAn excellent summer bloomer for heat is Lantana camera.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have had record high temperatures already this spring. When the temperature is 100° F in spring, it is HOT!  Not that our weather pattern is ever predictable, but this year it seems to be even less consistent. With our mild winter temperatures, record rain, and a summer forecast as being hot and dry, our plants may suffer without […]

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Garden Flowers for Hummingbirds

hummingbird with salviaA hummingbird with Salvia ‘Amistad’.
 
If there was one pollinator I would like to attract to my garden, it would be the hummingbird. It is such a fascinating bird to watch as it zooms from flower to flower and reveals its characteristic of being quite territorial. For many years, I have planted containers of Salvia ‘Black & Blue’ on our deck because this plant is a hummingbird magnet. Several years ago I tried Salvia […]

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Tender Perennials for Pacific NW Gardens

Lantana, colorsLantana camara
It is hard to believe that it is already March and soon spring will be official.  We’ve had a relatively mild winter and I cannot remember when we’ve had so few frosts.  Like many other gardeners, I always have some tender perennial container plants that need winter protection, and I haul them in and out of my garage depending on the temperatures.  This winter they have been out more than they […]

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Winter Garden Plants for Wildlife

Mockingbird and beautyberryMockingbirds eat beauty berries as well as many other fruits of winter.
 
The winter garden is not dead and desolate, as some may imagine it to be. The fruits of summer and fall still linger, providing vital food to wildlife in the deepest depths of winter. More often than not, these plants for wildlife also offer seasonal interest for homeowners and gardeners as well, making them win-win additions to our landscape.
Winter Seeds for […]

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Effortless Garden Asters

Clouds of ‘October Skies’ asters decorate the fall gardens at Chanticleer in Wayne, PA.

Late-summer fields and meadows dotted with clouds of soft purple, violet, and white daisies are the surest seasonal sign of native asters. These welcome composites have cool-hued floral colors that counter the warm oranges, yellows and burnished shades of goldenrods, perennial sunflowers and black-eyed Susans. Garden-variety asters are even prettier, crowned in blooms that may delve into pink and magenta shades. […]

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Everblooming Bedding Plants for Heat and Drought

ZTwo Zinnias, ‘Macarenia’ and ‘Mazurkia’ , comprise the bright, heat-wise Sasiando Mix. (Photo care of National Garden Bureau)
Finding garden flowers that bloom effortlessly through the hot, dry summer months can be a challenge for those new to gardening. So many popular bedding plants are tender and water needy. Impatiens, coleus, dahlias and even petunias will quickly flag when the heat and drought ramps up. But, have no fear. Lots of bedding plants will make […]

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A to Z Organic Rose Care

TakeItEasy_1The new rose Take it Easy™ is highly disease resistant and a great choice for organic rose growing. (Photo Courtesy of © Weeks Roses)
Roses have a bad rap when it comes to pests and diseases—causing ecologically minded gardeners to avoid growing these seemingly needy, unsustainable garden beauties. But this need not be so. With the dawn of more resilient rose varieties and better rose-care products, it is easier than ever to successfully grow roses […]

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