Pollinator Gardening

Autumn Sage for All Seasons

habitAutumn sage matures into a large plant that reaches three feet in height and width.
 
When nature gives you lemons, it’s time to make lemonade.  There’s nothing more powerful than drought to bring some really great plants front and center.  In lieu of thirsty annuals this year, plant water-conserving perennials that live long and bloom even longer.  There is no better choice than a rugged Texas native called Autumn sage (Salvia greggii), which has become the […]

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Landscape Lessons from a Fremontia

fremontia blossomDifferent flannelbush species are endemic to different California climate zones, from the West Coast foothills to the eastern mountain ranges.
For almost twenty years I lived on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada where the flora was rich in the most outstanding native flowering shrub species for drought resistant landscapes. The most valuable observation was seeing where they chose to grow in the wild.  When you study the habitat of any plant closely enough, […]

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Which Witch Hazel Should You Grow?

The coppery flowers of Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena' are very fragrant and pretty. (image by Jessie Keith)The coppery flowers of Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’ are very fragrant and pretty. (Image by Jessie Keith)
If you were to take a random survey of ten of your neighbors and asked the question: “When you hear the words ‘witch hazel’, what do you think of?”, the answer will most likely not be a plant. The answer will probably […]

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Winter Flowering Plants

Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn'Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ adds delightful fragrance and color to the winter garden. (photo by Leonard Foltz)
Recently a friend asked me what my garden looks like during the winter months. I replied that it is “rather bleak”. After thinking about my reply, I decided to take a closer look at my own garden and those around my neighborhood. I am glad that I did because my garden is not as bleak […]

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Gardening for Bats

4.21A hylocereus triangularis flowerThe foot-wide blossom of Queen of the Night (Hylocereus triangularis) has many stamens that bats must wade through to reach nectaries deep inside.
It’s curious that an agave that flowers once at the end of life produces such an enormous bloom stalk.  These can range from 5- to 15-feet tall, depending on the species.  Many of the flowers are clustered at the very top, which is an adaptation for one particular pollinator, […]

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Reviving Late-Summer Flowers

Rosa 'Perfume Delight' 2 JaKMPMDespite the high heat here in the Pacific Northwest, the roses have done well. (photo by Jessie Keith)
Perhaps we have been through the “dog days of summer” here in the Pacific Northwest with our daytime temperatures reaching 90+ degrees. Not only have those of us without air conditioning suffered, but many of our plants did as well.

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Hummingbird Gardening with Black Gold

Look closely and you'll see a delicate hummingbird enjoying the fresh water of this fountain.Look closely and you’ll see a delicate hummingbird enjoying the fresh water of this fountain.
In addition to enjoying summer color from my plants, I always have an assortment of plants that will attract hummingbirds. With the many containers that are on my deck and the surrounding garden area, I always select some plants that are known to […]

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Foxgloves: Bee Plants for Every Garden

blossom2The mouth of a foxglove flower is perfectly tailored to attract and accommodate bumblebees.
Everyone is buzzing about bees because these vital pollinators need safe habitats where they can freely live and feed. The problem for many who don’t have space to grow bee plants is how to support these amazing insects. Even if you have just a small apartment or condo balcony, you can do your part to care for bees by growing a […]

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Big, Bold, Beautiful Blooms

1-DSC_0054The quintessential, evergreen Southern magnolia can have flowers reaching 12” across.
Is there a stronger magnet that draws one into a landscape than huge, super big flowers? I’m talking about blossoms the size of a small child’s head, a Sunday dinner plate, or a brass trumpet. Why would nature produce such enormous blooms when they rob energy from the plant? As pleasing as large flowers are to us, the plant’s primary purpose is to attract […]

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New Garden Flowers for 2014

Tangerine orange flowers grace Agastache 'Kudos Mandarin' through the hottest summer months.Tangerine orange flowers grace Agastache ‘Kudos Mandarin’ through the hottest summer months. (photo care of Terra Nova Nurseries)
I do not believe I have ever met a gardener that isn’t always looking for something new to plant in the garden. I am certainly no exception. Each year is like a ‘hunt’ to search and find new plants for my garden. Here in […]

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