Pollinator Gardening

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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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 be […]

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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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