July, 2021 –If ever there was a time that showed the benefits of adding compost to the soil, this past week was it. With temperatures in the Portland, Oregon area setting records for all-time highs, plants suffered just as people, pets, and wildlife did. We generally experience mild summer weather, but one afternoon this week our outdoor temperature was 114 […]
There is nothing more beautiful in the summer than sword lilies (Gladiolus hybrid) in a vase or the garden. Their stately stalks of glowing, fragrant flowers come in an array of colors that just can’t be beat! Most gardeners grow them for cut flowers, but glads can also be carefully worked into summer flower borders for floral impact. There are also compact types suitable […]
A combination of protective row covers, mulch, and drip hoses will dramatically reduce water loss.
Hot weather drains garden plants dry and reduces productivity, especially when rain is scarce. More and more gardeners have had to change the way they grow because heat and drought limit the season. Rather than getting discouraged, they have learned smarter gardening techniques and how to stretch resources. Approaching the garden […]
Unless you are removing dead or dying stems, it is best to prune spring-flowering shrubs just after they bloom.
When we think of pruning shrubs, we probably think of late fall and early winter as the ideal time, but this is not always the case. For many spring-flowering shrubs, late spring is the best time to prune because pruning must happen shortly after flowering. Prune off-season, […]
Many native honeysuckles are adapted for hummingbird pollination.
I love the honeysuckles (Lonicera japonica) of old. Their fragrance is unmatched, and their nectar-filled flowers sweet to taste. But sadly, the rampant, rambling wild vines are Asian in origin and unfriendly to North American landscapes. They take over; smothering native landscapes in a sweetly-scented blanket of blooms. There is, however, an upside. There are loads of native, […]
The flowers of Aesculus x carnea may be pink or red, depending on the variety.
Probably known to many, the state tree of Ohio is the Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra, 20-50 feet, USDA Hardiness Zones 3-7), a large tree native across eastern North America. Another common name is horse chestnut, a name that refers to its round, inedible, husked nuts with a mahogany sheen. In general, […]
Weed competition drags gardens down in every way. Ignore your garden for just a couple of weeks, and weeds can take over in a flash–turning once tidy, pretty beds into a tangled mess of green interlopers with no room to spare. If you use the right tools, techniques, and timing necessary to stop a weed takeover, it will save you trouble and reward you […]
April is here, and it is a welcome relief to have winter gone, especially with the ongoing constraints of Covid-19. I am really looking forward to the new spring season and plan to garden nonstop this year! So, it was a delight to recently visit a garden center and see it well stocked and ready for spring. It put me […]
Knock Out roses of all colors are everblooming and resist common rose diseases.
Roses are among the most beautiful flowers on the planet, but they are also prone to some of the nastiest foliar diseases as well. The three worst of these are rose black spot (Diplocarpon rosae), powdery mildew (order Erysiphales), and rose rust (Phragmidium spp.), but new roses are challenging their damage. Many of the largest rose […]
Aloe is so easy to grow and so useful.
With gorgeous thick leaves and sparsely spiny edges, the aloe vera plant (Aloe vera, USDA Hardiness Zone 9-11) is renowned for its healing properties. Native to eastern and southern Africa, it is one of the oldest-known healing plants used by humans. Aloe grows wonderfully in dry regions because its succulent leaves hold moisture and make it incredibly […]
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