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Ginkgos Large and Small


In Portland, Oregon, Ginkgo biloba trees line the streets in an area called Park Blocks. These magnificent trees were planted years ago and today reach a height of perhaps 100 feet.  The Ginkgo is an excellent choice for a large street tree when taking into consideration the ultimate growth expected.  (Large tree lawns are a must.) They do not seem to be bothered by […]

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Southwestern Sustainable Farmscaping: Planting for Home Livestock

 
The right plants can provide needed cover for livestock, repel insects, and serve as forage.
Everywhere across the American Southwest, folks are raising chickens, milking goats, horses, and grazing their own cattle. The rural way of life is evolving towards animal care and organic gardening. Dependence on livestock is creeping into the suburbs, too, where clean, efficient animal keeping is bumping up against the traditional backyard. […]

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Marvelous Miniature Flower Arranging


Small is sweet, especially when it comes to flowers and gardens. Miniature and fairy gardens have gained huge popularity, but miniature flower arrangements are just gaining attention. These tiny floral gems give crafty gardeners reason to collect the sweetest miniature vases (second-hand shops are a great source) and create small works of art that look best when presented in sets. Children are also thrilled […]

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Plants for Creative Fall Container Gardens

Combine Intenz™ Dark Purple spike celosia, variegated sedge, and a dusty purple ornamental cabbage for a fun fall container trio.

Tired of planting the same old door-side potted chrysanthemums year after year?  Then upgrade this year’s containers! Lots of cool new fall plants have bold good looks and bright colors to […]

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My Favorite Summer Flowering Trees



With the proliferation of spring-flowering shrubs and trees, sometimes the trees that flower in the summer can be overlooked.  This is too bad because there is quite a selection of summer flowering trees from which to choose.  Many people visiting our garden are often surprised to see the […]

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The Dos and Don’ts of Hand Watering

Don’t get water on plant leaves in hot, direct sunlight. The droplets can act as magnifying glasses and damage leaf tissues.
Successful gardening always comes back to the basics: soil, sun, oxygen, plants, and, most of all, water.  Hand watering is the key to everything in the garden world out West.  Get it right and your garden goes crazy.  Blow it and plants languish.  Water facilitates […]

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Cool Gardens: Designing for Summer Temperature Control


There are certain design and planting features that will greatly reduce summer heat in a garden, and they go way beyond just providing shade. By tapping into the power of air, water, stones, shade, and cooling plants, you can create a pleasing outdoor garden space that will help temper the high heat of summer.
Here are some of the best tools in the design toolbox […]

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Petal Heads: Flowers to Grow for Colorful Dried Petals

Cornflower and pot marigold petals are some of the best and brightest for drying.
Flowers are gorgeous in the garden and freshly cut for indoor arrangments, but their benefits go beyond the beauty of the fresh bloom. Dried petals are a wonderful material to have on hand for craft projects and homemade skincare recipes.
I keep a whole collection of jars of different dried petals on hand […]

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What Plants Deter Insects from the Vegetable Garden?


“What are the best plants and/or flowers to deter insects from a vegetable garden?” Question from Vesta of Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia
Answer: Research has shown that some companion plantings will reduce the number of insect pests that attack specific vegetable crops. These companions fall under two categories: trap crops and insect-repelling companion plants. Trap crops are plantings that attract insect pests, luring them away from […]

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Five Great Daylilies for Continuous Bloom

Rainbow Rhythm® Tiger Swirl is an extra pretty, large-flowered everbloomer. (Image care of Proven Winners)
 
Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.) are one of the most welcome flowers of summer, but most bloom for just four to five weeks, some blooming earlier and others later. This is why daylily hybridizers have worked to breed daylilies with longer bloom times. These days, there are more and more great rebloomers on […]

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