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How to Prune Spring-Flowering Shrubs

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 our shrubs and trees, we probably think of late fall and early winter as the ideal time. For many trees and shrubs, this is a good time, but there are many spring-flowering plants that should be pruned after flowering and there is […]

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Beautiful Buckeye Trees for Yard and Garden

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, […]

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Spring Garden Tips for a Happy Garden


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 […]

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Magnificent Magnolias for Majestic Spring Flowers

Saucer magnolia is one of the most popular magnolias grown and blooms beautifully in early- to mid-spring,
I will always remember the early spring day in the 1960s when I exited the freeway into a wooded neighborhood and first saw saucer magnolia saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana, 20-25 feet, USDA Hardiness Zones 5-9, a cross between M. denudata x M. liliiflora) in full bloom. It was […]

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Getting Phalaenopsis and Oncidium to Rebloom

Moth orchids, or Phalaenopsis, are the most commonly sold orchids and easiest to grow.
I think that most of us have walked into a grocery store or the houseplant section of a garden center and seen colorful displays of colorful blooming orchid plants. With their unique and beautiful flowers, it can be difficult not to buy one. Once purchased, it is easy to get hooked on […]

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Winter Garden Tasks for a Happy Garden

Winter Garden Tasks for a Happy Garden
Here we are in January at the start of the New Year. Now is always an exciting time in the garden to be thinking of what new plants to add, what plants to remove or move, what container gardens to create, and what new garden art to add. A garden is ever-changing and never stays […]

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Small Evergreen Conifers for Winter Gardening

 
Kohout’s Ice Breaker Korean fir has beautiful silvery and blue-green foliage that stands out in winter gardens.
I grow “miniature” or “dwarf” plants with caution*. Living and gardening in the Pacific Northwest, I have found that plants seem to grow larger than many of the plant tags indicate. I have had many experiences where plants get larger than the literature states and many gardening friends tell […]

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The Hippest Roses with Colorful Hips

Rose hips can really add bright color to the fall and early winter landscape.
Generally, when gardeners purchase roses, they think of flower color, fragrance, disease resistance, and the overall beauty of the plant. Whether a rose has hips is usually not a high priority. But, if our gardens can have blooming roses all summer, why not end the season with the added bonus of colorful […]

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Fall Garden Tasks for a Happy Garden with Mike Darcy

Fall Garden Tasks for a Happy Garden
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we often get some wonderfully warm and sunny days in late September and early October. This year is no exception. Now that most of the smoke from the forest fires has cleared from much of the Willamette Valley, our air is clean once again, and we can see blue sky. […]

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Favorite Shade-Loving Flowering Shrubs and Perennials for Fall

Reblooming hydrangeas, yellow waxbells, and fuchsias are three reliable bloomers that flower into fall.
We’ve had a long hot and dry summer here in the Pacific Northwest, so those plants that relish the sun and take drought have performed beautifully. In turn, shade lovers, that thrive in cool, moist environments have needed extra care. In my garden, we have a mix of areas with blazing afternoon […]

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