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Winter Garden Tasks for a Happy Garden- 2022

January is a good time to remove old Helleborus leaves, just be sure not to accidentally snip flower stems.
December was a month of trying to get my winter garden tasks all done before the end of the year. Here it is January, and I have not completed all my December tasks. Getting everything done is something that I have never been […]

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Unique Poinsettias for the Holidays

These days, poinsettias come in all shades of red, white, and pink. Some are even apricot and salmon hues.
‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Winter Rose Red’, ‘Whitestar’, ‘Cortez Burgundy’, etc., are just some of the names you might find on an exciting new poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) plant this year. There is probably no flower more associated with a holiday in the United States than the poinsettia is for […]

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Effortless Junipers for Practically Every Garden

Ground cover junipers look handsome when planted in spacious containers.
There are few plants that come in as many different forms as the juniper. The Genus Juniperus includes plants that are grown as ground covers with some that hug the ground at just several inches and others that may reach 2-3 feet in height. Another category is the shrub types, and these can range in […]

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Mike Darcy’s Fall Garden Tasks For a Happy Garden

As potted annuals and vegetables die back, it is time to clean them up for the season. Mike Darcy’s Fall Garden Tasks For a Happy Garden
RAIN! We actually had rain. Not just rain but enough to clean the dust off of the leaves, wet the soil, and make both gardeners and plants happy. I was thrilled to see such heavy rainfall. […]

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Nonstop Fuchsias For Fall Gardens and Hummingbirds


With summer winding down here in the Pacific Northwest, as I walk through my garden it is the fuchsias I notice. They have bloomed nonstop all summer, and on this September day, their blooms continue. Not only have they not stopped blooming, but they will flower through to October and beyond until we have had frost. It is just what the migrating hummingbirds need […]

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Summer Garden Tasks for a Happy Garden


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 […]

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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 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, […]

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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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