Branches laden with bright purple berry clusters can be a very pleasant surprise to those unaware of the virtues of beautyberry (Callicarpa spp.). These berries provide a bright spot of color, especially in the autumn garden when the color performance of many shrubs is over.
There are more than a dozen species of Callicarpa, however only a few are readily available to at plant nurseries. […]
Gravel can make architectural plants stand out like sculpture. (Image by Maureen Gilmer)
Nowhere are water-needy lawns disappearing as fast as in arid southern California and the American Southwest. This is the proving ground for a lot of alternatives to traditional turfgrass. A big problem is always the front yard, where your property value is rooted in curb appeal. What you do there will have a […]
Edible crabapples are larger and great for canning. (Image by JMiall)
Sometimes in our home yards and gardens, we plant primarily for ornamental purposes, but perhaps we overlook the fact that attractive plants can also provide food. The following flowering trees have both attributes. All are easily grown in western Oregon and Washington and garden-worthy, even without their food value.
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Cistus ‘Brilliancy’ is a low-fuel-volume shrub with lovely magenta flowers.
You can fight fires with flowers. When landscaping around high-fire-hazard homes, the key is to think about minimizing fire fuel volume, or the amount of burnable material that plants provide to oncoming fire. For example, a pine tree has a huge fuel mass, but a sage plant, with its lovely lavender-blue flowers, has negligible fuel mass.
Wildfire is ubiquitous in the west but has spread to new areas due to lack of forest thinning.
Wildfire is an equal opportunity killer. This year it took out multimillion-dollar vineyards in Napa County, CA just as ferociously as it destroyed a lot and block subdivisions in Santa Rosa, CA, neither considered high fire hazard locations (click here for the California Fire Hazard […]
The bloodtwig dogwood ‘Midwinter Fire’ has some of the most brilliant branches for winter.
Fiery branches of gold, orange, and red rise from the winter garden, bringing color to the bleakest landscapes. There’s no better complement to evergreen and berried landscape shrubs than brilliant red twig dogwoods (Cornus sericea) and blood twig dogwoods (Cornus sanguinea). Their branches also look attractive in seasonal arrangements.
Adam’s needle (Yucca filamentosa) is an adaptable, bold landscape plant!
“This flower was made for the moon, as the Heliotrope is for the sun…and refuses to display her beauty in any other light.” This lovely Victorian quote, taken from the 1878 edition of Vicks Monthly Magazine, set off a fad for yucca plants. Though they flower in the sun, their blossoms become fragrant […]
Created on a slight incline, this beautiful western rock garden featuring aloes, cacti, and local stones and cobble.
Alpine succulents from the Atlas Mountains flooded into 17th-century England where the climate and soils were totally unsuitable for growing them. This created a learning curve for English gardeners. Daily summer rains and great soil explains why their gardens are so fabulous, but succulents need high sun, fast […]
Short, dense perennials are the ultimate edge plants to tidy up after repairs to eroding edges.
Artists learn early on that the most important parts of a line are the beginning and end points. The quality of the start and end define the line’s value. No matter how light the line weight is between the two points, the line continuum will stay intact because the viewer will […]
Ladybug adults and larvae (orange and black) waging war on black aphids!
Your garden is a battlefield with more life and death drama than the Serengeti during wildlife migrations. Among your beautiful plants and flowers, there is that age-old war playing out every day as the insect world fights over who eats what. Some insects are pests that eat your plants – they are garden prey. […]
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