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Best New Herbs and Vegetables for 2021

The large-fruited ‘Orange Accordion’ is uniquely beautiful and delicious. (Image thanks to Baker Creek Seeds)
2020 was quite a year–with more downs than ups for most of us. One bright spot was the big boost in gardening nationwide. New gardeners arose from every corner of the country, trying their hand at raising their own vegetables, flowers, herbs, and house plants. It’s equally bright that this year […]

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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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Winter-Fruiting Trees for Lasting Beauty

‘Winter King’ green hawthorn has persistent fruits that are loved by cedar waxwings.
Now that fall has passed, it is a dismal thing to look out the window and see no color. But, this does not have to be the case if you plant beautiful trees that still offer bright colorful fruits to the garden in winter. The first one everybody thinks of is holly, but […]

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DIY Holiday Wreath from the Garden

DIY Holiday Wreaths from the Garden
Homemade wreath making can be expensive if you invest in pricy greens, berried branches, premium pinecones, and premade bows and baubles. But, wreath making can also be inexpensive, which is especially welcome during tough economic times when money is tight. Harvest ornamental branches and clippings from the garden, ask your local tree-yard for free evergreen branches, and you can create […]

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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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Planting Spring Bulbs Late: Rules and Tips

You can tell the health of daffodil bulbs by squeezing them. Healthy bulbs are firm. Planting these bulbs a little late is not a problem.
If your spring-blooming bulbs are sitting around somewhere, like mine, or you have not even bought them yet, you will be glad to know that it is not too late. Bulbs can be planted as late as November or December, as […]

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Cool Succulent Hanging House Plants

Don’t underestimate the length and weight of some hanging succulents, like these donkey’s tails and string-or-dolphins. Over time, they can become quite weighty and substantial. (Note: These Vintage Italian Majolica Pottery Face Vessels are difficult to find but beautiful.)
Succulents have had a place in my home since I was in college. In fact, as life became busier and busier, I began to replace more tender, […]

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Victorian Cemeteries and Flowers that Honor the Dead

Many angel statues can be found at Victorian cemeteries, like Mount Auburn Cemetery (Cambridge, MA). (Image by Dedarot)
The language of flowers was essential to Victorian-Era (1837-1901) cemeteries. At that time, plantings and gardens for the dead were common, and cemeteries had become park-like places where people in US cities could enjoy a Saturday picnic. The flowers planted for a passed loved one had meaning.
Since I […]

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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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How to Make a Gorgeous Fragrant or Edible Herb Wreath

 
 
Fresh or dried herbs or herbal flowers can be used to make wonderful medicinal, culinary, or fragrant herbal wreaths in almost any season.
An herbal wreath is a fragrant and decorative way to dry your culinary herbs. While wreaths are most commonly used throughout the holiday season, especially pine or fir wreaths for their fresh scents, herb wreaths can bring aroma and ambiance indoors throughout the […]

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