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Spring Flowering Trees with Edible Fruit

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.
Serviceberry
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Spring Garden Tasks for a Happy Garden 2022


Spring is here! Officially it was March 20th, but I knew it was spring as soon as I saw the daffodils emerge. The hellebores have been glorious this year, but as their late-winter flowers slowly fade, new colors appear in the garden. The red stems of the peonies have started to peek out after being dormant all winter, the early […]

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Native Spring Flowering Trees For Bees


When flowering trees bloom, they are a boon for pollinators, particularly bees of all sorts. They bloom en masse for a week or more, offering a lot of essential food with little forage. There are no better plants to boost these essential pollinators in the garden, and the native trees here feed for both our honeybee friends as well as native bees.
Spring Flowering Trees […]

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Beyond Your Average Dogwood

‘Satomi’ is a classic pink Korean dogwood to try.
The diversity of dogwoods (Cornus spp.) goes way beyond the common eastern flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), which is much-loved but prone to serious diseases. The list of comely Cornus contains so many selections that it can be difficult to know what to choose. My list of favorites may help you narrow down your choices.
In my own neighborhood, […]

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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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Forever Jolly Winter Hollies

Sparkleberry winterberry forms a cloud of tiny red berries in December, and birds love them. (Image by Jessie Keith)
Berried holly branches are a ubiquitous holiday symbol, but these festive trees and shrubs come in more colors than just red and green, and many offer landscape interest beyond the winter season.  My favorite winter hollies (Ilex spp.) are forever beautiful, whether berried at the end of […]

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Spruce Up Your Holidays With Festive Branches

Hollies and evergreens of all types brighten winter decorating!
The gardening season is over by November for most in the country. Instead of looking out of my kitchen window and seeing roses, daylilies, and other perennials, I now look upon colorful, textural trees and shrubs with winter interest. Their festive berries, seedheads, and evergreen foliage add needed beauty to the garden in the drab winter months. […]

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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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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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