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Archived Blog Posts

Woodland Garden Updates – Ideas Needed!

This spring has seen some major changes in our woodland border – the long-overdue removal of three large Bradford pear trees. We inherited them and used them as a starting point for this entire border, underplanting with Japanese maples, adding columnar Swedish aspens and planting the banks of our seasonal stream with moisture loving favorites.…

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Before & After: Creating an Inviting Entry Garden

Who needs a sign that says “KEEP OUT!” when your front garden requires a machete to reach the door? As I carefully navigated my way past the mature stand of bamboo, keeping a watchful eye out for any lurking pandas, I could understand why I had been called to this lovely home in Redmond, Washington.…

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Early Spring Container Refresh

It’s the shoulder season here in Seattle. Sometimes I need a long-sleeved T-shirt + fleece vest+ puffer jacket. Other days I’m too warm in short sleeves. For my container gardens that means things can start to look a little winter-weary, yet it’s too soon for my favorite summer annuals and frankly I don’t have much…

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Climate Change and the Average Gardener: Reality Check

I took a walk around the garden a few days ago, making a mental list of what needed pruning or moving this weekend and was horrified to see so much winter damage on my broadleaf evergreen shrubs and even some evergreen perennials. Many of these plants have been in the garden for 7 years or…

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The New Forsythias

My dog-eared  copy of Dr. Hessayon’s book Trees & Shrubs (1983 edition) states that “Gardens are brightened each March and April by the masses of yellow flowers on the leafless branches [of forsythia].” It then goes on to warn of its two enemies; birds who eat the buds and gardeners who hack the shrub to…

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It's Showtime 2022!

Noted by Better Homes and Gardens as one of the BEST garden shows in the country, The Northwest Flower & Garden Show is back in Seattle this week. If you’re a keen gardener, a new gardener, a gardener with questions or just ready for a day out this is for you. I’ve only missed one…

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Bringing Sunshine to Winter Days

There are only so many grey days I can take. Seattle isn’t exactly known for its winter sunshine, but after several days of relentless freezing fog I’d had enough. I even went to the lake for a swim – usually a panacea for all things grey, and while it was wonderful in its zingy ‘now-I-know-I’m-alive’…

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Ancient Garden Art: Well Dressings

Mystery, secrecy, intrigue – it all happens behind closed (barn) doors in the Peak District, Derbyshire. Plans are made, sketches discussed, materials gathered and volunteers found as villagers huddle together to discuss the next well dressing. Well dressing is an ancient, pagan tradition dating back to the Romans or Celts (no-one is quite sure) when…

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A Time to Reset

I’m a consummate planner. I have lists of lists. And if I do something that isn’t on my list – I write it down just so I can check it off! (Sound familiar?) This week was all mapped out, from gardening projects to swims, gym sessions, and visits with friends. Then the snow started to…

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Bedazzle the Garden & Home for the Holidays

I love sparkles! I think that’s why I enjoy swimming in open water so much – there is nothing quite so magical as swimming into the setting sun as it turns the water into liquid gold. When it comes to decorating our home and garden for the Holidays I tend to keep things fairly simple…

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