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Archived Blog Posts

Coping With The Weather

There is an old expression that goes like this: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” I would add that when Mother Nature give us incessant rainfall and unseasonably low temperatures, we should plant more bog or moisture-loving plants. At least the plants will be happy, even if we aren’t….

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A June Standout – Korean Dogwoods And Their Hybrids

Starting in late March our native dogwood tree, Cornus nutallii, starts bloomin and then in the month of May we can observe the eastern dogwood tree, Cornus florida. Finally, in the month of June the Korean dogwoods, Cornus kousa, come into bloom. They are a slightly larger tree with more of a rounded form and […]

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Last Chance To Prune Spring Flowering Shrubs And Perennials

As we move through the end of May it becomes imperative that any pruning (think shaping and also about next year’s flower production) of spring flowering shrubs, like Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Lilacs, and Forsythias, needs to be done NOW. The rule is simple: “Prune after bloom”…

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Westcountry Lupines Are To Die For

I think it is safe to say that most northwest gardeners (or even non-gardeners) a familiar with lupines – those plants we see along the freeway in late May and early June with their spikes of blue flowers. They are native all-over North America and are one of the first plants to…

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Why Am I Still Wearing A Turtleneck?

It was 17 years ago in early June when I wrote a column entitled “Are you cranky too?”. It started out like this: “WARNING: Nothing in this week’s column is of horticultural value. The reason is because I am in a totally cranky mood. You might be feeling the same too…

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May Is Annual Planting Month

Before I launch into my diatribe on the glories of annuals, I probably should make sure everyone understands the difference between annuals and perennials… Annuals are plants that grow, bloom, set seed, and die all in one season. Perennials, on the other hand, grow, bloom, set seed, go dormant, and then return the following season […]

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Oh, The Exhilaration Of New Spring Growth

April is a floriferous month to be sure, but along with all those glorious rhodies, tulips, daffodils, flowering cherries and magnolias, there is also an amazing array of new foliage emerging from both evergreen plants as well as deciduous ones. Personally, I find these foliar displays just as exciting as the floral ones….

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All Hail To The Lowly “Pigsqueak”

Over my lifetime as a horticulturist, I have found myself enamored with different genera of plants to the point that I have gone out of my way to collect as many variations of the same genus, simply because I thought they were “really cool”. The genus “Bergenia” is a typical example and for me it […]

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Believe It Or Not, Rhodies Can Be Yellow And Orange Too

April and May are high season for enjoying the gorgeous blooms of rhododendrons. They come in many colors and sizes, and for the most part, are easy to grow. While some varieties bloom as early as February, and a few others hold off until June, this is the time when the bulk of them come […]

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Introducing ‘Ruby Gold’ Bleeding Heart

All I can say is “Wow” when it comes to this new Bleeding Heart that is now available to gardeners in the Pacific Northwest. But first, a little background on Bleeding Hearts in general…

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