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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