Flowers & Foliage – My Favorite, Easy-Care Shrubs

Here in the Pacific Northwest the ubiquitous rhododendron are doing their thing with oversized, luscious blooms in every shade from purest white to deepest purple. They are positively seductive – until suddenly they're not. The sad reality is that a garden filled with these has only a limited season of interest, after which there's just…

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When good plants go bad

I have always loved the pristine white bark of the Himalayan white birch (Betula utilis var. jacquemontii) and it was an obvious choice to anchor the far end of our island bed  where it was highly visible from many vantage points. When a colleague offered me two more I created a small grove of these,…

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Design Evolution: doing it your way

As an independent designer I'm in the fortunate position of being able to design gardens that will be professionally installed by my recommended contractors*, by the homeowners themselves, or even by another preferred and local-to-the-site contractor. (*I never accept a referral fee so my recommendation is  based on the fact that they always do outstanding…

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Layers in the Winter Garden

Layering is a way of life here in the Pacific Northwest where on any given day, regardless of the season, you may be reaching for a fleece jacket one minute and peeling down to a T-shirt the next. As I looked outside early this morning the sun was just beginning to rise over the tree…

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