Post image for Tired of Spraying? You Might Just Need a Dose of CTFD

New gardeners, like new parents, tend to be a bit overprotective of their charges. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking a fancy new shrub from the garden store, or our firstborn little darling – too much hovering can lead to, well, not-so-great results. There’s a new parenting trend floating around the internet called “Calm the F*** Down“, which is exactly as it sounds. The idea being that a playful spirit and another martini might just lead to better kids then a stressed-out ‘tude and a stack of the latest parenting books.

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Post image for Fabulous Fountain Grasses: “Temperennial” New Varieties

While many in the perennial world seem to think that annuals have gone out of style, the “wow” factor they provide is undeniable. Tropical plants and annual flowers are perfect for temporarily filling in the spaces between slow-growing shrubs and trees, which is one of the many reasons books like Stephanie Cohen and Jennifer Benner’s The Nonstop Garden recommend that annuals and tropicals make up about 20% of your garden beds.

New varieties of fountain grass have become the latest trend for those looking for a fast, bodacious blast of seasonal color. You might think of fountain grass as being one of the sturdiest perennials around, even for colder climates. But these new varieties fall under the category of “temperennial” (read it again, I didn’t say temperamental!), which is to say they’re a perennial in temperate zones 9 to 11, but best treated as an annual in cooler climes or areas with a lot of rainfall (i.e., most of the Northwest).

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Don’t Bug Me! How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in the Garden

June 8, 2014 3 comments
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Ahhh, the joys of summer. . . Sunshine, apple crumble, fresh berries, and – bzzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz – oh yeah, mosquitoes. While theoretically I am glad that mosquitoes exist as they form a valuable food source for birds and bats, I would tend to feel from the number of itchy welts on my skin that perhaps my […]

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Designing a Meditative or Yoga Garden

May 25, 2014 42 comments
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Guest post from Jan Johnsen, author of the new book Heaven is a Garden and my co-contributor over at Garden Design magazine. Yoga and gardens are a natural fit! Both are very personal endeavors – Yoga practice elevates our sense of wellbeing and makes us more aware of the present moment while gardens encourage us […]

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Shipping Now: The New Garden Design Magazine

May 14, 2014 3 comments
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Design geeks among you may know that Garden Design magazine folded early last year. I had regretful yet mixed feelings about this, because the magazine’s focus on designing a garden, rather than on the minutiae of actually growing a garden, was unique and I immediately felt the lack. However, I confess that the old Garden […]

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Redefining “Low-Maintenance” Landscapes

April 15, 2014 9 comments
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In my landscape design practice, it is rare to find a client who does not ask for a low-maintenance garden. However, the way people define low-maintenance varies so wildly that the term has almost lost its meaning. While the generally accepted definition of a low maintenance plant would be something that you do not need […]

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Review of The 20-30 Something Garden Guide by Dee Nash

February 16, 2014 95 comments
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Gardening marketers are always getting their pants in a bunch over whether enough new people are picking up the torch and continuing gardening, and initiatives aimed at getting young people to garden abound. Of course, from my own experience I can say that gardening as a hobby evolves over time. As we age, we shouldn’t […]

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Stop! Don’t Prune That Grass (How to Prune Ornamental Grasses Right)

January 28, 2014 8 comments
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(Article originally appeared in Fine Gardening Magazine) Most of us know what to do with our big grasses that go dormant each winter: Grab a bungee cord, tie the grass up, and use an electric hedge trimmer to buzz the column of foliage to the ground. But what about those tricky grasses that are evergreen […]

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Gardening Trend Predictions for 2014

December 28, 2013 22 comments
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There are useful color trends, like this one above, and less “sticky” trends, like this year’s Radiant Orchid. Even a timeless activity like gardening is subject to the ebbs and flows of trends. Though I’m constantly reminded that there’s nothing really new in the world, a cleverly written book, new product, or a general societal […]

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Local Christmas Gifts for Humboldt County Gardeners

December 19, 2013 0 comments
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Hellebore photo courtesy of Skagit Gardens What’s that, my fellow Humboldtians? Time’s gotten away from you yet again, with no gifts purchased and only a short time until Christmas? Never fear, I’ve got you covered. I called up a variety of local shops to find out which gift they’d most recommend for the gardener on […]

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