Prune Your Hellebores: A Public Service Announcement

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Lenten roses, Helleborus orientalis, are gorgeous in winter. They’re gorgeous in spring, too. But if you don’t deadhead them once they’re done blooming, they stop being gorgeous and start looking ratty. Then, they turn into spawning hellcats, dropping masses of seeds that sprout into masses of tiny, slow-growing, hard-to-remove seedlings that, yes, could theoretically turn […]

Deer Resistant Gardening Made Easy: a Book Review

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Ruth Rogers Clausen, author of 50 Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants, has some straightforward advice for dealing with deer, and selecting beautiful plants that will go well together in deer country. I share some of her advice for dealing with deer over at the Christian Science Monitor, and give an in-depth review of her new book there […]

Gardening Under Redwoods: Dealing With Dry Shade, Acidic Soil, and Root Competition

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Humboldt County’s known for its majestic redwoods, and many of the gardens that I design and care for have a few towering specimens setting the scene. But lovely though they are, gardening under redwoods presents some serious challenges. Shade For one, redwood trees cast some fairly dense shade. This isn’t such an issue if you […]

Plants to Love: Rainbow Drooping Leucothoe (Leucothoe fontanesiana ‘Rainbow’)

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I know you’re wondering, so let’s get this out of the way: it’s loo-kow-thow-ee. You only have to say the name once though, when you’re looking for it at the nursery, and then you can call it anything you like. “That gorgeous variegated thing” is what most people call it. Andrew of Garden Smackdown suggests […]

Plants to Love: Snowmound Spirea (Spirea x nipponica ‘Snowmound’)

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‘Snowmound’ Spirea (USDA Zones 4-9) is a lovely thing, with deep green leaves, reddish stems, a graceful arching habit and rounded form. It loses its leaves, but doesn’t make a mess about it, and the white flowers in spring make you forget that you missed it all winter. ‘ Snowmound’ needs full sun to do […]