Deep Dark Plants for Halloween and Beyond


Photo at left: Mackerel showing his love of Phormium ‘Black Adder’ October always makes me want to curl up with my gardening books and highlight the deliciously wicked black plants found within. But you don’t need to limit black and dark plants to Halloween. They can fit into pretty much any garden scheme, from English […]

Dark Designs: Black Foliage in the Garden


With Halloween around the corner, what more appropriate topic for the Garden Designers Roundtable to tackle than darkness? Specifically, dark and black foliage. Black is dramatic. Unexpected. It’s all about contrast – between dark and light, living and dead. Like a glittered Day of the Dead skeleton, there’s a playfulness there, along with a somber […]

Amy and Gen Tropicanna the Garden: a Giveaway!


***Giveaway below*** Outside of the garden, I’m attracted to cool, subdued colors, like purples, blues, blacks and greys. But lately, in the garden? Give me some color! Wild, exuberant color, that shocks the eyes and cheers the soul. So when the kind folks out at Tesselaar Plants offered to send Amy Stewart and I some […]

Golden Conifers Brighten Up Winter


With the winter doldrums in full force, I went to my local rhododendron nursery the other day to pick up spring color for a few jobs. Usually, I’m blown away by the blooming rhodies or the summer-flowering heathers. But this visit, what really struck me was the conifers. Specifically, the golden conifers. They just looked […]

Color Echoes: Variegated Dwarf Weigela and Clifford Moor Red Catchfly


These two plants are easy to grow and take little care to look their best. Variegated Dwarf Weigela, Weigela florida ‘Variegata Nana’, is a sturdy shrub to about 4′ tall and wide. It loses its leaves in winter, but comes back with fresh growth and masses of flowers each spring. Clifford Moor Red Catchfly, Silene […]

Ferns for Every Garden


As we settle more deeply into winter, I’ve been really noticing the beauty of all the ferns in the landscapes I care for. They’re low-care, often have great winter interest, and seem to go with just about every type of plant or style of planting. The neat thing about ferns is they look great both […]

Forget Halloween: Try These Dark Beauties Year-Round

I always wanted to be a goth girl –  wearing all black, dying my hair purple, and listening to moody music while pondering the deeper mysteries in life. Sadly, I had three strikes against me: I’m a total wuss, so piercings were out, I’m ridiculously cheerful, and since I started my landscaping business when I […]

Cheerful Conifers: Some Year-Round Stars (With Photos)


To finish up my Fall Planting for Winter Interest series, I’m excited to share some of my favorite conifers that look awesome in winter. Conifers are one of the strongest evergreen elements in a garden. They’re usually fairly tough once established, and there’s an enormous variety in textures and colors – from stately and stiff […]

Showy Trees for Winter Interest in the Pacific Northwest


It’s getting pret-ty darn chilly outside, and I don’t know about you, but most of my gardening activity in the last couple weeks has been planning, dreaming, and viewing my garden from indoors, thank you very much. Even my chickens are resting in their toasty coop a good portion of the day, and they have […]