Tag: Garden Maintenance

  • How to Prune Evergreen Perennials: Lady’s Mantle, Hellebores and more

    For most flowering perennials, autumn’s brown foliage and obvious dieback make it clear you can prune without harm, but evergreen perennials pose a special dilemma: trim now, or hold off till spring? Turns out, there are good reasons to leave herbaceous evergreen plants standing through the winter: not only do they provide greenery (or sculptural […]

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

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

    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 or ones that have a ground-hugging habit? […]

  • Fall Garden Tasks in the Pacific Northwest

    This time of year, my landscape maintenance company is busy as anything, pruning and helping all the gardens recover from months of wild blooming abandon. While a lot of what we’re doing right now is pruning to keep things at the right size in relation to their surroundings (we don’t want the plants leaning boorishly […]

  • Lawn Hacks for Organic Gardening Geeks

    Lawn care, at first glance, seems pretty straightforward. Mow, water, apply various bagged items, and take the time to frolic playfully on your fancypants expanse of greenery. But after owning a lawn for any period of time, most of us start to ponder the deeper questions surrounding lawn. Questions like, “dang, why does my water […]

  • Prune Your Hellebores: A Public Service Announcement

    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 […]

  • The Evolution of a Gardener: Finding the Middle Ground Between Neat and Natural

    Debbie’s post over at Garden of Possibilities was a catalyst for me to really think over an issue I’ve been having a lot lately – the Neat VS Natural debate. It’s not a debate I’ve been having with anyone else, it’s more been an internal struggle. You see, the more I learn about gardening, the […]

  • Low-Maintenance Landscaping: How to Tim Ferriss Your Garden Routine

    Do you have more garden than time? Even people who love, LOVE to garden sometimes find their landscape a source of guilt rather than joy. So many times when I’m visiting a garden, I’m making enthusiastic exclamations over the abundance and beauty of it all, the owner of the garden is saying things like, “well, […]

  • Fall Leaves: Leave ‘Em and Weep

    To read about why fall leaves are so beneficial to wildlife, and how to leave them in your garden without adverse effect, check out this article: Fall Leaf Raking: Finding the Middle Ground. Once upon a time some newbie garden writer thought it’d be a great idea to encourage people to leave their fall leaves on the […]

  • How to Treat Rose and Flower Pests Naturally: Intro

    Roses can be tough to grow organically, because they’ve been so over-bred for their honking big flowers that often, breeders paid little attention to disease-resistance. So you end up with these great frankenflowers that look fantastic – until midsummer when the black spot, caterpillars, and aphids move in. But – I admit it – I […]

  • Gardening Basics: How to Water

    Watering seems like one of those bonehead tasks that everyone should get right on their first try, right? I wish! The truth is, I see more gardens that are sick and unhealthy due to water stress than any other single issue. Luckily, watering properly isn’t complicated once you know a few simple things.

  • Organic Gardening 101: How to Begin Gardening Naturally and Have Happier Plants

    I’ve been asked a lot lately about organics in the garden. “How do I kill snails around my vegetable starts?” is a common question. “Does anything organic really work on roses?” I even spoke with one gardener who felt chained to her Miracle-Gro routine – having to laboriously water it in every two weeks. It […]

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