Category: What to Plant?

  • Fabulously Fastigiate: Narrow Plants for Skinny Spaces

    Fabulously Fastigiate: Narrow Plants for Skinny Spaces

    Most gardeners have one of “those” spaces: an awkward, skinny location where you need that most unusual of plants, one that grows much taller than it does wide. We call these plants “fastigiate”, which means tall and narrow, or tower-like. Usually these spots in the garden are created by fences or walls, but you can […]

  • 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 […]

  • Grassy Favorites, New and Old

    Grassy Favorites, New and Old

    While I won’t go so far as to recommend you take gardening advice from your cat, ornamental grasses comprise such a broadly useful array of plants for the landscape that it’s almost impossible to avoid falling in love with at least a few of them. Some are wispy and rustle in the wind, some are […]

  • A Public Service Announcement From Your Cats

    Please plant more grasses. They are excellent to gnaw on:  

  • Why Grow That When You Can Grow This? Alternatives to Overused Plants

    One of the neatest things about being a plant geek is that it’s possible to find inspiration anywhere you go. In theory, at least. In reality, there’s a short list of plants in each region that are used over and over again until they become boring and dull, and these plants populate our landscapes in […]

  • Blueberries: Which Ones Taste Best?

    Blueberries: Which Ones Taste Best?

    We’re big fans of blueberries here on the North Coast of California, as our damp Pacific Northwest climate and acidic soil make it the perfect setting to grow blueberry bushes. And we’re coming up on the best time to plant them, as most nurseries get their biggest shipment of blueberry varieties in fall. Because blueberries […]

  • New Hellebore Flowers Hold Their Heads High

    I’m a big fan of hellebores, since in my rainy climate so many flowers are dashed to the ground at the first rough rain shower. Plus, some types of flower and color just don’t stand out boldly enough to be visible from a window. Hellebores are tough as nails and shine brightly in the winter […]

  • Perennial Plant Pick for 2012: Jack Frost Brunnera

    I have mixed feelings about the Perennial Plant Association’s plant pick of 2012. I mean, I love it and all. Jack Frost Brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’) is one of those shade plants that seems to thrive wherever you stick it, looks elegant and classy in a variety of gardening themes, and is unusual enough […]

  • 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 […]

  • Alpine Strawberries – Nature’s SweetTarts

    Pictured: a normal strawberry, ‘Rugen Improved’ alpine, ‘Yellow Alpine’, and ‘Golden Alexandria’ berries Alpine strawberries. Seriously, have you guys tried these things? They’re like little red garden crackberries. They’re definitely one of my favorite things to grow at home, not the least because you can’t actually buy them in stores. Mine start going downhill as […]

  • Mediterranean Plants to Rock Your Waterwise Landscape

    Recently I wrote about how to design a Mediterranean garden, but I left out one major component – which plants to choose! I just did a follow-up article over at the Christian Science Monitor which discusses just that. And yes, there are more photos of that lovely, lovely garden.  Head on over to read more.