Tag: Spring

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • How To Gopher-Proof an Existing Raised Bed (Photo Tutorial)

    How To Gopher-Proof an Existing Raised Bed (Photo Tutorial)

    Ah, gophers. So cute, with their cheeks stuffed with grass and their little burrowing ways. Yet so destructive to our vegetable beds. A client finally got tired of having her beets, lettuces, and other delicious veggies cruelly snatched away by Mr Gopher juuust when they were looking ready to harvest. So we were called in […]

  • 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 […]

  • Bulletproof Rhododendrons: Rhodies for Sea Coast Wind and Other Tough Conditions

    Rhododendrons are tough performers in our Pacific Northwest climate, and have become a standby for landscapers looking for a plant that’s sure to thrive. But not all Rhodies are created equal; some are more suited to tough conditions than others, as evidenced by the horrible-looking Rhodies in so many local parking lots. Finding the right […]

  • Tender Plants to Plant in Spring, Not Fall

    You’ve probably already heard me go on about how fall is the best time to plant, but – it’s not the best time to plant everything! If you’re in zonal denial like me and want to plant a few things that push the boundaries of your climate, or even plants that do great once established […]

  • Braving The Thorns: How to Select a Bare Root Rose

    If you want to buy a rose anytime this year, January’s the time to do it. They have just arrived in the nurseries and are cheap, transplant well right now, and the selection is fantastic. (Next month they’ll be even cheaper, of course, but do you want to risk your favorite being gone?) Here’s how […]