Annuals

12 Unusual Plants at McMenamins Edgefield

12 Unusual Plants at McMenamins Edgefield

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McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale, Oregon is a former poor farm turned restaurant/hotel/brewery/winery/theater/golf course. Heck, they even have a glass-blowing studio. Of course, my favorite attraction is the incredible landscaping! Here are a dozen interesting and unusual plants I saw there this year while exploring the grounds (in chronological order, more or less). Pretty sure I killed this as a houseplant… Read more →


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Arctotis fastuosa 'Zulu Prince' Cape Daisy

Arctotis fastuosa ‘Zulu Prince’ Cape Daisy

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How many times have I seen ‘Zulu Prince’ Cape daisy at the back of a seed catalog and thought, “Hmm, I should try that sometime”? But I always pass it up. Well, this year I tried it, and it’s a great little annual. I ordered this plant as Venidium fastuosum from Pinetree Garden Seeds, but after digging around on the interwebs, I… Read more →


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Borage as a Butterfly Host Plant

Borage as a Butterfly Host Plant

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By growing borage (Borago officinalis), I’ve been feeding butterflies all along and didn’t realize it. I love Portland, but I’ve been lamenting its scarcity of butterflies since moving here two years ago. Back in the Ohio Valley, I raised monarchs, viceroys, tiger swallowtails, zebra swallowtails (my favorite), giant swallowtails, spicebush swallowtails, pipevine swallowtails, red-spotted purples, and American ladies from eggs… Read more →


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Euphorbia stricta 'Golden Foam'

Euphorbia stricta ‘Golden Foam’

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*UPDATE* 09/08/16  Unfortunately, ‘Golden Foam’ set a million seeds, of which about 110% germinated in my garden (and lawn). I will be pulling seedlings for the rest of my days. Plant this thing at your own risk.—AC *UPDATE* 04/08/17 ‘Golden Foam’ is my kudzu. I hate it with a white-hot passion. What really troubles me is that it will surely… Read more →


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Five Seed-Starting Myths Shattered

Five Seed-Starting Myths Shattered

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Like any activity with a long history, gardening has its share of traditions. Some of these are sound practices, while others should have been thrown on the compost heap long ago. Seed-starting is one gardening project that seems especially steeped in lore. And with good reason—the whole process of turning a dead-looking speck of dust into a vibrant, living plant… Read more →


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New Plants and Old Friends at Farwest 2014

New Plants and Old Friends at Farwest 2014

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I’m back! I decided to retire What Blooms When, retool, rebrand, and relaunch. Still writing about gardens, gardening, new plants, old plants, phenology, photography.  A friend told me the new blog title would “indicate [my] incredible humility to [my] billions of readers.” I was thrilled that www.amycampion.com was still available.  You wouldn’t think Amy Campion would be an unusual name,… Read more →


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How to Make Your Own Seed-Starting Station

How to Make Your Own Seed-Starting Station

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If the gardening bug has bitten, sooner or later you’re going to want to start some plants from seed. Vegetable starts, bedding plants, perennials, and even some trees and shrubs (for the patient) can be grown from seed.  When you’re ready to graduate from the sunny windowsill to a real propagation station, here’s a seed-starting rack you can make at home for… Read more →


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Playing with Color Combinations in the Garden

Playing with Color Combinations in the Garden

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Dreaming up stunning color combinations is one of the most fun, creative, and satisfying activities any gardener can do.  But how to come up with them?  Well, you can study plant combination books, look at pictures, and imagine compositions in your head, but nothing beats seeing plants live and in person and trying out different combinations right in the garden. That’s why… Read more →


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Annuals with Seasonality:  Part 2

Annuals with Seasonality: Part 2

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Think annuals are just “plant material,” plunked down for June to September color?  Think again.  Some annuals may not bloom all summer, but they do offer something unique at a specific time of the year. Don’t hate them because they’re not petunias!  They make their season special. With all the zinnias and lantanas, sunflowers and cannas in the garden in August… Read more →


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nigella damascena love in a mist flower

Not Just Blobs of Color: Annuals with Seasonality, Part 1

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“Why include annuals in a book on bloom times?” I used to think.  “They’re only blobs to be plunked down for summer-long color, right?” Well, though it might be the goal of breeders to produce plants that churn out an unwavering supply of blossoms for three months or more in summer, many annuals do not follow this program. But that’s… Read more →


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