Perennials

A Private Tour of Little Prince of Oregon Wholesale Nursery

A Private Tour of Little Prince of Oregon Wholesale Nursery

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“Our plants won’t croak!” If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you’ve probably seen Little Prince of Oregon plants with their trademarked frog tags at Fred Meyer and at your local garden center. I recently got the chance to go behind the scenes at this closed-to-the-public wholesale nursery in Aurora (30 minutes south of Portland) along with some of my… Read more →


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Cool Plants at Xera Plants Opening Day 2017

Cool Plants at Xera Plants Opening Day 2017

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Portland has had a horrendous winter. Multiple ice storms, lower than average temperatures, and a single freak snowstorm that dumped nearly a foot of snow have taken a toll, and not just on our spirits. Plants have been heaved out of the ground, broken in two, killed outright by cold. This is good news for nurseries, as people will be… Read more →


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Summer Drought 2016 Winners and Losers

Summer Drought 2016 Winners and Losers

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My garden is a hot mess. I’m pleased to say that the reason I’ve been neglecting it is because I’ve been working on a book with my horticultural hero, Paul Bonine of Xera Plants. The book is tentatively called The Homeowner’s Guide to Gardening in the Pacific Northwest, and it will be released next year by Timber Press. However, the garden. Summer… Read more →


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European Wool Carder Bees: Likable Bullies

European Wool Carder Bees: Likable Bullies

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Nature shows always get you to root for the protagonist, whoever that may be. If the star of the show’s a fox, you’ll find yourself cheering her on to catch the rabbit (although you may have cheered for the rabbit in a previous episode). If the subject’s a skunk, you’ll wish him well as you watch him go about his… Read more →


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Irishman's Cuttings: Easy Plant Propagation

Irishman’s Cuttings: Easy Plant Propagation

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In honor of St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, I thought I’d pot up a few Irishman’s cuttings. This is a super-easy plant propagation method that you can use to make more of some of your favorite perennials, and now is a good time to do it. Irishman’s cuttings are simply cuttings that have a few roots on them already. They’re pretty foolproof… Read more →


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A Gallery of Hellebores for Your Garden

A Gallery of Hellebores for Your Garden

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It’s sprinter—that wonderful season between winter and spring—and the hellebores (a.k.a. Lenten roses) are in bloom! These beloved shade garden stalwarts have undergone a revolution in recent years. Formerly limited to a very narrow color palette, hellebores now soothe our flower-starved late winter eyes with white, pink, violet, crimson, green, lavender, peach, primrose, and purple-black tones. I hit a few garden centers in… Read more →


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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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12 Best Websites for Plant Descriptions

12 Best Websites for Plant Descriptions

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I write a lot of plant descriptions. It used to be a slow, tedious process, but over time I’ve learned exactly where to go to find the information I need, and that has made my job a lot easier. Allow me to share some of my favorite web sources for plant information: Missouri Botanic Garden Plant Finder If you do… Read more →


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Candy Lilies: Why I Love 'em, How to Grow 'em

Candy Lilies: Why I Love ’em, How to Grow ’em

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Candy lilies (Iris ×norrisii) are fun, easy-to-grow, underused perennials that bloom in gumdrop colors. I grew them in my garden in Kentucky and became smitten; now that I’m settled into a new garden in Portland, Oregon, I’m ready to turn that romance into a full-fledged obsession. They’ll grow pretty much anywhere, asking only for full sun, soil with decent drainage, and… 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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