What I’m Reading Now

The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: A Biased Review and a Giveaway

The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: A Biased Review and a Giveaway

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Mid-August meltdown It’s mid-August. Do you find yourself apologizing for your perennials right about now? Stems that can’t hold their flowers up? Foliage that’s become tattered and sad? Plants that have outgrown their space and are crowding their neighbors? Third time’s the charm All of these problems have clear solutions in the new third edition of Tracy DiSabato-Aust’s bestselling book, The… Read more →


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Love Letters to My Garden: A Book Review

Love Letters to My Garden: A Book Review

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Love Letters to My Garden by Barbara Blossom Ashmun is like homemade mac and cheese and apple pie—comfort food reading for a drizzly winter day. In this, her seventh book, Barbara details her 30-year love affair with her garden, sharing stories that all gardeners can relate to, paying tribute to people who have helped her along the way, and marveling… Read more →


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A Visit with Roger Gossler of Gossler Farms Nursery

A Visit with Roger Gossler of Gossler Farms Nursery

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“That’s my favorite tree in the garden,” said Roger Gossler, as we gazed at a dazzling katsura tree in peak fall color at Gossler Farms Nursery in Springfield, Oregon. He said it was a Cercidiphyllum magnificum, not a Cercidiphyllum japonicum, as I had thought. I asked him what the difference was, and he said that C. magnificum stays smaller and has a more arching,… Read more →


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Lab Girl: A Book Review

Lab Girl: A Book Review

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Early in her bestselling memoir, Lab Girl, geobiologist Hope Jahren reflects on the countless scientific papers she’s written. These reports, written in the sterile language of academia, don’t allow her the opportunity to express her passion for science or to share the thrilling feeling of discovering something new. She must conceal all feeling when using this professional prose, stifling emotions that… Read more →


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The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant: A Book Review

The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant: A Book Review

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Recently, I sat down to take a peek at The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant. It had been recommended to me, and I’d just gotten it from the library, but I had things to do, so I decided to just read a little bit to quell my curiosity. Five hours later, it was 11:30 p.m., and I was debating whether or… Read more →


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Into the Woods

Into the Woods

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I finally got around to reading Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. That’s right—yesterday was a beautiful rare sunny day in early November, and I was sitting on the couch reading a book about how people don’t go outside anymore. So I was inspired to go to nearby Powell Butte Nature Park and… 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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Understanding Roots by Robert Kourik--You Need This Book

Understanding Roots by Robert Kourik–You Need This Book

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Maybe I shouldn’t review a book when I’m hungry, but I found Robert Kourik’s new book Understanding Roots to be one of those meaty kinds of books you can really sink your teeth into, with lots of delicious morsels along the way. For example, I learned: In loose soil, carrot roots can go down 7 ft. One cubic inch of soil can… 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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Book Review: The Allergy-Fighting Garden

Book Review: The Allergy-Fighting Garden

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Have you ever wondered why the number of asthma and allergy sufferers has skyrocketed in recent years? Thomas Ogren thinks he knows the biggest reason for the spike, and he explains what we can do about it in his new book, The Allergy-Fighting Garden: Stop Asthma and Allergies with Smart Landscaping (Ten Speed Press).     [Disclosure: I did receive a… Read more →


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