Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is an obligate parasite.  Huh?  In short, powdery mildew doesn’t want to kill your plants – but it sometimes happens, by accident of course.  We most often see this disease on plants outdoors where there is poor air circulation.  You probably have seen peony bushes around town or even your own that ended…

Saving Seeds

Long before the advent of seed catalogs, gardeners saved seed from their prettiest, tastiest and most promising flowers and vegetables of the gardening season, discarding the seeds from the blah, the unattractive and the poor producers.  In essence, gardeners have helped mold the shape of gardening selections, making them some of the earliest purveyors of…

Fall Garden Clean Up

When cleaning up the fall garden, it’s hard to know what should be cleared away and what should stay.  Gurus of tidiness opt for removing everything now in order to start with a clean slate in the spring.  But is there such a thing as too much tidiness?  It turns out that, yes indeed, that…

Reflection

What worked for you this year in the garden?  What didn’t?  Now is the time that you should start reflecting on this years accomplishments and learning opportunities.  One of the biggest mistakes I know that I make is telling myself “I’ll remember that next year”.  This is especially true when it comes to certain plants…

The Benefits of Fallen Leaves

It’s too bad autumn’s fallen leaves are seen as a nuisance, something to be gotten rid of as soon as possible. In truth, they are a boon to landscapes, serving as mulches, benefiting soils, and boosting our compost piles. Not only are leaf piles fun to jump in and make for great leaf fights, by…

September Flower Power

September doesn’t have to be about chrysanthemums and asters alone.  There is a plethora of other, lesser-known, counterparts that can add flower power to the late season garden. Turtlehead, Chelone lyonii, has light pink to dark pink flowers that resemble, you guessed it, a turtle’s head. Serrate leaves are pointed, shiny and dark green. People…

Two More Weeds

I have a soft spot for weeds.  I get asked on a weekly occurrence if a plant is a weed or a flower.  I know it is frustrating to answer a question with a question but I like to ask the client if it is growing where it belongs.  When you think about it bluegrass…

Late Summer in the Landscape

Late summer/early fall brings us a host of “to-do’s and not to-do’s” in the landscape.  First, a couple of not to dos: *Avoid fertilization of trees, shrubs and perennial flowers.  Fertilization at this time tends to promote new growth, which would likely be injured by upcoming fall frosts. *Don’t water with the same frequency and…

Two Weeds

Common names are misleading.  I often talk to clients about planting regionally native plants and two standouts are Joe Pye weed and western ironweed.  Both plants are great additions to the late season garden and benefit pollinators.  However, the first question I get after recommending them is “. . . but why do I want…

Surprise & Toad

Nothing signals the start to the end of summer like seeing the surprise lily (Lycoris squamigera) bloom.  We will start to get calls here shortly from clients asking what are those pink, naked, flowers blooming in people’s yards.  Unlike most perennials that produce leaves and blooms at the same time, surprise lilies will produce long,…