Fragrant Solomon’s Seal

In the last two weeks besides being asked what to do about Japanese beetles I am getting bombarded with questions about what to plant in the shade besides hosta.  True enough there are only so many different types of green hosta that you can plant in the shade and this is where Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum…

Tiny Treasure

Bitter root or Lewisia cotyledon (loo-ISS-ee-ah kot-ih-LEE-don) is a perennial evergreen native to the Pacific Northwest hardy to zone 4 (-30 °F to -20 °F).  They form small rosettes about 12″ across and flowers that range from yellow, reds and white.  Yes this little gem can grow in your perennial garden if, and only if,…

Barrenwort For A Barren Space

Barrentwort or Epimedium (e-pi-MEE-di-um) is a perennial that is often overlooked for the garden.  As the name implies it thrives in barren locations.  This is one of the few plants that can tolerate and grow in dry shade.  The flowers are amazing and thanks to new introductions such as Epimedium x rubrum (picture shown in…

Winter Water

When we think of droughts we often think of soaring heat, lack of rainfall and summer.  We never stop and think that a drought can happen anytime of the year in any season.  Winter droughts do as much damage, maybe even more, as summer droughts.  This is because we tend to not think about our…

Boo!

A few weeks ago I blogged about plant names and how they can be misleading.  Since Halloween is only a week away I thought I would share with you three of my favorite spooky plants: Death Camass, Bloodroot and Skeleton Weed. Death Camass (Zigadenus venenosus) is a native bulbous perennial that is found throughout the…

Iris Clean Up

Bearded iris are a staple in the landscape.  They offer a burst of color when we need it the most in the spring.  Late summer is a great time to rejuvenate your iris beds.  Iris spread by underground stems called rhizomes. As they spread they tend to grow on top of neighboring plants. Before you…

Weed or Flower?

“Is this a weed or a flower?” – one of the most commonly asked questions I get here at the Extension Office.  I always answer: is it growing where it supposed to?  If not, then it is a weed.  A coneflower growing in a bluegrass lawn is a weed and bluegrass growing in a coneflower…

A Turtlehead Tutorial

Turtlehead, Chelone spp., is one of the great flowers of the late summer garden.  Flowers are either pink or white and are shaped like, you guessed it, a turtle’s head. Turtlehead is a great pollinator plant, adding a tapestry of color and flight to the garden. The plant must have an impish streak too because…

Satellite Coneflower

Does your purple coneflower look odd?  Do the flowers look more green than purple?  Do you have satellite flowers growing out of the center of the main bloom?  If you answered yes to any of these questions there is a good chance your plant is infected with Aster Yellows. Aster yellows is a caused by…

Tigers, Trumpets, Turks Cap – Oh My!

There are hundreds of plants that have the common name lily.  I like to refer to plants in the Lilium genus as garden lilies or true lily.  These are perennial plants that grow from underground bulbs that can be planted either in the spring or the fall.  They are a great addition to any full…