What to Plant?

Grassy Favorites, New and Old

April 3, 2013 24 comments
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While I won’t go so far as to recommend you take gardening advice from your cat, ornamental grasses comprise such a broadly useful array of plants for the landscape that it’s almost impossible to avoid falling in love with at least a few of them. Some are wispy and rustle in the wind, some are […]

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A Public Service Announcement From Your Cats

March 25, 2013 3 comments

Please plant more grasses. They are excellent to gnaw on:  

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Why Grow That When You Can Grow This? Alternatives to Overused Plants

November 26, 2012 15 comments
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One of the neatest things about being a plant geek is that it’s possible to find inspiration anywhere you go. In theory, at least. In reality, there’s a short list of plants in each region that are used over and over again until they become boring and dull, and these plants populate our landscapes in […]

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Blueberries: Which Ones Taste Best?

August 22, 2012 8 comments
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We’re big fans of blueberries here on the North Coast of California, as our damp Pacific Northwest climate and acidic soil make it the perfect setting to grow blueberry bushes. And we’re coming up on the best time to plant them, as most nurseries get their biggest shipment of blueberry varieties in fall. Because blueberries […]

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New Hellebore Flowers Hold Their Heads High

April 17, 2012 4 comments
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I’m a big fan of hellebores, since in my rainy climate so many flowers are dashed to the ground at the first rough rain shower. Plus, some types of flower and color just don’t stand out boldly enough to be visible from a window. Hellebores are tough as nails and shine brightly in the winter […]

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Perennial Plant Pick for 2012: Jack Frost Brunnera

January 5, 2012 7 comments
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I have mixed feelings about the Perennial Plant Association’s plant pick of 2012. I mean, I love it and all. Jack Frost Brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’) is one of those shade plants that seems to thrive wherever you stick it, looks elegant and classy in a variety of gardening themes, and is unusual enough […]

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Deep Dark Plants for Halloween and Beyond

October 30, 2011 4 comments
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Photo at left: Mackerel showing his love of Phormium ‘Black Adder’ October always makes me want to curl up with my gardening books and highlight the deliciously wicked black plants found within. But you don’t need to limit black and dark plants to Halloween. They can fit into pretty much any garden scheme, from English […]

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Alpine Strawberries – Nature’s SweetTarts

October 20, 2011 5 comments
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Pictured: a normal strawberry, ‘Rugen Improved’ alpine, ‘Yellow Alpine’, and ‘Golden Alexandria’ berries Alpine strawberries. Seriously, have you guys tried these things? They’re like little red garden crackberries. They’re definitely one of my favorite things to grow at home, not the least because you can’t actually buy them in stores. Mine start going downhill as […]

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Mediterranean Plants to Rock Your Waterwise Landscape

September 28, 2011 1 comment
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Recently I wrote about how to design a Mediterranean garden, but I left out one major component – which plants to choose! I just did a follow-up article over at the Christian Science Monitor which discusses just that. And yes, there are more photos of that lovely, lovely garden.  Head on over to read more.

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Tomatoes! In Humboldt County! Grafted Tomatoes Beat the Competition

September 12, 2011 8 comments
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Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the title is accurate. And no, I’m not talkin’ about no stinkin’ cherry tomatoes, either. Real, live tomatoes big enough to slice and put in a sandwich! If you live in Humboldt, you know what an achievement this is. Our foggy, cool summers don’t usually allow much of anything in the […]

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