Wind-Resistant

Golden Conifers Brighten Up Winter

March 4, 2011 6 comments
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With the winter doldrums in full force, I went to my local rhododendron nursery the other day to pick up spring color for a few jobs. Usually, I’m blown away by the blooming rhodies or the summer-flowering heathers. But this visit, what really struck me was the conifers. Specifically, the golden conifers. They just looked […]

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Plants to Love: New Zealand Wind Grass (Stipa arundinacea/ Anemanthele lessoniana)

August 24, 2010 0 comments
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New Zealand Wind Grass is a stunning low-maintenance grass that keeps its glowing orange foliage all winter long. I occasionally have to prune out some dead bits here or there, which I do by grasping a small clump of dead foliage and cutting it out at the base so you don’t notice it’s been pruned. […]

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Plants to Love: Purple Pixie Hebe (Hebe ‘Mohawk’ or ‘Purple Pixie’)

July 28, 2010 2 comments
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This Hebe is a lovely little evergreen thing which gets to about 3’ around and blooms off and on a good part of the year. It takes shearing well and usually comes back well from hard pruning during the growing season, though I try to avoid pruning into the wood if I can avoid it.

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Bulletproof Rhododendrons: Rhodies for Sea Coast Wind and Other Tough Conditions

July 9, 2010 3 comments
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Rhododendrons are tough performers in our Pacific Northwest climate, and have become a standby for landscapers looking for a plant that’s sure to thrive. But not all Rhodies are created equal; some are more suited to tough conditions than others, as evidenced by the horrible-looking Rhodies in so many local parking lots. Finding the right […]

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Coastal Gardening: Screens and Hedges for the Sea Coast Garden

June 10, 2010 3 comments
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If you’re gardening on the sea coast, the wind can make it hard to enjoy being outdoors. Using fast-growing hedges or screening plants can help you block the wind and enjoy hanging out and working in your garden. How to use hedges and screens successfully to block wind: First, think of what direction the wind […]

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Coastal Gardening: Groundcover Plants for the Sea Coast

May 8, 2010 9 comments
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Using groundcovers in sea coast gardens can give you easy low-maintenance color. I love to use ground-covering plants in masses because the waves of color kind of echo the broad waves of the ocean. Planting groundcovers also avoids a lot of the issues found when planting individual shrubs or trees. When planted in masses, the […]

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Plants to Love: Purple Catmint (Nepeta faassenii)

May 1, 2010 2 comments
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Simple, lush, gorgeous. This sun-lover attracts bees and beneficial insects, resists deer, takes salty seacoast wind, and looks great with any number of plants. All it asks in return is good drainage and full sun. I love it with just about any ornamental grass, pink or yellow roses (it attracts the beneficial bugs that eat […]

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Coastal Gardening: Shade-Loving Plants for the Sea Coast

May 1, 2010 6 comments
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Sea coast gardening is challenging enough in full sun, but choosing wind- and salt-tolerant plants for the shade can be downright daunting. Most shade plants didn’t evolve in unprotected, windy zones – they are used to the shelter of trees. Not to worry – there are a few beautiful plants that can help give your […]

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Coastal Gardening: Perennial Flowers for the Sea Coast

April 28, 2010 9 comments
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Recently I discussed some of the challenges people face when gardening in windy coastal  conditions, and some counter-intuitive tips for gardening on the sea coast. The biggest struggle is finding plants that will thrive and bloom even with all that wind and salt. Trial and error is a big part of gardening, but it’s nice […]

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Callunas, Ericas, Daboecias, Oh My! Demystifying the Different Kinds of Heather

April 17, 2010 24 comments
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I first heard about the heather plant when I was 10, reading an old-fashioned British book about a group of children who escaped their abusive guardians and made a home together on a secret island. They built a willow house out of live willow stems, so their home grew lush and protected, and they used […]

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