Our First Reading, Signing, Plant Clinic

Village Books in Bellingham, Washington, hosted our first bookstore appearance of the Great ‘Here Come the Plant Docs’ Book Tour of 2010. There is something very comforting about beginning such a venture talking about a book surrounded by good books, in the company of bibliophiles and phytophiles. On this, my first trip to Bellingham, I discovered what a delightful town it is. Kathy, at the

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Spring Cleaning

A February Friday, unusually warm and sunny. Spring is here. Friends already lay out their soaker hoses, sow seeds indoors, and move seedlings out into their cold-frames. We’re going to miss all that this year, as we travel to talk about our book, and other topics from the greenworld. We won’t bemoan the loss too much. Surely an exciting journey lies ahead. David and I

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A Vegetable Garden Checklist

It’s time to get started on the vegetable garden for the coming season so you can grow your own healthy, organic food again this year. Many of us have already started seedlings indoors to transplant out to the garden or the cold frames as soon as weather permits. Kathryn and I have come up with a checklist of ten things to consider before you plant.

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Okay, Here We Go

Well, we did it! Last week we held the first event of our book tour with a talk at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. There may be no better place to get inspired for the road ahead. Display gardens at big shows always have an idea or two that can be incorporated into small gardens and home landscaping. Vendors always have enough stuff to

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Orchids: the Northwest Flower and Garden Show 2010

In my blog last week I wrote about visiting the Northwest Flower and Garden Show many years ago with my mom and dad and several siblings. We all spent a lot of time viewing the fabulous orchid displays. Last week Kathryn and I spent a wonderful time at the 2010 show. We presented a seminar on Sunday afternoon, we went to hear other experts speak,

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A Dream Come True: An Urban Farmette by the Sea

David and I are wandering the Northwest Flower and Garden Show this week, and giving a talk on Sunday (February 7, 2010). The display gardens are beautiful, as always. Some are even spectacular.  But only two garden installations serve to truly inspire an urban gardener in these times. Since David and I are particularly interested in sustainable, organic food production for urban dwellers we found

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Northwest Flower Show Orchids

We’ve been coming to the Northwest Flower and Garden show in Seattle for years and it’s always exciting to see what’s new, see the extravagant displays, and hear experts speaking on various subjects. We’re really looking forward to coming back to this lavish display of the latest and greatest in the gardening world. This year, the show starts on Wednesday, Feb. 3 and Kathryn and

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Plant Clinic, Part I

David and I have been having a great time teaching Master Gardener classes the last couple of weeks.  Recently we spent six hours covering some good answers to the question they’ll get every day in Plant Clinic: “What’s Wrong With My Plant?” Sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether you are dealing with a disorder, a disease, or a pest. But 80% of the

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Growing Conditions

Kathryn and I taught a Master Gardener training class on plant disorders, diseases, and pests yesterday. We’ve learned through experience that most plant problems result from poor growing conditions. Growing conditions are physical and cultural environmental factors that affect the well being of your plants. Light, water, temperature and soil nutrients, for example, are all physical factors of the environment that profoundly affect plant performance.

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Friend or Foe Part 2

Yesterday David and I taught an all day long Master Gardener class about insects. What fun! Insects come in so many different colors, sizes, and shapes it boggles the mind. Some insects (the good bugs) are a gardener’s friend and some (the bad bugs) are foes. Learning how to identify friend from foe really helps in successful garden management. Your friends are the beneficial insects, the predators, parasites, or pollinators. Predators and

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