Blog

Slugs!

We found this big boy on one of our forest walks. It’s about 8 inches long and called a Pacific banana slug. One of several species of slugs native to the Pacific Northwest of the USA. Thankfully this guy normally stays out of our garden.

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Oregon Grape

Another wonderful native plant found in gardens everywhere is Oregon grape, Mahonia aquifolium. Cultivated varieties of this native, sometimes called nativars, include ‘Compacta’, a somewhat dwarf compact variety. We found this one on our walk through the forest at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend.

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Daffodils

Daffodils, Narcissus species and hybrids, are fantastic garden subjects because they’re beautiful (and fragrant), totally low maintenance, and best of all deer don’t eat them because they are poisonous. Our town is overrun by deer so it’s great to find something they won’t mow down.

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Japanese Flowering Quince

Japanese flowering quince, Chaenomeles japonica, is in full flower right now in Western Washington. It’s a deciduous shrub that bears flowers in clusters on leafless spiny branches in very early spring.

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Easter Colors

The colors of Easter are sported by Rhododendron ‘PJM’ and yellow Narcissus as we spring ahead into daylight savings time today. Spring is in full sway here in the Pacific Northwest in mid March – our last light frost was a couple weeks ago.

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Red Flowering Currant

One of our prettiest native shrubs, the red flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum), begins blooming in late February early March just in time for migrating rufus hummingbirds on their way north. Garden cultivars include ‘King Edward VII’ and ‘White Icicle’.

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Pea Planting Time

It’s pea planting time again! Last year we harvested delicious snap peas for months and hope to do it again this year. Our seed order has arrived so now all we have to do is get it in the ground.

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Clivia miniata

The beautiful clivia, Clivia miniata, makes a gorgeous houseplant even when not in flower. It’s big, 2 to 3 feet tall and wide, at maturity. Cool morning light from an east window filtered by sheer curtains is best. See page 88 in our newest book, What’s Wrong With My Houseplant.    

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Peach Trees

Our peach trees are just beginning to flower, promising another summer of abundance from our garden. Hopefully there will be enough bees around to pollinate them. We grow lots of flowers with our veggies and fruit in order to feed the bees.

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Indian Plum

Our native Indian plum, Oemleria cerasiformis, is in full bloom in late February. A deciduous shrub in the rose family, it’s the first plant to leaf out in Pacific Northwest forests, usually in mid February, with the first flowers appearing soon after.

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