June 17, 2016
Choosing the perfect ornamental grasses for your garden can be challenging for a number of reasons. In fact, while some plants may have the word grass in their name, they aren’t actually grasses. Instead, they may be sedges, rushes, lilies or any number of other non-grass plants. And, while there’s a grass or grass-like plant to fit just about any environmental garden challenge, determining the right one for your spot may be overwhelming.
In the world of grasses and grass-like plants, there’s much to choose from. Some are evergreen. Some have showy flowers. Some need deep shade. Some want hot, dry sunlight. Others, like it soggy — seasonally or always. Many will rot in wet. And, many can be weedy and even invasive. So, how to choose? (more…)
June 10, 2016
As most Garden Mentors clients and blog readers know, spring has been a time of big change for me — including changing gardens. Usually in June I’m writing articles about transplanting tomatoes, harvesting garlic scapes and what’s stinking up the garden with its fly-attracting bloom. This year my June gardening focus has completely reset. My well-studied garden in Seattle is now in the hands of others, and my new garden north of Seattle in Skagit County is challenging me with all sorts of opportunities — some welcome and some not-so welcome.
Because we now live in the country on a couple of wild fauna-filled acres, my tomato patch is growing in containers on a deck. And, because we were so wrapped up in all things buying-selling-moving-houses I didn’t start my tomatoes from seed this year. Instead, I picked up some healthy starts from our local co-op. It may seem ridiculous to grow just a few veggies in pots on a deck when I’ve got acres to work with, but as a seasoned pro, I know that biting off projects in realistic chunks is the best way not to get too overwhelmed. So, a couple of tomatoes it is this year. (And maybe a cucumber, but I can plant those a little later.)
We did bring along one very special tree from our old garden. (more…)
June 03, 2016
We’re thrilled to share another opportunity for you to join Robin for a free hummingbird gardening talk this June!
Where: Swanson’s Nursery in Seattle, WA
When: Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 10am
Swanson’s is offering this seminar for free to everyone, but seating is limited, so be sure to arrive early to grab a spot!
What you’ll learn: Robin will be sharing her best tips for cultivating a gorgeous, fragrant, blooming garden that hummingbirds can’t resist. She’ll introduce you to resident hummingbirds & migrants in the Pacific Northwest, and she’ll help you understand how easy it is to offer fresh, homegrown food for these wonderful creatures rather than a high-maintenance sugar-water feeder. And, don’t miss all of the baby bird photos she’ll be sharing. They’re show-stoppers!
More Information & Directions: Visit the Swanson’s Nursery website.
May 27, 2016
What do you know about backyard bears?
May 2016 has been a crazy busy time for us. Not only are we in the thick of it with our usual springtime plantings and garden designs and garden coaching and all things garden, but also we’re in the middle of moving!
So what does moving have to do with bears?
Well, one of my “to-do” tasks was trying to give away our old wooden patio table and chair set. They’ve served us well for over a decade — weathering winters outdoors in rain, wind and snow. But, they weren’t something we want to move to our new home, so I recently jumped on a community website to offer them up to any ambitious takers who would be willing to refurbish them for free.
And, when I logged into said site, I immediately saw a request for a wooden picnic table and chair donations for a forthcoming educational Bear Affair event at the Seattle Zoo. This event seeks to educate the public about what happens in bear country when you don’t play it safe.
If you’d like to see what happens when bears sniff out a backyard birthday party cake or an unattended, ill-prepared campsite, head on down to the zoo on June 4th. And be sure to get there before 11am to catch the grizzlies at a birthday party.
If you go, do us a favor and report back on what the grizzlies do to our old wooden picnic set. Unfortunately, we can’t make it this year ’cause we’ll be in the thick of our big move!
Thanks everyone for your patience and understanding while we go through a hit ‘n miss time with blog posts. Know you can always search by month or topic to find help with your seasonal specifics!
May 06, 2016
For the first time in a very long time, I haven’t had the time to get a new gardening post live for our readers first thing Friday morning. Being consistent in sharing news, tips and great gardening images has been a goal I’ve been proud to meet for many, many months now. Alas, a cellphone meltdown followed by a computer hard drive crash lead to days without technology. Couple that with racing to move our home and offices, and, well, I think you get the picture.
What was rosy? Visiting the Breazeale Interpretive Center at Padilla Bay before the technology meltdown began. It was a very hot day, and the upland trail meadows were buzzing with life: swooping swallows, flittering butterflies, buzzing bees and a multitude of gorgeous, fragrant wild roses.
I’m glad I took the time to stop and smell these roses. Thinking back to that lovely day when the rest of my world became a techno-disaster helped me stay calm and remember the world is still a wonderful place to be.
Thanks for your patience everyone. I hope to see you at the Spring Green Art Fest tomorrow, Saturday May 7th at 1:30pm, for my seminar Growing a Year Round Hummingbird Garden!