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Frost Alert! Protect Sensitive Plants

We’re expecting a cold snap this weekend, and we want to share our tips for protecting sensitive plants during this time. Not all plants need protection, but plants in the following categories may need some extra help:

• Half-hardy varieties

• Tender perennials

• Young seedlings and new growth

• Recently planted plants

• Plants in containers

• Tropical and subtropical plants such as palms

Signs of frost damage include discolored, blackened, stunted, or limp leaves and stems. In severe cases, defoliation or leaf drop. Some woody plants may experience splitting in the bark, stems, or trunk of the plant.

❄️ Bill shares in his video the trick he’s used for years...


Insect Alert! Azalea Lace Bugs

We want to alert you to an insect that may be feeding on your rhododendrons and azaleas. Originally from Japan and first spotted in Washington in 2008, the Azalea Lace Bug (Stephanitis pyrioides) has now become widespread in our area. In addition to your prized azaleas and rhododendrons, it can also feed on other landscape ornamentals such as mountain laurels and pieris.


The Azalea Lace Bug close up. Photo: Thomas Shahon - Oregon Deptartment of Agriculture

Despite their delicate appearance and minute size (⅛” - ¼”), their feeding habits can cause severe damage to plants. They’re often hiding out on the underside of the foliage where they insert their needle-like mouth...


Summer Watering Tips

The dry, hot weather is here and it’s time to make sure our gardens stay hydrated. Our plants are happily growing, developing fruits, and getting their buds and branches ready for next year. The blessing of the summer sun spurs this growth, but without water all development can come to a grinding halt. Water helps your plants transport nutrients and is critical to photosynthesis. Additionally, a well-hydrated plant is better at fending off diseases and pests than one under drought stress.


Today we’ll be sharing general tips for watering the garden, but if you’re concerned about your lawn, we have a blog about that here. Quick tip for lawns: if your lawn has already browned ...


Controlling Apple Maggot Flies With Clay

We’ve put together this video for a quick how-to on protecting your harvest from the Apple Maggot Fly.

For those hungry for info, please see below for more details about this insect.

Washington is a veritable apple country, that may be why the Apple Maggot fly went from being spotted in 2 counties in the 1980’s, to spreading to 20 counties total. This is largely due to infested fruit being moved around by people. In Washington, there are quarantine restrictions regulating this invasive species. If you don’t mind sharing your fruit, or if these flies are native to your area, you may want to leave them be - more power to you! But as a home gardener, if you’re wondering w...


Landscape Shrubs With Edible Berries

Have you been looking for a landscape shrub that is not only pleasing to the eye but also produces edible berries? With a vast array of shrubs to choose from, finding the right variety can be a little intimidating. Here we are highlighting two varieties - a blueberry and huckleberry - that will delight all year round. They are both decorative as well as versatile, attracting more wildlife and producing edible fruit.

When choosing a berry-producing shrub, look for Vaccinium varieties. All berries in this group are edible with some tastier than others. These shrubs encompass a wide array of plants including blueberries, huckleberries, and cranberries, just to name a few.

These two varieties perf...


The Power Of Gardens To Restore Wildlife Habitat

Due to habitat destruction, urban sprawl, climate change, pollution etc. wildlife habitat is quickly diminishing. In Washington, we currently have 46 species listed as endangered, threatened, or sensitive, and another 71 are listed as candidates. This list includes iconic wildlife species such as salmon, golden eagles, and several species of whales that visit our area. While this is disheartening, we as gardeners can affect positive change right in our own yards!

temp-post-imageTaylor’s checkerspot (Euphydryas editha taylori) - endangered in our area. Source: Thurston Talk

Gardeners have the power to create habitat by planting the right plants in the right place. We can make smart choices with our wate...


Enchanting Landscape Plant - Dwarf Strawberry Tree

Perhaps you’d like to jazz up your landscape a bit. You’re looking for a special plant that does it all: easy to grow, attracts birds and pollinators, offers privacy, and is truly enchanting year-round. Does such a plant exist?

Give your landscape a burst of joy with the Dwarf Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo ‘Compacta’). This versatile evergreen shrub has dark-green glossy foliage and offers privacy when planted as a border hedge. It maintains a dwarf habit with a dense, rounded form of 5-6 feet high. It is best grown as a big shrub but could be thinned to showcase its cinnamon-colored bark.


Arbutus unedo ‘Compacta’


Bountiful white-pinkish flowers bloom from ...


Plants: Tree Pruning - "The Tale of 2 Dogwood Trees"

Today we'll regale you with the Tale of 2 Dogwood Trees. Years before the start of our story, a client of ours rescued these trees and replanted them in their yard in the hopes they would rebound. With some TLC they bounced back with such vigor and set the stage for us to capture proper pruning techniques for both upright and lateral growth habits. Let's leaf through the details.


These identical Dogwood trees had very different growth habits. In this photo, the tree on the left exhibited an upright growth habit and pushed a central leader skyward (referred to as an A-Form tree for Apical dominance). The tree on the right couldn’t decide which branch was going to lead the way and laid ou...