Deadheading Your Garden

Deadheading is key to the garden's performance, particularly in late summer, August/Sept.   Deadheading is simply the removal of the spent blooms in the garden.  By mid or late August, typically the lavender is due to be sheared back to the foliage. … [Continue reading]

Controlling Slugs

I've grown hostas and other shade plants for many years, and slugs are just about the only pest that ever bothers them.  Controlling slugs is not a very appetizing task (unless you have a duck on the premises...they find them appetizing).  The tell … [Continue reading]

Victoria and Vancouver Island: Butchart Gardens

The Pacific Northwest is blessed with many special gardens and sites, but among the most dramatic are those on Vancouver Island, near Victoria, B.C.  First and foremost is Butchart Gardens.  This 55 acre garden with it's famous sunken garden built in … [Continue reading]

Watering Your Plants

Watering your plants is one of the single most important things you can do for your garden.  Almost all plant failures have to do with watering, typically under watering in our climate.  New plants need a lot of water.  They have small root systems … [Continue reading]

Summer Plant Shopping

As any nurseryman can attest, most of the plants purchased in a given year are purchased in a 4-6 week period as soon as frost is no longer expected.  We plant our containers and at the same time do most of the planting of new material. People … [Continue reading]


I'm happy to say that one of my plants was chosen as a winner in the 2016 Plant Select Program from Denver Botanic Gardens and Colorado State University.  These plants are selected by a panel of professionals after trialing various plants in their … [Continue reading]


People often have trouble growing blueberries in Spokane, but it is really pretty easy.  They are plenty hardy if you grow the ones we sell.  The trick is having the right soil conditions.  Even in Portland where they are grown commercially, it is … [Continue reading]

‘Ketchup and Fries’ Hybrid Tomato/Potato

OK, we grow a lot of great tomatoes at Tower.  The best new hybrids and the best of the heirlooms.  But this year there's something new on the tomato table.  'Ketchup and Fries' grows clusters of red sweet tomatoes the size of cherry tomatoes in long … [Continue reading]

Petunia ‘Night Sky’

I would not normally write a blog on a particular petunia, but I think this one is pretty special.  I can't really say why, but this one has just the right amount of variegation and uniqueness for my taste.  There are lots of striped petunias, and … [Continue reading]

Tips for you, Tips for us

There are 2 new developments at the nursery this spring.  First, when I was replacing some worn signage, I added a sign to one of our tables called "Staff Picks".  If you get a plant from that table, you'll be certain that we have found it to be a … [Continue reading]