Big and Bold Plants

Dogwood trees are not large, so what is one doing as the lead off in an article on big and bold plants?  Cornus kousa ‘Venus’ has enormous flowers, and that’s how it makes the cut.  Compared to other dogwoods, ‘Venus’ has flowers about twice as large.   Compare the size of the flower against one of… [Continue Reading]

Early Season Color in the Garden

Early season color in the garden is something all gardeners strive to achieve.  Particularly here in Spokane, where the long, cold, wet springs tend to bring gray days more often than most parts of the country.  (in the 40’s and cloudy here today while much of the country is hitting 80 degrees).  Select early season… [Continue Reading]

The Desert Museum

  The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, commonly the Desert Museum, is a gem in Tucson, AZ.  It is a  top flight family activity with the incorporation of a minor zoo’s worth of desert animals along with the plant exhibits of the botanic garden.  They have a stingray exhibit going now, which shows they know what kids… [Continue Reading]

Tohono Chul

Tohono Chul is a botanical garden located in Tucscon, AZ.  Although not as famous as the Desert Museum or the Saguaro National Park, it is a fine garden and well worth a visit.  The design elements are worth noting.  They have erected many walls, installed doors, made little courtyards and patios and otherwise have developed… [Continue Reading]

Garden Design for Four Seasons

Garden design for four seasons is crucial in a northern climate.  Winter is long.  If you don’t plan ahead for its arrival, then it will be dull indeed. I get to watch people shop at my nursery.  The really great gardeners are easy to pick out.   They choose plants for their appeal over a long… [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 an old rock quarry is meticulously planted and maintained.  Whereas I often tell clients… [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 shopping in May simply miss some of the… [Continue Reading]

Winter Interest

Now that is officially winter, it is time to look at some plants for winter interest.  Many plants provide structure and definition in the winter garden.  When the snow is deep, the plants of interest tend to be the trees, shrubs and evergreens that hold the snow and display it well.  In a great winter… [Continue Reading]

Santa Fe Botanical Garden

The Santa Fe Botanical Garden offers inspiration to those of us living in a cold and dry climate.  Though they got more rain than us last summer, most years we’re nearly the same and given their 7000′ elevation the winter is cold much like ours (though they have considerably more sunshine).    What do we… [Continue Reading]

Rock Placing: Setting the Stage

Rock placing is a key and early element in constructing a landscape.  First is remove eyesores/trash, second is to do major earth moving and tree removals, and then we get to the rock placement. This can be done with a variety of tools, but none more impressive than the big rock placing trucks.  They can… [Continue Reading]