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]

5 Plants to Know

At a nursery known for offering thousands of varieties and keeping up with the latest, how can I pick the 5 plants to know from that inventory?   Admittedly, the pick is going to be a bit random.   But these are tough plants, one and all.   Colorful and tough.  Let’s start with a… [Continue Reading]

Hosta ‘Hans’

Hosta ‘Hans’ is a recent introduction hybridized by Tony Avent of Plant Delights.  It is a vigorous white centered hosta, and that’s not a sentence you can often write.  Most have been wimpy growers.  There are a few exceptions which do grow well, such as ‘Fire and Ice’  (a Hansen introduction itself),  but ‘Hans’ has proven… [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 gardens.  Delosperma ‘Alan’s Apricot’ is a seedling that we introduced to the… [Continue Reading]

Ornamental Grass: Beyond Calamagrostis

Looking at the urban landscape in Spokane one might think that Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ is the only ornamental grass that thrives in our city.  It’s a lovely plant, and sometimes just the plant for the job, but it is not the only one out there.  We carry many grasses of differing habits and it is… [Continue Reading]

Rudbeckia: Garden Sunshine

Rudbeckia as a genus is perhaps the single most colorful perennial offering for the late summer garden.  Gardens featuring this plant are sometimes prone to “too much of a good thing” (such as my own home garden where we let a few too many come to maturity in front this year).  There are other species… [Continue Reading]

Evening Primrose: Oenothera macrocarpa

Huge, delicate blooms that last only 1 day…that seems like it might hardly be worth growing. However, there are many every day all summer and the plant persists even with deer herds and drought.  Not delicate after all! Though there are a number of members of the genus worth growing, I’m simply profiling the Missouri… [Continue Reading]

Dicentra The Bleeding Heart

The genus Dicentra includes the ever popular bleeding heart.  Each pendulous flower has a perfect heart shape, and the long sprays of blooms are simply beautiful in spring.  Dicentra spectabilis is the most popular species, growing to 5′ diameter plants that can tolerate shade, sun or even the presence of deer. As of this writing,… [Continue Reading]

Hakonechloa (Japanese Forest Grass)

Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’   Isn’t that a mouthful?  Yet despite the difficult pronunciation, Hakonechloa or Japanese Forest Grass is one of only 2 ornamental grasses ever awarded the prestigious Perennial Plant of the Year honor.  So what is this grass? Hakonechloa (Japanese Forest Grass) grows in the shade, as is obvious by the “Forest Grass”… [Continue Reading]