Pacific Dogwood

Pacific dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) is a a deciduous, and long-lived flowering tree that usually grows to heights of 20 to 30 feet in the garden. It has a graceful structure with creamy white flowers that cover the tree in the spring time. In its natural forest environment, these trees are usually found in partly shaded locations growing as understory trees. They prefer well-drained acidic soils high in organic matter. In a garden setting they require extra care, as they are susceptible to anthracnose. If you plant one in your yard, be sure to plant it where its trunk will be shaded from the sun. Don't water it during the summer. Despite needing extra care in growing, this small tree is

Seed to Seed

If you enjoy saving seeds or just want to learn about different varieties of vegetables and their relationships, you'll find this book a great reference. Ashworth discusses more than 150 different vegetable crops and provides instruction on isolation distances, cross pollination problems, how the flowers are pollinated and techniques for hand-pollinating, harvesting, drying and storing seeds. ISBN-13: 9781882424580 Author: Suzanne Ashworth Publisher: Seed Savers Exchange Publication date: 03/01/2002 Pages: 228

Tufted Hair Grass

Who doesn't respond to the grace of grasses swaying in the wind. If you live right on the coast, why not take advantage and plant drifts of native grass, like tufted hair grass. If you have brackish water areas, this is the grass for you. This plant actually requires wind for pollination. Very easy to grow. Likes full sun best, but will do okay in light shade. Be sure to mulch well during first year or two to help get it established. Look for tufted hair grass at the LCMGA Annual Spring Plant Sale in the native section.

Samurai wasp takes on brown marmorated stink bug

A natural enemy has arrived to help control the brown marmorated stink bug, an invasive pest that devastates gardens and crops, particularly orchard fruits and nuts. The samurai wasp (Trissolcus japonicus) is a tiny insect that hunts for the egg masses of brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) and lays an egg inside each egg in the mass. Since there are 28 eggs in a cluster, that’s the potential for 28 more wasps. The parasitic wasp develops inside the egg, effectively killing the stink bug, and then chews its way out. The brown marmorated stink bugs, which showed up in Oregon in 2004, feed on more than 100 plants, particularly vegetables, pears, apples and hazelnuts, but also ornamentals. The e

Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus)

Yellow flag iris is an excellent example of a plant that is benign, even beneficial, in its native habitat of Northern Europe, where harsh winters keep it in check, but is a worrisome nuisance when it travels abroad. Sadly, it can now be found cheaply through online distributors like Craigslist at low cost because it is so easy to cultivate. And in the time honored tradition of sharing successful garden plants with your neighbors, people are literally giving it away! But when yellow flag iris escapes the confinement of the garden and makes its way into the open waterways of the Western US, trouble is not far behind. In its native Scotland, yellow flag iris provides an important food source a

Verbena bonariensis

This plant is for those gardens that need to stand up to strong winds and salty soil and spray. Fortunately since it is so hardy it will do well in other garden environments not quite so 'beachy.' I have it spread in a number of places in my garden which is on the east side of the County. The Verbena bonariensis grows to 6 ft, but don't just relegate it to the back of your borders. It's an elegant plant with an airy, see-through character that let's you put it anywhere in the garden. It works well inter-planted with grasses. I like to plant mine with yellow and orange rudbeckia and my favorite oatgrass. Grow Verbena bonariensis in moist but well-drained soil in full sun. An annual appli

Francoa Sonchifolia

Just Gorgeous! I first saw this plant at the Connie Hansen Garden in Lincoln City. It was unusual and just gorgeous. Ruffly dark green leaves that make an attractive evergreen clump. Then in early summer these beautiful flower spikes appear and stay around until fall. This plant is often used for bridal bouquets, so you know the flowers are going to be showy and attract attention. Mime is a bright orange color, but they also come in white, pink, and lilac. This plant likes mild winters and cool summers, so understandably does well in Lincoln County. Prefers an evenly-moist, average or sandy soil with sun or part shade. I grow mine in my south facing garden, so it does get lots of sun a

Raulston Allspice

Raulston allspice is a wonderful medium-sized shrub for the woodland garden, being showy but not overly so, and easy to grow. It tolerates very dry shade once established, but prefers dappled light and a little moisture. This lovely plant is easy to grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil. It does best in part shade, but tolerates full sun as long as the soil is kept moist. It will tolerant of a wide range of soils, including sandy or clay, but prefers rich moist loams. Prune immediately after flowering to shape and to maintain compactness. Unless you are planning to have the plant naturalize, remove root suckers promptly if naturalization is not desired. Flowers are reportedly s

Hardy Geranium

Growing hardy cranesbill geranium can be as easy as planting and watching it blossom when conditions are somewhat damp. Hardy geranium plants grow best in consistently moist soil when first planted, but become somewhat drought tolerant when established. Growing hardy cranesbill geranium in fertile soil also encourages the plant to spread. Many varieties of hardy geranium plants exist and thrive in full sun to shady locations. When considering how to plant hardy geraniums, consider the location where you wish to plant and choose an appropriate plant for the available sunlight. Locate the plant where it has room to sprawl, clipping the edges back if necessary to keep it within its boundaries.

Oh Those Wonderful Herbs

All herbs grow best where they receive 6 or more hours of uninterrupted sunlight daily. Amend heavy clay soils with compost to provide a deep, loamy soil suitable for good plant growth. One inch of water per week, precipitation and irrigation combined, is best. Basil Basil is an annual plant easily grown from seed. Seeds can be sown directly in the garden or can be started indoors around March 15 for transplanting around May 15. Besides the common basil, there are licorice, lemon and cinnamon-scented varieties. Be aware of basil downy mildew, a fungal disease that causes distorted fuzzy white growth on leaves. Toss out these plants as soon as the downy mildew is noticed to keep it from

An Apple a Day -- all year long

Late summer and fall herald it's time for apple harvesting. Apples are a delicious, fun part of autumn so let's focus on how to harvest and store this great fruit. When to harvest Different apple cultivars will generally ripen at different times ranging between June for early varieties and September for late varieties. However weather conditions during the growing season will affect how fruit ripen. The best advise is to base your harvesting on whether the apples are mature rather than strictly on a calendar date. I always use the taste test. There are several indicators of apple maturity. Mature apples are firm, crisp, juicy, well-colored and have developed the characteristic flavor o

Six Common Tomato Problems

Brooke Edmunds, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service, troubleshoots the following common problems that might be afflicting tomatoes. Blossom drop – It's usually caused by dry soil and dry winds, but also may be caused by a sudden cold spell, heavy rain or too much nitrogen. Usually not all blossoms will fall off, so be patient for the next set of flowers. Blossom-end rot­ ­­– The end of the fruit farthest away from the stem turns brown or black – a condition caused by irregular watering practices and calcium deficiency. It is most common in western Oregon. Water deeply and regularly. Add lime to the soil in the fall to increase the calcium level for next year’s

Botanical Sketchbooks

​​The collection of sketches is quite beautiful. The book contains 75 illustrations of flora from around the world, dating from the 15th to 20th century. There are examples from Leonardo da Vinci, John Muir, the Shelley sisters, and many others. The Sketchbook is divided into four sections, from “Made on Location” to “Doing Science,” Botanical Sketchbooks offers brief biographies of over 80 illustrators along with examples of their work, photographed so you can see the weathered pages or scraps of paper on which the specimens were depicted. It is a truly delightful book for artists and plant lovers alike. The reproductions are crisp and clear - and there are lots of them! More Info. . .

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