North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Arts & Leisure / The Whistling Gardener

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The evolution of my tropical oasis

Forget for a minute that I am a professional horticulturist and have worked in the field for over 50 years ... try to think of me a just an ordinary home owner that moved into his house 30 years ago...

 

August To-Do List for gardeners

Believe it or not, August can be a busy month in the garden. Watering, of course, is at the top of the list and it is important to remember that we can just as easily kill stuff by over-watering as...

 

Never stop planting in your garden

A funny thing happens to me this time of year. As we move from the glory of spring to the doldrums of summer, I often find myself in a state of mild depression. I call it my “gardener’s post-partu...

 

Make the most of that shady area

I think it is fair to say that for a lot of us, our vision of a shady garden area is one that is mostly green with a few varieties of plants such as rhodies, a couple of ferns, and a hosta or two. The...

 

In praise of Summersweet

We are blessed in the northwest to be able to grow a wide variety of plant material from many other parts of the world (in addition of course to our own native flora). Because of our proximity to...

 

The July To-Do List for gardeners

It's been a while since I have thrown a "to-do" list at you so I think it is about time to get back to the basics. Chores this month can be summed up with the following words: water, feed, mulch,...

 

Hydrangeas - the consummate summer blooming shrub

Everybody loves hydrangeas. After the cacophony of spring has passed and all the rhodies and azaleas are out of bloom, hydrangeas pick up the baton and continue with the parade of color in our...

 

Ferns are an excellent choice for your garden

Ferns are an amazing group of plants. They are among some of the oldest plants to still inhabit the earth. Ever since I was a young child I have been drawn to their delicate and soothing foliage. I re...

 

Make room for perennial lobelias

There is nothing about gardening that can be considered “one and done” — many tasks repeat themselves throughout the seasons. Pruning happens multiple times as does weeding, but the best task...

 

Hybrid Tea, Floribunda or Grandiflora?

I had an interesting conversation with a customer a few weeks ago. She was of Asian decent and was raving about our Hybrid Tea Roses. I understood her to say that she was amazed at the variety of rose...

 

June is a great month to be gardening

June is a fabulous month to be gardening in the northwest. The soils have warmed up adequately and the air temp is very pleasant. There's lots of daylight, so we can get out after work and still get...

 

Plants that will survive our dry summers

It always seems odd to be talking about drought tolerance when we get literally feet of rain every year and we generally have an adequate supply of water for the summer months, but as we all know,...

 

Dogwoods - A 'Coast to Coast' favorite

When I hear the word "dogwood" I am immediately transported back to a time in my life when I was living on the east coast in Virginia serving my country as a trumpet player in the 392nd Army Band. If...

 

May is not the only month for planting

Never in my 30 years of operating my garden center have I seen such an influx of customers come in all at the same time. Last weekend was like a feeding frenzy for gardeners where they were feeding...

 

Early standouts for your garden

One of the things that always gets me all twitterpated this time of year is “new growth” — it is so clean, unblemished by the elements or the insects and incredibly vibrant. Even if you are a...

 

The simple joys of gardening

It's a good thing I am easily pleased, it doesn't take much to make me happy - especially when I am working in the garden. Take this last week for example. Like most of us, I just tried to cram four...

 

Small space gardening - Where there's a will, there's a way

As houses continue to get larger and yards smaller, it is becoming more and more challenging to find the space to plant everything that we would love to have in our gardens. In many cases, a tree -...

 

Gardening myths and old wives' tales

I have been employed on and off in the horticultural industry since I was 14 (which is an incredible 56 years ago) and during that time I think I have heard just about every conceivable crazy idea...

 

Focus on the garden, not the weather

April is a tortuous month for me. While it is clear that spring has arrived in the garden, the weather still feels like winter with only an occasional sunny day here and there to try and cram in all t...

 

Organic gardening for the beginner

Lets flashback to the late 60’s and early 70’s… I was so heavy into the organic gardening movement that I tried to convince my wife to name our first born either Mulch for a boy or Compostina...

 

Some interesting facts about dirt

The world has changed from when I was a child. Today, it seems like we are obsessed with cleanliness. Nobody wants to get their hands dirty. Nitrile gloves and hand sanitizers are standard fare...

 

Tree Frogs - Yet another sign of spring

After having so much fun last week talking about Robins, I thought, let’s explore tree frogs. After all, what could go wrong? Turns out there are a lot of interesting facts about these amphibians....

 

There are many signs of spring

One of the many signs of spring, besides the annoying ritual of "springing ahead" with our clocks, is the return of flocks of American robins. While I saw a couple of pairs back in February, it was ju...

 

Getting back into the swing of things

Winter is over as far as I am concerned. I mowed my lawn this week for the first time, and for me, that makes it official. I am totally psyched to get back in the swing of things, especially since Jan...

 

How plants go through 'change of life'

Considering that it is still pretty darn cold out there, I thought it might be interesting to digress a bit and talk about how some plants go through the "change of life" as they grow up into adult pl...

 

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