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Arts & Leisure / The Whistling Gardener

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What's blooming in your garden?

It's official, spring is now here. This week marks that magic moment when our days finally become longer than our nights. Of course there is no guarantee that any of these days will actually have the sun shining but it is at least encouraging to know...

 

Trust me, I know how you feel

There's no point in sugar coating this message. The weather sucks and it is going to continue to suck for the rest of the month; ain't nothing any of us can do about it and no amount of whining is going to make me or you feel any better (although a...

 

A few things to do to get ready for spring

Last Tuesday (the last day of February) started out cold and frozen with a few snowflakes falling from the sky, but as the day went on the sun came out and it actually felt like a taste of spring for me. I was working in the garden doing some...

 

The many signs that spring has arrived

I know it doesn't feel like it but spring has arrived despite the cold and wet (dare I say snowy) weather we have been experiencing. I will be the first to admit that when it is this cold I prefer to stay inside and wait for the sun to come out. But...

 

It's time for the Flower & Garden Show

This week marks the beginning of the 29th annual Northwest Flower and Garden Show which will run Wednesday through this coming Sunday at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. This is a world class production that is sure to get you in...

 

What a difference 2 weeks make

I just returned from spending two deliciously warm and sunny weeks in Mexico doing as little as possible while the rest of you endured "Snowmageddon" and some nasty freezes that pretty much put the skids on any productive work in the garden. With tha...

 

February's To-Do List, Part 2

Yes, this is a continuation of my "To-Do List" from last week with more chores to work on. Time to roll up those sleeves, put on the gloves, and get to work. Lawns: February is still a relatively slow month for our lawns. Hopefully the moles are...

 

February's To-Do List for gardeners

It's funny how one year can be so different from the next. With last year's winter being so mild everything in the garden seemed to be 3-4 weeks ahead of schedule. My Cornelian Cherry started blooming in early January with a mass of spidery yellow...

 

The importance of plants

I realize that for many of you I am probably preaching to the choir but for the rest of the world it never hurts to remind them that plants (next to dogs perhaps) are man's best friend. We simply would not exist if it weren't for plants. Plants...

 

Surviving the deep freeze

By the time you read this column it will probably be raining and the cold dry spell of late December and early January will be behind us. According to the weather gurus, this was the coldest winter since 2013 with temperatures dipping into the...

 

The importance of 'Awe' in our lives

I recently read an article by Jessica Hullinger in The Week about the importance of experiencing "AWE" in our lives. To quote Ms. Hullinger: "I'm a nature nerd and an awe junkie. Regular injection s of natural beauty help keep me afloat in a world...

 

A new season and a new To-Do List

Okay, here we go. Out with 2016 and in with a whole new gardening season and hopefully a whole new attitude about life. First off, we are over the hump which loosely translated means that we have passed the shortest day of the year and things will...

 

Plants can make great gifts, too

We don't often think of plants as being good gifts for Christmas. After all, they are hard to wrap and tend to dry up and die if left under the tree or in the house too long. But plants are a gift that keeps giving for years to come. As they grow...

 

Gift ideas for the gardener in your family

It's time for my annual column on gift ideas for the gardener in your life. Here are some things that I wouldn't mind receiving for Christmas. The Old Farmer's Almanac and/or Desk Calendar: These make a great stocking stuffer and are chocked-full of...

 

December To-Do List for gardeners

I know it might be hard to believe that there are actually chores to accomplish in December but in a real garden the work is never completely done. Here are my major points to consider. WINTER PROTECTION: As I write this column we have yet to have a...

 

Blooming plants for the winter garden

I have often noticed that as I move deeper into the dark and dreary days of winter the need for some color becomes more and more important to me. Somehow bright colors have to ability to lift my spirits and move me out of this pit of despair that...

 

Decorating for the upcoming holidays

Despite the fact that you and I both know there are still serious gardening chores to accomplish before the end of the year, the truth is that our thoughts are turning to the holidays and decorating. It actually started last month for Halloween with...

 

Winter blooming plants for your garden

I know it isn’t really winter yet, but with all the rain and grey skies it sure feels like it. While most of the plants in our gardens are done for the season, there are a few surprises out there that can keep our gardens interesting during these...

 

It's time we understand how to prune

There is no task in gardening that generates more anxiety then pruning. Simply put, the real secret to proper pruning is in understanding how a plant will react to the cut you make on a branch. "Where" you make that cut, and to a lesser degree "when,...

 

It's time to winterize the garden

Back on the 11th and 12th of this month some of you might remember waking up to frost on your roofs and possibly even on your lawn. That was our wakeup call that winter is coming and we need to do some preparation. Here are some thoughts to consider...

 

The magic of fall colors

Albert Camus, the French philosopher that developed Absurdism once said: "Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." While Albert didn't attach any meaning to this annual event (since according to Albert everything is meaningless) at...

 

Fall standouts for your garden

It's always fun this time of year to walk around the nursery and see what looks interesting. Most evergreens look like they always do but the deciduous shrubs can become pretty darn spectacular in October. Here are a few that caught my eye....

 

October To-Do list for gardeners

Fall is officially here and what a glorious one it has been so far. There has been just enough rain to green up the lawns and enough sun in between to keep the ground workable and the plants growing. The forecast for October sounds like it may be sim...

 

Where there is smoke - there is fire

Keeping our landscapes changing is so critical to keeping our interest in gardening. With change, there's the anticipation of something new and exciting. With change, our garden compositions take on whole new personalities. And with change, we find...

 

Fall is for planting - Carpe Diem

I know that some of you might think that I just pontificate to amuse myself and that I am mostly full of BS (and that might be true occasionally) but in this case I need to tell you that the fall season is a darn good time to work in the yard and...

 

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