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Arts & Leisure / The Whistling Gardener

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Attracting butterflies to your garden

Part of the joy of gardening, for me, is in watching feathered friends visit my yard and flit about the shrubs, flowers, feeders and water features. As much as I love my plants, these little creatures are an "extra treat" that makes all my hard work...

 

Landscaping in layers gives garden style

Before I purchased the Sunnyside Nursery back in 1989, I owned a landscape contracting business in California where we designed, installed, and maintained residential, commercial, and municipal landscapes. The bread and butter of the business was...

 

Mother Nature's hummingbird magnet

There are lots (and I mean lots) of choices for summer blooming perennials that will attract hummers into our gardens, but one genus really stands out in my mind as a "can't lose" choice: Salvia. Known as sages in common language, salvias come in man...

 

Things to do for a fabulous July garden

According to my weather guru Rufus La Lone of the Weather Café, July is shaping up to be a very pleasant month for gardening. Here are 4 things to do to make our gardens look absolutely fabulous. PLANTING: Garden centers are stuffed with summer...

 

Celebrate National Pollinator Week

Roughly 10 or so years ago, the U.S. Senate made a unanimous decision (can anyone remember the last time the Senate made any kind of unanimous decision?) to establish a pollinator awareness week in response to the worldwide concern over the decline...

 

It's time to get serious about watering

Last week I gave you several tips on how to become a better gardener. As promised, this week I will enlighten you on how to water properly. Good gardeners seem to have a sixth sense about when and how much water to apply to their gardens. This...

 

How to become a green thumb gardener

I have often thought about what it is about some people that makes them good gardeners and what it is about others that makes them just the opposite. Like child prodigies, some individuals are just gifted with the talents required to allow them to...

 

The June checklist for gardeners

What a crazy, back and forth spring this has been. It was the wettest on record, followed by the sunniest Memorial Day Weekend in 15 years and now we are into the unpredictable month of June when we can either get “June Gloom” or glorious...

 

The wonderful world of carnivorous bog plants

One of the things that has drawn me into the world of horticulture is the incredible diversity of plants that inhabit our planet. When you consider the range of environments from Death Valley to the frozen tundra of the north and the fact that there...

 

Bonkers over Begonias

I confess, growing up in southern California, I have always had an affection for begonias. My very first purchase, at the young age of 8, was from the county fair and was a rhizomatous variety that I grew for many years. As it got too large for its...

 

Here's how to have the best containers

It's time to move out of our comfort zone and get into container gardening in a whole new way. Gone are the days when we only put flowers in our pots. Gone are the days when everything had to be perfectly symmetrical and gone are the days when all th...

 

What to get mom for her special day

Oh, the eternal question... What should we get mom for her once a year special day? (Knowing that no matter what it is, it will never be commensurate to all the love and sacrifice she has given us.) Here are some ideas that might save you, if you...

 

Encouraging words for local gardeners

I know what you all are thinking: "Will spring ever come?" It's a fair question but I can assure you that spring has already come and we are well on our way to summer but that probably doesn't make you feel any better. Beyond a doubt, this has been...

 

Japanese maples are a great addition

One on my first plant addictions, that began years ago and will never be cured, is an affinity for all things Japanese maple. I just don't see how anyone can pass on a maple. Not only are they stunning architectural plant specimens to admire, but...

 

Spring is time to rediscover Rhodies

Springtime has arrived and the multitudes of Rhododendrons are blooming. Our state flower shines in every color imaginable – but what I am here to remind you of is one old adage - flowers come and flowers go - so discover the different foliages of Rhododendrons! We all salivate for spring...

 

It is time to take a stance

If you love gardening then chances are you probably also appreciate the arts and the humanities. I have always considered gardening a form of art and the warm and fuzzy feeling I get from being around plants is the same kind of feeling I receive...

 

Things to do in April

Considering all the cold and wet weather we have had and evidently will continue to have for at least the first half of April I could easily just refer you to my To Do list for both February and March and you would probably be just fine (you can...

 

Time to plant onions

March and April are what we call the "cool season" when it comes to veggies and typically that means planting vegetables either for their roots such as onions or potatoes or carrots or for their shoots (think leaves) such as lettuce and cabbage and s...

 

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...

 

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