The convenience and photo quality of online sources is excellent if you check the source to verify reliability. Any URL that ends in .edu is usually a college or university, and established magazines and societies also have great websites. Try Horticulture, American Horticultural Society and many other specialty groups that concentrate on bulbs, wildflowers, and native plants. Public gardens are another source of expert info. So, here’s to the www…
Two favorites for plant advice, growing info, mature size of plants, tips on what’s interesting, and photo ops:
OSU Landscape Plants – Encyclopedic in its scope and local to the PNW, its focus is educational. Each entry has photos plus growing information, and i.d. tips all conveniently accessible, even though it’s not a flashy site. It is produced by the Master Gardeners through OSU Extension. The extension service is one of the best Congressionally mandated government programs ever devised, linked up since the early 20th century with land-grant colleges and universities.
Great Plant Picks – Every year this site adds a list of new plants that have proven to be good garden subjects in our climate. Based on a theme (sun, shade, color, etc), and chosen by a panel of horticulturists. Each year at the NW Flower and Garden show, a poster of the new plant picks is available at their booth, and can be ordered from the website too. It’s a good way to find new and interesting material for your garden, as some of the plants are not widely sold or used; others are old standbys that are always in fashion.
Pacific Northwest Wildflowers is great for exploring native plants. I have the app for my phone for both Washington and Oregon and it is well worth it.
The Oregon Flora Project is nerdy but authoritative. Consider a donation to the re-writing of a full set of updated plant keys and manuals