Life in the soil

Yes! There is life down there! It is so complex, even soil scientists have yet to plumb the depth and breadth of all the species and interactions that make the soil work like one living organism. For gardeners, it's important to know that a lively soil feeds your plants. Feeding the life in the soil … Continue reading Life in the soil

Why do these weeds keep coming back?!

"I weeded - but they came back...I can't get rid of those weeds...I took out the blackberries, but then I had morning glory everywhere..." Sound familiar? We've all done it - we tackle a huge bed of weeds, liberate the garden plants and exhausted, pile up the weeds and breathe a sigh. Then, before you … Continue reading Why do these weeds keep coming back?!

A New Art Form: Brush Piles

If a brush pile sounds like an unfinished project waiting to be cleaned up, think again! Brush is a resource for making your yard, garden, or acreage into a shelter for wildlife. If you have some prunings, old tree limbs, logs or storm debris, or blackberry canes, use them in the way nature intended. Make … Continue reading A New Art Form: Brush Piles

The sunniest wildflower

My top pick for an accommodating Pacific Northwest native wildflower (west of the Cascades) is OREGON SUNSHINE, the happiest flower of late spring/early summer. Here are the reasons why it is so superior: Easily germinated. Frequently, it is the only plant that comes up when I broadcast seed in the fall. Its gray leaves seem … Continue reading The sunniest wildflower

More Natives in Bloom for Spring Pollinators

A beautiful day in Yamhill County on April 9, and we headed out to find some spring flowers and birds, stopping by Farm Fest at the Yamhill Co Heritage Center on the way.  The draft horses and mules showed differing amounts of training and gentleness. Some were still practicing, and for the driver the task … Continue reading More Natives in Bloom for Spring Pollinators

Perennially good pruning advice

This just in from Oregon State University Extension agent Neil Bell via an article in a local paper: Pruning is a good thing, if you do it properly and at the right time. What is that time?? Each plant has it's own blooming schedule. The perceptive gardener can learn what that is by doing a … Continue reading Perennially good pruning advice

Safe pest control for the azalea lace bug from Oregon’s Metro

You may not have seen this pest. It is tiny, but the damage is very evident. Unfortunately it's likely you won't notice it until the pest numbers have reached epic proportions. It is hard to find advice that does not involve using a lot of toxic chemicals, so this is a welcome article on Safe … Continue reading Safe pest control for the azalea lace bug from Oregon’s Metro

Native Plants: Are they ornamental enough??

There are lots of reasons to grow native plants among ornamental and edible plants in your garden. Natives are: the best food and habitat for native insects that support native birds and other wildlife important food and nectar sources for charismatic insects like butterflies and their larvae (a little chewing can indicate that you are … Continue reading Native Plants: Are they ornamental enough??

Is It Spider Season?

Wondering if spiders are our friends? Check out this video and link: Get some great spider info here and here. I can't say it as well as these guys do, so I'm gonna send you to their pages.  

Who’s Killing the Bees?

On June 18, 2013, I attended a workshop on providing habitat for beneficial insects. One of the instructors mentioned that he had just been checking on dead bees in a parking lot in Wilsonville, Oregon, on I-5 near Salem. The next day, the local media reported a mass bee killing at that parking lot. Mass … Continue reading Who’s Killing the Bees?