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

Botanical Rambles Blog Discusses Native Plants for Covering Ground

We all like to fill in the spaces in the garden. Some of us have more space than others. Some natives cover more ground, and faster than others. Here's a link to a few tips. See the sidebar for my handouts with more info about the characteristics of natives in the garden! Botanical Rambles | … Continue reading Botanical Rambles Blog Discusses Native Plants for Covering Ground

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?

Native Plants 101: Protecting Your Native Fauna

Native plants evolved with a gigantic number of associated microbes, fungi, bacteria, herbivores, and insects. It follows that plants don't exist by themselves - they need the organisms that helped them adapt and change over the ages. For home gardeners, insect assistants are one of the easiest and most interesting class of partners to manage … Continue reading Native Plants 101: Protecting Your Native Fauna

Native Plants 101: How About A Hedgerow?

Don't say you don't have room for a hedgerow - this 40 X 100 lot has a rockery topped with a modern day hedgerow. Hedgerows traditionally were used as fences between fields, and a "laid hedge" in England contained thorny plants like hawthorn to act as a barrier. Cut through the lower trunk and laid … Continue reading Native Plants 101: How About A Hedgerow?

Native Plants 101: Insect protectors

Lady bugs are everyone's friends; they are so iconic. But guess what? There are a lot of questions surrounding these seemingly innocuous and friendly insects. Did you know that: Over the past twenty years several native ladybugs that were once very common have become extremely rare. During this same time ladybugs from other places have … Continue reading Native Plants 101: Insect protectors