Growing Japanese vegetables


Being able to grow Japanese vegetables in our western climates is a great and healthy challenge.  With Japanese food vegetables you must keep in mind that, like most vegetables, they are seasonal. Meaning they will not always be around or the best all year round. Here is a list of vegetables that are available to the United States and their benefits. Continue Reading

Aucuba Japonica 'Gold Dust'


All gardens have problem spots - those areas where it seems that nothing will grow. Often, this tends to be in the shade - either under a large tree or the eves of a house. This week we are featuring an evergreen that will solve the problem of bare, shaded areas and will add eye catching color and interest to your garden - Aucuba japonica 'Gold Dust.' Unlike most garden plants Continue Reading

A Hardy Little Orchid


A number of years ago I was asked to re-design a very large semi-shaded patio area. The house was huge and the patio ran the entire length. The client specifically asked for unusual perennials to interest her garden club friends. Because of the close-up viewing from the patio, used primarily for entertaining, I decided that each clump of perennials needed to be a small intimate Continue Reading

Blooming Bonsai!

azalea by walter pall

Some azaleas and rhododendrons occasionally bloom twice - in the fall, as well as spring, depending upon the weather. For years, breeders have been trying to amplify this repeat bloom trait to achieve azaleas and rhododendrons that will bloom reliably every fall and spring. We have trialed several of these fall blooming azaleas and the results here in Zone 6 have been Continue Reading

The Crape Myrtle


Crape Myrtles are a popular choice for gardeners because of their low maintenance, beautiful colors and extremely long bloom season, lasting nearly three and a half months. Crape Myrtles are most popular in the south, gaining the nickname the lilac of the south, but are enjoyed by gardeners across the country. Their scientific term, Lagerstroemia, was coined in 1759 in order to Continue Reading

The apple pie of shrubs


When you choose a lilac you are planting a shrub that is part of our American heritage - some have even called the lilac the "apple pie of shrubs." Thomas Jefferson planted lilacs at Monticello and lilacs greeted guests as they entered George Washington's flower garden at Mount Vernon. Poet Walt Whitman's elegy to Abraham Lincoln, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" Continue Reading