things and places for homes and gardens

Tagged: winter interest

2010-01-10 :: megan // Plants

The house is oh so cozy, and the garden is chilly and uninviting, but I’m about ready for some winter color to get me back in the mood for gardening. Portland weather seems to think it’s done with freezing temperatures, and garden cleanup chores are calling, so I’m procrastinating looking back on the year’s pictures [...]

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2009-03-30 :: megan // Plants
Between winter and spring

One of my all time favorite children’s books is the 1961 title by Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth. It’s about a boy bored by his life. “Wherever he was he wished he were somewhere else, and when he got there he wondered why he’d bothered. Nothing really interested him — least of all the things [...]

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2009-02-20 :: megan // Plants
Attack of the yellow conifers

What I thought yesterday might have been a Chief Joseph pine in the corner of a picture turned out to be a disappointment. You know how sometimes you think you’re going to get Pinus contorta ‘Chief Joseph’ but then it turns out to be Pinus parviflora ‘Ogon Janome?’ If I had a nickel for every [...]

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2009-02-18 :: megan // Gardens + Nurseries
February Color

I wish I had learned earlier in my gardening life to shop year round. There was so much good color at Portland Nursery on Valentines day, no flowers necessary. I have a new plant obsession. Aibes nordmanniana ‘Golden Spreader’. It’s a dwarf conifer, hardy to zone 5. In early spring, after a cold winter, the [...]

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2009-02-12 :: megan // General
Best New Performers

Lush wintery gardenia, fern, azalea combination at the Chinese Garden in February This last year, just about every single plant buying trip I embarked on came with a mission: more winter interest. No more staring at bald ground January through April, going insane waiting for things to leaf out. That’s no way to garden. It [...]


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2009-01-22 :: megan // Plants
Don’t touch the plants?

Are most gardeners plant-touchers? I have to be careful not to get busted at public gardens where they frown on it, but I can’t resist grabbing onto a stalk of timber bamboo if I’m walking by it, or checking out just how sharp the spines of an agave are. Edgeworthia buds look like silky little [...]

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2009-01-21 :: megan // Gardens + Nurseries + Plants
What winter?

Cistus Nursery on Sauvie Island is a fun trip any time of year, but it’s my favorite nursery to visit in winter. Any time of year, on the drive out, you pass cows, horses, chickens. You’re likely to see herons, egrets, and hawks, and sometimes you go to pick up a plant, and a little [...]

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2008-03-15 :: megan // Gardens
Rubus lineatus, FINALLY

Every time I go to the Portland Classical Chinese Garden’s, I seek out this plant. There are a couple there, but my favorite is back by the waterfall. You’re not allowed to touch the plants, so I am of course not advocating touching the plant, but leaves are so satisfyingly crisply pleated (or so I [...]

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From the Portland Classical Chinese Garden’s plant sale a couple weeks back, I picked up Trochodendron aralioides (wheel tree) Zone: 6-8  Sun/part shade H:20ft W:15ft Evergreen tree.  Broad spreading with horizontal branching.  Interesting shaped dark green foliage accented by bright green flowers.   I’ve planted it between a stand of bamboo, and an acer palmatum ‘bloodgood.’  It’s only [...]

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