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Garden in completion with large aspen trees, perrenials, a stone patio with firepit and rock paths

A Wee Garden with it All

In June 2015, April and I purchased our first home in Central Oregon. The house was built on land once occupied by a farmer but had now been developed into a suburban neighborhood offering the American Dream to over 51 families. Like so many new housing developments, our vacant-lot-of-a-backyard was…

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english primrose in pink

English Primrose

After a long grey winter, English primroses (Primula Vulgaris hybrids) of yellow, pink, red, purple or white flowers are such a cheerful and welcomed sight! Don’t let their delicate flowers fool you though. Plants are extremely cold-hardy as the species hail from woodlands. In fact, their common name derives from…

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The Basics of Apple Tree Pruning

Pruning a young or mature apple tree can seem daunting especially if you spend any time reading the countless books on the subject. As with all garden tasks, there are lots of nuances to fruit tree pruning that can be learned and mastered in time as you become a more…

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Hardy hydrangea and winter garden blessing for 2021

A Winter Garden Blessing

The wonderful thing about the starkness of the winter garden is how subtle beauty really comes into focus. Oftentimes, these moments evade our attention if we don’t slow down, observe quietly, and be present in our gardens. Here we have a dried hydrangea flower that I left for winter interest.…

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Celebrating Winter Solstice

December 21st marks the winter solstice or the shortest day of the year. The word solstice means “standstill”. For every year, around this time, the sun appears to rise and set low on the horizon in the same place for a few days. It is the time of the longest…

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Kinnikinnick plant with red berries


There’s something charming about kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) also known as bear-berry. In spring, the shiny green leaves conceal urn-shaped pink flowers. These give way in fall to edible (but bland tasting) dark red berries. The reddish brown branchlets have an attractive peeling bark while the whole plant takes on a…

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Winter outdoor porch planter design

DIY Winter Outdoor Planters

Are you looking for a fun and inexpensive way to spruce up your empty outdoor winter planters? Do you not want to fuss with watering containers of live plants through the holidays? Then try collecting evergreen boughs to make your own arrangements this year. As the hard frosts set in…

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how and when to harvest potatoes

Harvesting Potatoes

How do you know when to harvest potatoes in fall? Although you can harvest new potatoes a few weeks after the plants have flowered in late summer, spuds grown for winter storage should be harvested 2 to 3 weeks after the foliage has browned and died back to the ground…

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