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The Shamrock and St. Patrick’s Day

Normally on March 17th, I don my kilt and am out pub crawling with the pipe band playing Irish and Scottish tunes for crowds of Irish-enthusiasts and/or inebriates. It’s the one day each year when a bagpipe band are real rock stars. However, this year with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,…

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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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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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Black Eyed Susan in bloom

‘Goldsturm’ Black Eyed Susan

(Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’) One of our favorite fall plants! They first come into bloom with their cheery golden flowers right when early summer perennials are starting to fade. They then team up with other end-of-season bloomers like asters, autumn joy sedum, and echinacea to create a final blast of color.…

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Alert Aster in autumn garden

‘Alert’ Aster

Alert’ aster (Aster novi-belgii ‘Alert’) is one of our favorite fall plants as it sets the autumn garden ablaze with its stunning crimson-purple flowers. As other perennials are setting seed this time of year, fall blooming asters provide the last round of fresh nectar for honey bees and other pollinators.…

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Hardy Hydrangea for Cold Climate

Tips for Choosing Hydrangeas

Do you want to grow hydrangeas but live in a cold region? Cultivars (horticultural selections) of smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) and hardy hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) are your best choice! These underused hydrangeas reward you with beautiful white-fading to pale pink flowers June through September. Once the plants go dormant, their…

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Blanket Flower Native Plant Gailardia Aristata

Gailardia Aristata

Blanket flower’s (Gailardia aristata) dark red and yellow petals with a hint of pink remind me of desert sunsets. Known for its hardiness, ease of growth and lasting color, this beautiful native plant will bring you more joy if you continuously deadhead the seed heads throughout the season. Plants also…

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Scarlet Gilia Native Plant

Scarlet Gilia

Scarlet gilia or skyrocket (Ipomopsis aggregata) is native to the mountain west finding it’s home in open forests at higher elevations. When in bloom the clusters of trumpet shaped red flowers provide much-needed nectar to Rufous, Anna’s and other hummingbird species. In fact, it is held that hummingbirds need to…

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Drought Tolerant Moonshine Yarrow Plant for Xeriscaping

‘Moonshine’ Yarrow

Moonshine’ Yarrow (Achillea x ‘Moonshine’) will bring a ray of sunshine to your garden with its lemon yellow flowers held on top of silvery fern-like foliage all summer long. Plants are drought tolerant, sun loving and have a compact growth habit that does not require staking. ‘Moonshine’ is happy at…

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