Mother’s Day at the Bellevue Botanical Garden

One advantage of Mother’s Day is a mom gets to do whatever she wants. Want to visit a botanical garden because you’re a plant nerd? A mom can do that. And that’s exactly what I did with my family last Sunday on Mother’s Day. When I was in horticulture school, I worked for a quarter at the Bellevue Botanical Garden. It was a field practicum … Continue reading Mother’s Day at the Bellevue Botanical Garden

Three Plants You Can’t Pay Me to Plant

As a garden designer, I’m always recommending plants to plant. A good, fragrant shrub for below a window. A plant with blooms in late winter. A disease-resistant perennial for shade. It’s one of the funnest parts of my job. But sometimes it’s even more important to know what plants to stay away from. Not just because they replicate quickly but because you will most likely never be able … Continue reading Three Plants You Can’t Pay Me to Plant

10 Plants That Look Prettier in the Rain

Rainy days can be melancholy, but when you have plants that shine in the rain, the melancholy turns to charm. It’s as if certain plants are waiting for the moisture, ready for it, so that when they get it, they put on their best show, boasting deep color and interesting texture. I was strolling the garden during a shower the other day and found myself admiring certain plants. … Continue reading 10 Plants That Look Prettier in the Rain

Colorful Foliage for Shade

In the Pacific Northwest, many homeowners have a shady spot in their garden. An old, second-growth cedar or fir might take up an entire corner, a neighbor’s giant magnolia or purple leaf plum might create a wide, encompassing shadow. So what to do. With some fresh compost and occasional supplemental water, you can grow a lovely shade garden. And it doesn’t have to be all … Continue reading Colorful Foliage for Shade

The 12 Most Strongly Scented Shrubs

Fragrant plants create an instant sense of mystery in the garden. You might get out of a car and a scent hits your nose. Immediately, you want to know what smells so good. If you’re a gardener, you might search around a bit. If you’re not, you simply enjoy the experience. Either way a surprise has happened, a special moment that hadn’t occurred before. Fragrance … Continue reading The 12 Most Strongly Scented Shrubs