This spring’s most requested plants

This spring’s most requested plants

Geez Louise, the first half of April has been a blur. Time flies when you’re spring planting.

The Portland forecast has temperatures in the 80s this week. Too soon!

The cooler, rainier days have been perfect for transplanting, weeding, and watering in new seedlings, but today’s our last day with rain, then the temperature climbs daily, from 51 today, to 82 on Monday.

I’ve got about 20 plants waiting to get into the ground, but hot sunny days ahead means it’s go time, before all those little nursery pots need a bunch of babysitting and watering. Can you hear the second hand ticking louder by the second?

As much as I’d love to spend the whole day gardening, there’s work to be done. We’ve been quite busy adding plants and nurseries to the site. We are slowly but surely sneaking up on 30,000 plants in our database. We’ll have to have a little celebration when we hit that number. Phew.

It’s fun to see what plants are topping the charts on plant lust searches, especially this time of year when people are shopping and planting like mad. I’m happy to see a lot of drought-tolerant plants in the mix, especially in California. I’m always surprised to read about how many lawns there still are in California, since they can grow such amazing drought tolerant stuff that’s way more interesting than turf.

Top 10 plant searches of 2015

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Goodbye, winter

Goodbye, winter

Huge sigh of relief, we have arrived at spring. There will be plenty of time for celebrating the obvious beauty of the season headed our way. But now that winter is officially behind us, I want to take a moment to appreciate the plants that provided bright spots in winter’s final month. I love this garden-obsessed city. I’m so grateful to have neighbors with such showy winter plants in front yards were we can all enjoy them.

And now that planting season is upon us, don’t forget to think about the stuff that makes you happy in the grey months so you have plenty of eye candy next time winter rolls around.
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Yellow echo

Yellow echo

One way to make a garden look pulled together is by echoing colors. Take this inspired work in progress. Forgive the current state of the ground. Despite the forecast, it’s still winter for a couple more days. Clearly they’ve got plans. And a fab sense of color. While the plants are sleeping, they’ve always got their doors and bird feeder to keep things looking alive.
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I’ve got a bad case of magnolia lust

I’ve got a bad case of magnolia lust

Magnolias are a romantic bunch, thought of like southern belles with a blousy bloom, a fleeting moment of floral perfection. Whenever I confess to love them madly, I’m met with a questioning glance. This does not equate. She of the spikes, desert plants and love of foliage…magnolias? Yes!

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Dwarf Bigleaf Magnolia: One Sweet Tree

Dwarf Bigleaf Magnolia: One Sweet Tree

It’s hard to imagine there was a time I didn’t lust for specific trees. Not that far back, I could identify maples and conifers, and that’s about it. Now my list explodes with possibility. If you love tropical-looking, big gorgeous fragrant flowers, and quick gratification–Magnolia macrophylla var. ashei is just the tree for you. I found my at Cistus Nursery, and though it’s been in a pot for the past two years–awaiting placement in our new garden at Flamingo Park–it bloomed its wee heart this past season.

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