Way up here in the land of tall conifers, dry shade is a common gardening challenge. I’ve had success with the following plants in the shade of conifers, and they also work well in deciduous woodlands or in the dry rain shadow of north-facing buildings and garden walls. As with any new plantings, they will require summer water for several dry seasons until they have established a root system capable of competing with existing tree roots.
We love our lilac shrubs with their exemplary fragrance in May. But almost any lilac that has not been pruned for two years or more is likely to have several trunks, some older than others, and a brood of basal shoots ("suckers") around its base. And as it blooms on branch tips, we might find most flowers up high, out of optimal sniffing range. Pruning to meet these challenges can be a different approach than with many other flowering shrubs.
Everyone likes a little privacy. We want to feel like at least some part of our garden is a private oasis, a place where we can go to relax and leave the cares of the world behind. That doesn't necessarily mean building a fortress of walls around your yard. In fact, there are many creative options for privacy screening.
Most warm-season vegetables - heat-lovers like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, and beans - can be grown here in the Pacific Northwest.…. If you can give them the right conditions. But with our cool, wet springs and short summers, sometimes it can seem like an uphill battle. Luckily, there are ways to ensure success for the PNW gardener, from season-extending tools to growing tips for happy plants and great harvests.
Containers allow you to place a little garden anywhere you like. However, when you're faced with a sea of pottery options, it can seem daunting to find the perfect one. We love to help our customers design and grow their gardens. We're always happy to help you select your container in person, but here are a few things to think about if you want to get a jump start on making the best choice for your garden!
Drought tolerant* or low water use* are terms we use often in Northwest gardening. You see them on many of our plant signs and information sheets at Swansons. More so each year, as we recognize the importance of saving water in the face of our region's growing population and potential effects of climate change. Also, we see ever more examples of how beautiful a well-designed, drought-tolerant garden can be! However, this doesn’t mean these plants don’t need water. Read on to learn the truth about helping these plants thrive.
On a late-summer day of 2015, a windstorm roared through Swansons. Near the southeastern portion of the property, a fence draped with mature Vitis (Grapes) and Rosa (Roses) came crashing down and was then removed. Over time, Swansons thought about plans for the almost 100ft long empty space and by 2017 it was finally time to begin.
It seems like everyone at Swansons has a list of favorite tomato varieties, updated each year with new finds. These are the tomatoes that can handle a cold summer and still produce tons of fruit, the tomatoes that are so sweet our kids eat them like candy or are so unique they elicit gasps of awe from our neighbors. They are by no means the only tomatoes we recommend, just a few of our very favorites. Read on for our 8 favorites for 2018.