Gardening Tips

Our Top Picks for October

Our Top Picks for October

If we’re lucky, October days are crisp and sunny with just enough rainfall to keep everything green and thriving. No matter what the weather, fall color is at its peak this month. Although most of the summer annuals have stopped blooming, stunning foliage takes their place and keeps color in the garden with warm yellows and oranges, fiery reds, and deep bronzes and burgundies. Here are a few of our favorites for the fall.

How to Plant Trees & Shrubs

How to Plant Trees & Shrubs

Now that you’ve picked out some gorgeous plants to begin your escapade into the Mysterious World of Gardening, the first big question arises: “How do I properly plant these to give them a good, healthy start?” The steps described here focus on planting trees and shrubs, but are essentially the same for anything being planted in the ground, including smaller perennials and annuals. 

Plants for Dry Shade

Plants for Dry Shade

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.

Our Top Picks for September

Our Top Picks for September

You can feel fall in the air, but don't worry, our gardens are far from slowing down. In fact, September is one of the loveliest times in the Pacific Northwest garden, as foliage shows spectacular color, new flowers pop-up, and certain summer plants just keep right on performing until frost. Here are a few of our favorites for September.

Best Watering Practices for Your Northwest Garden

Best Watering Practices for Your Northwest Garden

Do you know what the No. 1 cause of poor health or death of plants (especially new plantings) is? It's not disease. Not unexpected freezes. Not mistakes made during planting. Watering, you say??? Aww, you looked at the title of the post — yes, it's insufficient or incorrect watering. These living organisms you've just planted can be delicate and demanding, and neglecting their water needs, even briefly, can undo all your hard work getting them planted.

Pruning Lilacs

Pruning Lilacs

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.

Growing Warm-Season Vegetables in the Pacific Northwest

Growing Warm-Season Vegetables in the Pacific Northwest

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. 

The Bare Necessities: Everything You Need To Know About Bare Root

The Bare Necessities: Everything You Need To Know About Bare Root

February is "Bare-Root" season at Swansons and this means now is the best time to find an extensive selection of fruit trees and flowering ornamental trees and shrubs, all at a great discount during our Early Spring Sale. Many of the varieties of fruit trees and berries that we have in stock now won't be available later in the year!

Winter Pruning Tips

Winter Pruning Tips

Winter is a fine time to prune many trees, shrubs, perennials, and ornamental grasses. Arguably, it's the best time, as you can more easily see the "bones" of the garden, worry less about damaging smaller, neighboring plants, and it gets you out of the house to do something physical.