Creating Beautiful
Whidbey Island Landscapes

that celebrate the unique history, ecology and character of our island home.

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Bloom Where You’re Planted

We had a fun extended weekend visit  with our Utah kids earlier this month.  Much of it was spent doing projects, which the Mr. and I love and one of those was putting their garden to bed for the winter.  I took all of my cold weather work clothes (along with Felco pruners) and promptly had to remove most of them including my gloves because it was hot! (Two days later they had SNOW!)  Daughter A. and I both agreed that cleaning up is much more fun while chatting with somebody besides yourself.  It became apparent to me that some of the advice I regularly met out to clients here on Whidbey won’t necessarily apply to Utah gardens.  When to prune roses, should you mulch with leaves, should you plant in the fall?

Luckily, there is a great nursery (The Greenhouse on their walk / run route with a COFFEE shop (Crumb Brothers right across the road!   A trip there was our afternoon treat while the boys drank beer and watched football.  The nursery was very quiet and almost empty – unlike our nurseries here, which generally have plants of some kind year round.  This was a good indication that fall planting in Utah is not a common practice, and a chance to see the structures in the nursery.  A’s go-to nursery person was there and we chatted about plants and gardening.  Her opinion is that most penstemons – even the larger-leaved species do well in Utah.  Goody.

Seed heads of Echinacea and Rudbeckia, et al have been allowed to stay up in the grass garden outside the coffee shop.

The soil is alkaline, which means that many of  those shrubs that could survive the cold zone 4 don’t  do well.   Then the go-to nursery person asked, “Do you know about High Country Gardens?”   Are you kidding?  It is one of my guilty pleasures to eat my Christmas chocolates in bed while salivating over that catalog.  Now I have a second garden in which  to try out some of those plants.  Can’t wait for next spring.   See

Nursery fence.

Nursery arbor.

Nursery is almost empty. A good reminder of how important structure is in the garden.

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