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Whistling Gardener Blog

"Regenerative Gardening: Saving the Planet One Garden at a Time," by the Whistling Gardener

Have you heard of “regenerative agriculture?" I hadn’t until recently, but after a bit of research, I realized that this “new” movement is at its base just an expansion of organic gardening and farming principles that can be adapted from commercial agriculture to our very own backyards. Here are some components of this style of gardening that we should all take to heart…

Have you heard of “regenerative agriculture?" I hadn’t until recently, but after a bit of research, I realized that this “new” movement is at its base just an expansion of organic gardening and farming principles that can be adapted from commercial agriculture to our very own backyards.

Here are some components of this style of gardening that we should all take to heart…

"Compost, It’s What Makes our Gardens Survive Extreme Weather," by the Whistling Gardener

Recently I had one of my readers reach out to me and inquire about how all the weather extremes of 2021 might impact our gardening experiences in 2022. It is a good question that is worth exploring, especially since I suspect this won’t be the last time we see such extremes in temperature, rainfall, and snow. Here are some of my thoughts…

Recently I had one of my readers reach out to me and inquire about how all the weather extremes of 2021 might impact our gardening experiences in 2022. It is a good question that is worth exploring, especially since I suspect this won’t be the last time we see such extremes in temperature, rainfall, and snow. Here are some of my thoughts…

"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides,” by the Whistling Gardener

I don’t know how you all feel about 2021, but for me it was like circling the airport waiting for clearance to land and never getting it. Oh sure, we made a couple of approaches and were really close to touching down, but then at the last minute the tower waved us off.

Writer and gardening expert W.E. Johns once stated, "One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides.”

I stepped outside the other day before the big snow and made a mental list of what I am anticipating in my garden. Here are a few of my observations…

"Hellebores – They Just Keep Getting Better," by the Whistling Gardener

Hellebores are evergreen perennials that bloom in the fall through late winter and prefer a shady location with good draining soil.   Perhaps the terms Christmas Rose or Lenten Rose might sound more familiar.

I have written about hellebores many times over the years and each time it seems like the breeders just keep improving them.

Hellebores are evergreen perennials that bloom in the fall through late winter and prefer a shady location with good draining soil.

Perhaps the terms Christmas Rose or Lenten Rose might sound more familiar.

"Pick up Your Spirits with these Indoor Blooming Bulbs," by the Whistling Gardener

For those of us that miss the pleasures of gardening this time of year, growing things inside the house can be a good substitute. Forcing bulbs like Paperwhites and Amaryllis can help us fill a need to be grounded in nature and can uplift any soul mired in the gray doldrums of a northwest winter.

For those of us that miss the pleasures of gardening this time of year, growing things inside the house can be a good substitute.

Forcing bulbs like Paperwhites and Amaryllis can help us fill a need to be grounded in nature and can uplift any soul mired in the gray doldrums of a northwest winter.

"A Few Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Gardener," by the Whistling Gardener

Now that we have passed our traditional “giving thanks” holiday, we might just as well keep the spirit flowing by showing our love and appreciation to our friends and relatives who have the passion for gardening. Gardeners love gifts as much as the next person and what better place to find some stellar ideas than at your local garden center.

Now that we have passed our traditional “giving thanks” holiday, we might just as well keep the spirit flowing by showing our love and appreciation to our friends and relatives who have the passion for gardening.

Gardeners love gifts as much as the next person and what better place to find some stellar ideas than at your local garden center.

"Houseplants: More Choices than Ever," by the Whistling Gardener

The year was 1970 and I was just about to graduate from college with a degree in plant science. One of my job options was to go to work in Leucadia or Encinitas, California for one of the many foliage companies where plants like Spider Plants, Boston Ivy, Snake Plants, Aglaonema, and Prayer Plants, to name just a few, were propagated by the millions.

The year was 1970 and I was just about to graduate from college with a degree in plant science. One of my job options was to go to work in Leucadia or Encinitas, California for one of the many foliage companies where plants like Spider Plants, Boston Ivy, Snake Plants, Aglaonema, and Prayer Plants, to name just a few, were propagated by the millions.

"New Wintergreen Varieties are a Holiday Hit," By the Whistling Gardener

Now that the thrill of summer has passed and the warm colors of fall are fading with each passing storm, our eyes should be being drawn to attractive broadleaf plants like Hollies, Aucubas, Fatsias, and Nandinas; and of course plants that have berries like Pyracantha, Cotoneaster, Snowberry, and Beauty Berry. 

Now that the thrill of summer has passed and the warm colors of fall are fading with each passing storm, our eyes should be being drawn to attractive broadleaf plants like Hollies, Aucubas, Fatsias, and Nandinas; and of course plants that have berries like Pyracantha, Cotoneaster, Snowberry, and Beauty Berry.

"Now is the Time to Plant Bulbs," by the Whistling Gardener

Last spring when my bulb buyer was sitting down with our bulb vendor working on our fall order of tulips, daffodils, and all the other wonderful bulbs that garden centers offer this time of year, I decided it would be fun to add a few varieties for my own garden. By the time my wife and I narrowed down our choices, we had ordered no less than 2500 bulbs.

Last spring when my bulb buyer was sitting down with our bulb vendor working on our fall order of tulips, daffodils, and all the other wonderful bulbs that garden centers offer this time of year, I decided it would be fun to add a few varieties for my own garden.

By the time my wife and I narrowed down our choices, we had ordered no less than 2500 bulbs.

"When is a Crocus not a Crocus? When it’s a Colchicum," by the Whistling Gardener

On the shelves of garden centers in October you will find enticing selections of tulips, daffodils, alliums, crocus, snow drops, and assorted other lesser-known bulbs - all of which, if planted this month, will start blooming in late winter and on into spring. Collectively, we refer to these as spring blooming bulbs. There is however, a couple of exceptions.

On the shelves of garden centers in October you will find enticing selections of tulips, daffodils, alliums, crocus, snow drops, and assorted other lesser-known bulbs - all of which, if planted this month, will start blooming in late winter and on into spring.

Collectively, we refer to these as spring blooming bulbs. There are however, a couple of exceptions.

"October in the Garden," by the Whistling Gardener

In my world, September always feels like a continuation of summer, whereas October puts me in the mood for fall. Shrubs and trees are starting to really color up, everywhere you look retailers are displaying mums and pumpkins, lawns are waking up from their summer dormancy, and homeowners are going nuts with their Halloween decorations. 

In my world, September always feels like a continuation of summer, whereas October puts me in the mood for fall.

Shrubs and trees are starting to really color up, everywhere you look retailers are displaying mums and pumpkins (not to mention Halloween candy), lawns are waking up from their summer dormancy, and homeowners are going nuts with their Halloween decorations. 

"Red Twig Dogwoods – A Shrub for all Seasons," by the Whistling Gardener

It isn’t every day that a plant comes along that will grow just about anywhere and has some interesting feature every season of the year. But that’s just exactly what our northwest native Red Twig Dogwood does! In its native habitat it thrives in moist soil along stream banks and usually in a filtered shade location.

It isn’t every day that a plant comes along that will grow just about anywhere and has some interesting feature every season of the year. But that’s just exactly what our northwest native Red Twig Dogwood does!

In its native habitat it thrives in moist soil along stream banks and usually in a filtered shade location.

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