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Whistling Gardener Blog

December 2013 check list from The Whistling Gardener

One would think that by December there wouldn’t be much left to do in our gardens, and for anyone with a typical northwest low maintenance yard with mostly evergreens and a few deciduous shrubs surrounded by a sea of bark that might be the case. Not so for the rest of us. We are compulsive dedicated gardeners who live for the chance to commune with nature right in our own backyards.

One would think that by December there wouldn’t be much left to do in our gardens, and for anyone with a typical northwest low maintenance yard with mostly evergreens and a few deciduous shrubs surrounded by a sea of bark that might be the case. Not so for the rest of us. We are compulsive dedicated gardeners who live for the chance to commune with nature right in our own backyards.

As a Northwest gardener, what are you thankful for? - from The Whistling Gardener

Well, this week is Thanksgiving, a traditional time for Americans to take time to count their blessing and reflect on the things in their lives that they are truly thankful for. So I was thinking (in gardening terms of course) of some of the things that I really enjoy here in the great northwest. Here’s my list.

Well, this week is Thanksgiving, a traditional time for Americans to take time to count their blessing and reflect on the things in their lives that they are truly thankful for. So I was thinking (in gardening terms of course) of some of the things that I really enjoy here in the great northwest. Here’s my list.

Winter is just another gardening season - The Whistling Gardener

Here we are deep into the fall season and for many of us it might seem like winter is here. We go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. The summer gardening season is certainly winding down but the winter season is just beginning.

Here we are deep into the fall season and for many of us it might seem like winter is here. We go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. (How depressing is that?) Our typical week is a mix of rain and mist or fog with occasional scattered sun breaks. I mowed my lawn yesterday for what may be the last time this year and I finished raking the leaves under most of my trees.

The summer gardening season is certainly winding down but the winter season is just beginning.

Rain Sweet Rain, from the Whistling Gardener

Who would have thought that I would be glad to see it rain in October?  This has been an incredible month for gardening with so many dry days to get out into the yard and prune and plant and generally enjoy our gardens. But when I woke up Sunday morning to the sound of rain drops on the window sill I couldn't help but feel a sense of relief.

WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT that I would be glad to see it rain in October?

This has been an incredible month for gardening with so many dry days to get out into the yard and prune and plant and generally enjoy our gardens. And how about that fall color? I don't think I have ever seen such splendid fall color on trees and shrubs and even perennials as I have seen this month and all because of the lack of rain which usually ruins our fall color shows.

But when I woke up Sunday morning to the sound of rain drops on the window sill I couldn't help but feel a sense of relief. This has been an unusually dry month with less than half our normal rainfall and our gardens (and containers especially) have shown signs if stress.

Bulbs – an exercise in delayed gratification from the Whistling Gardener

We want our computers to process stuff faster and faster and we want our food delivered sooner and generally we are all running out of patience when it comes to waiting for things to happen. I hate to say it but it is no different in the gardening world, especially when it comes to bulbs.

What a busy time we live in. Everyone wants things done instantly. We want our computers to process stuff faster and faster and we want our food delivered sooner and generally we are all running out of patience when it comes to waiting for things to happen. I hate to say it but it is no different in the gardening world, especially when it comes to bulbs.

October check list from the Whistling Gardener

As I am writing this column on the last days of September it is raining vigorously and I am feeling like fall is definitely in the air. But as you read this in early October the forecasters are predicting a 75 degree weekend so you decide if it is the end of summer or the beginning of fall.

As I am writing this column on the last days of September it is raining vigorously and I am feeling like fall is definitely in the air. But as you read this in early October the forecasters are predicting a 75 degree weekend so you decide if it is the end of summer or the beginning of fall.

Don’t waste this opportunity to do some last minute tweaking before winter comes to stay.

Changing of the Guard(en) by the Whistling Gardener

September is the time to change garden containers and put a close to the summer season and welcome in the fall season.

As I mentioned earlier this month, September often finds me conflicted as to what to change in my garden and what to nurse along for another month. But as good as some of my containers still look I find that in reality I am sick and tired of them and ready for a change whether they are or not. I need to put a close to the summer season and welcome in the fall season.

Succeeding with flowering cabbage and kale - by the Whistling Gardener

This is the time of year when we start selling so called “flowering” cabbage and kale as container plants for the fall and winter. When grown properly they can be very effective as winter interest annuals that will survive most northwest winters just fine.

Okay folks, here is a topic that finds gardeners either wildly enthusiastic about or totally repugnant. This is the time of year when we start selling so called “flowering” cabbage and kale as container plants for the fall and winter. When grown properly they can be very effective as winter interest annuals that will survive most northwest winters just fine. Combine them with other hardy perennials like violas, dusty miller, ornamental grasses or trailing vinca and you can have a wowzer of a container for the winter. So why is there such disdain from gardeners for these colorful plants? Here are some thoughts.

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