Whistling Gardener Blog

"Three perennial shrub suggestions for your garden," by The Whistling Gardener

Pulmonary “Raspberry Splash” is a harbinger of spring with its early blooms. Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Nursery.

Let’s face it. Gardening in the shade can be challenging. It’s not only dark but often dry as well and if it isn’t dry then often it is damp and full of slugs. The Whistling Gardener shares two sure bets that he has worked into his shade beds that you should consider for yours. He also shares one very old-fashioned flowering shrub that's making a comeback and will bloom in sun or shade.

"Double Take Flowering Quince – The New and Improved Model," by the Whistling Gardener

Flowering Quince is a true harbinger of spring. Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Nursery.

I just spent five days over the holidays in Plain, Washington near Leavenworth with a bunch of friends hunkered down in a cabin surrounded by snow and cold temperatures. It was obvious that it was still the dead of winter. But on the way home as I reached the lower elevations I was amazed to see how many plants were coming out of dormancy and starting to bloom.

"BYB’S (Boring Yard Busters) for February," by the Whistling Gardener

This 'Purple Stem Sweet Box' is not only beautiful but the smell is simply heavenly!  Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Nursery.

As I promised in January, every month throughout this year I am going to give you a list of plants that I think are worthy of adding interest to our gardens. If you plant a few from each month’s list your garden will magically evolve into a four seasons-of-interest landscape that you will find yourself drawn out into to discover who’s on stage for the month.

"Just say 'no' to boring gardens," by the Whistling Gardener

The Whistling Gardener gives us a list of plants he thinks we should have in our gardens to keep them from being boring. Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Nursery.

Okay folks, here’s the deal. There isn’t a day that goes by that a customer doesn’t come into my garden center and ask me how they can achieve year around interest in their garden. My reply is always the same: “Come to the garden center once a month and buy something that looks interesting to you and in 12 months you will have year ‘round interest in your garden.”

"Yup, It’s that time again for my Monthly Check List," by The Whistling Gardener

The Whistling Gardener shares his thoughts on what to do in the garden this month. Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Nursery.

Yup, It’s that time again for the Whistling Gardener's Monthly Check List. I know what you are thinking: can’t this guy just kick back for a month and give us a break? No need to get too worried, January is a pretty laid back month for the garden. Here are some thoughts to ponder:

"New Year’s Resolutions for the 'real gardener' (that will never happen)," by the Whistling Gardener

Happy New Year from the Whistling Gardener. Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Nursery.

I first penned this piece, "New Year’s Resolutions for the 'real gardener' (that will never happen)," in 2001 and 15 years later it still feels relevant. It’s encouraging to know that the true attributes of a “real gardener” haven’t changed. Enjoy!

"Good news – the days are now getting longer," by the Whistling Gardener

Hellebores are great little winter bloomers! Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Nursery.

December 21st is what we officially refer to as the Winter Solstice. This day has the ignominious distinction of being the shortest day of the year (in the northern hemisphere). This day is synonymous with coldness and darkness and dormancy but it is also associated with celebrations of renewal and hope and generosity and introspection. It is the beginning of the return of the sun.