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Blog Calendar - Nature / Outdoor / Green

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Gardening Blogs

19 October 2019

Gardening Blogs
  • Colorful Fall Gardens
    19 October 2019

    The fall season is incredible in the Pacific Northwest, as the green leaves of summer turn to beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow. Autumn is a great time to plant and refresh your fading summer garden with some trees, shrubs or perennials for a spectacular fall show. Fall conditions help new plants settle in and grow strong roots before winter - the temperatures are mild and it often rains. We have a great selection of plants for fall color and we would like to share a few of our favorites.

    Bold Color

    Looking for some bold colors in tones of red, orange and yellow?

    Fireball Burning Bush offers a beautiful spectacle with leaves turning bright scarlet red and is great planted on its own as a specimen or planted in mass as a hedge.

    The bluish-green leaves of Mount Airy Fothergilla change to orange, yellow and red to create a spectacular fall display! This shrub blooms in spring with fragrant white bottle-brush-shaped flower spikes.

    A must-have shrub for sunny gardens is a blueberry! Blueberries have flowers in spring for pollinators, produce delicious edible berries in summer and the fall leaf color creates a spectacular show!




    Fall color in the garden can be more than tones of red, orange and yellow. Incorporating silver and purple foliage perennials and shrubs can add depth and contrast.

    The striking silver of Cushion Bush (Calocephalus brownie) creates a spectacular contrast with green or purple foliage plants, such as Forever Purple Heuchera (Heuchera ‘Forever Purple’). In summer, small yellow flowers bloom on top of the stems.



    Silver Germander (Teucrium fruticans ‘Azureum’) is an awesome shrub with silvery white foliage and grows well in rockeries, alpine gardens or as a specimen in container plantings. The vivid blue flowers bloom in spring and attract bees and butterflies.

    The deep purple leaves of Prince Calico Aster is a fabulous accent with silver foliage plants and ornamental grasses. While the Price Calico Aster grows about 2 feet tall, the lush dark purple-black scalloped leaves of Black Scallop Bugleweed (Ajuga) creep along the ground. An outstanding accent for fall & winter plantings in containers and the garden!




    To add a bit of extra color, think about incorporating some beautiful fall-blooming cyclamen, ornamental cabbage or cheerful winter pansies.



    Textures & Colors

    Add some color and texture to the garden by mixing in evergreen perennials such as grasses and Libertia. The coffee-brown evergreen leaves of Cappuccino Sedge are a beautiful complement to dark green and purple foliage plants.

    Goldfinger Libertia is a showstopper with distinctive golden-yellow leaves. It provides beautiful color throughout the season with white flowers in summer and stunning color in fall and winter.



    A colorful garden doesn’t need to fade at the end of summer. There are many plants waiting to brighten your area with a colorful display and we would be happy to help in person or on social media using #heyswansons on Twitter and Instagram or posting on our Facebook page!

  • Colorful Fall Gardens
    19 October 2019

    The fall season is incredible in the Pacific Northwest, as the green leaves of summer turn to beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow. Autumn is a great time to plant and refresh your fading summer garden with some trees, shrubs or perennials for a spectacular fall show. Fall conditions help new plants settle in and grow strong roots before winter - the temperatures are mild and it often rains. We have a great selection of plants for fall color and we would like to share a few of our favorites.

    Bold Color

    Looking for some bold colors in tones of red, orange and yellow?

    Fireball Burning Bush offers a beautiful spectacle with leaves turning bright scarlet red and is great planted on its own as a specimen or planted in mass as a hedge.

    The bluish-green leaves of Mount Airy Fothergilla change to orange, yellow and red to create a spectacular fall display! This shrub blooms in spring with fragrant white bottle-brush-shaped flower spikes.

    A must-have shrub for sunny gardens is a blueberry! Blueberries have flowers in spring for pollinators, produce delicious edible berries in summer and the fall leaf color creates a spectacular show!




    Fall color in the garden can be more than tones of red, orange and yellow. Incorporating silver and purple foliage perennials and shrubs can add depth and contrast.

    The striking silver of Cushion Bush (Calocephalus brownie) creates a spectacular contrast with green or purple foliage plants, such as Forever Purple Heuchera (Heuchera ‘Forever Purple’). In summer, small yellow flowers bloom on top of the stems.



    Silver Germander (Teucrium fruticans ‘Azureum’) is an awesome shrub with silvery white foliage and grows well in rockeries, alpine gardens or as a specimen in container plantings. The vivid blue flowers bloom in spring and attract bees and butterflies.

    The deep purple leaves of Prince Calico Aster is a fabulous accent with silver foliage plants and ornamental grasses. While the Price Calico Aster grows about 2 feet tall, the lush dark purple-black scalloped leaves of Black Scallop Bugleweed (Ajuga) creep along the ground. An outstanding accent for fall & winter plantings in containers and the garden!




    To add a bit of extra color, think about incorporating some beautiful fall-blooming cyclamen, ornamental cabbage or cheerful winter pansies.



    Textures & Colors

    Add some color and texture to the garden by mixing in evergreen perennials such as grasses and Libertia. The coffee-brown evergreen leaves of Cappuccino Sedge are a beautiful complement to dark green and purple foliage plants.

    Goldfinger Libertia is a showstopper with distinctive golden-yellow leaves. It provides beautiful color throughout the season with white flowers in summer and stunning color in fall and winter.



    A colorful garden doesn’t need to fade at the end of summer. There are many plants waiting to brighten your area with a colorful display and we would be happy to help in person or on social media using #heyswansons on Twitter and Instagram or posting on our Facebook page!

  • Downsizing the lawn
    18 October 2019
    By Vicki Barney


    First my yard had too little lawn. Flowers galore and a variety of ground covers but no grass.  After a few years of (successful) seeding, there was too much lawn; mowing is not my thing.  So this spring I downsized my lawn and expanded the garden area.  It turned into a fun adventure, thanks to the advice and help from my friend Karen Vail.

    Removing a lawn can be a daunting task.  It can be accomplished by digging, a back breaking chore that may awaken dormant weed seeds and damages the physical condition of the soil, or soil tilth. Another option, using chemicals, is not a choice for organic gardeners like me.  Smothering the lawn by laying plastic or newspaper is a third option.  Plastic successfully kills the lawn, but also will kill beneficial bugs and any underlying tree and shrub roots.  I took the gentlest path: smothering with newspaper or, in my case, cardboard.
    The many ways to remove a lawn are discussed in the CSU Extension Fact Sheet 7.234 - Xeriscaping: Retrofit Your Yard (https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/yard-garden/xeriscaping-retrofit-your-yard-7-234).   Since I didn’t need to remove all roots – no plants were to be started from seed - using cardboard was a sound choice.  I had also found success with cardboard a few seasons back when I wanted to contain an aggressive groundcover, smothering an area over the course of a winter.   The steps:
    1. Cut the grass very short.
    2. Lay cardboard (removing staples and tape first) over the area.
    3. Top with 3 inches of weed-free compost.
    4. Lay drip irrigation on top of compost.
    5. Water every other day for 6 weeks.
    6. Plant new garden.



    During those six weeks, hungry worms did the work of breaking apart roots as they moved up through the cardboard and into the compost.  The technique works best when the underlying soil is healthy and contains few weeds, as the weeds may sprout in the new garden.  If the area is very weedy, smothering with plastic may be the better option.  

    While the worms worked, I followed the sun’s path across the garden (finding it shadier than I thought) and selected native plants from lists provided by Karen.  Then one morning Karen and her assistant Allison Mecklenburg came by to arrange and plant rocks and flowers.  A beautiful new garden was created in a single day.  Amazing.  

    After two weeks of attentive watering, the new plants have settled in.  My only chore is to check every so often for sprouting weeds, leaving me free to watch the variety of birds stopping by on their way south for the winter.
    Vicky Barney gardens for wildlife and is a member of the Master Gardener Class of 2011. 

  • Brian Minter: How to take care of your tropicals over the winter
    18 October 2019
    We’re all well aware that winter can be tough on our gardens, but it may be hard to believe that our indoor plants are going to struggle as well over the next four to five months. Poor light, low humidity and other difficult growing conditions all combine to test even our most robust tropicals. Professionals in the plant maintenance business face many of the same challenges and, in order to be successful, they change their plant-care practices in winter. You probably should too. Read More
  • Garden Genie Gloves Review: Get Growing in Your Garden
    18 October 2019

    How I wish I had a set of Garden Genie Gloves when I first moved into my house with my husband. We bought an affordable, reasonably-sized ranch in southeastern Pennsylvania.Fortunately, the previous homeowner valued landscaping and had tasteful flower gardens and shrubs on the property. It wasn’t long, however, before I was itching to put […]

    The post Garden Genie Gloves Review: Get Growing in Your Garden appeared first on Garden Ambition.

  • Crossandra: Shade-Loving Firecracker Flower
    18 October 2019

    The post Crossandra: Shade-Loving Firecracker Flower is by Kevin Espiritu and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

    Crossandra creastes a colorful display in any home or garden setting. Our growing guide tells you everything you need to grow it right!

    The post Crossandra: Shade-Loving Firecracker Flower is by Kevin Espiritu and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

  • Crossandra: Shade-Loving Firecracker Flower
    18 October 2019

    The post Crossandra: Shade-Loving Firecracker Flower is by Kevin Espiritu and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

    Crossandra creastes a colorful display in any home or garden setting. Our growing guide tells you everything you need to grow it right!

    The post Crossandra: Shade-Loving Firecracker Flower is by Kevin Espiritu and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

  • Every Gardener Eventually...
    18 October 2019
    Every gardener eventually... So many ways to finish that sentence. Every gardener eventually kills a plant or two or one hundred? True. Every gardener eventually has a few weeds they let grow a bit bigger than they should. Also true. Every gardener eventually has to... go to the bathroom. Also true. And according to my friend Kathy Jentz, editor of Washington Gardener, my books,
  • Cottony Cushion Scale: Learn How To Control This Plant Scale Bug
    18 October 2019

    The Cottony Cushion Scale is a scale insect that feeds on over 65 families in the woody plant families, particularly Pittosporum and Citrus trees.  The... [Read more]

    The post Cottony Cushion Scale: Learn How To Control This Plant Scale Bug appeared first on Plant Care Today.

  • What’s Beautiful Now: Hordes of Gourds
    18 October 2019

    Large, lumpy, warty, and weird—the hordes of pumpkins and gourds in our Spooky Pumpkin Garden come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. And their names are just as strange!

    The post What’s Beautiful Now: Hordes of Gourds appeared first on Plant Talk.


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