Showing posts with label plant lists for Seattle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label plant lists for Seattle. Show all posts

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Dozen Evergreen Trees for Small Gardens

Strawberry Tree flowers and fruit
1. Arbutus unedo 'Compacta' - Compact strawberry tree
Size: 8' tall by 8' wide
Comments: Related to our native madrone tree; peeling, reddish bark; dark green foliage; clusters of white, bell-shaped flowers in spring; red fruit in fall resembling strawberries
2. Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Pendula' - Weeping Alaska cedar
Size: to 20' tall; width variable
Comments: Choose carefully to get the tree shape you want; some are pencil-shaped, others spread 6- 8' wide; yellow-green foliage; weeping habit; Northwest native tree
3. Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Gracilis' - Slender Hinoki cypress
Size: to 20' tall x 5-6' wide
Comments: There are several types of Hinoki cypress, all beautiful, small trees that work well in urban gardens; dark green flat sprays of foliage with nodding tips; some varieties have gold edged new foliage; slow growing
4. Cryptomeria japonica 'Elegans Compacta' - Plume cedar
Size: to 15' tall
Comments: 'Elegans Compacta' is much smaller than the species; grey-green foliage turns coppery-red or purple in cold weather
5. Cupressus sempervirens - Italian cypress
Size: 25' tall x 3' wide
Comments: 'Glauca' - blue Italian cypress has bluish foliage; 'Stricta' is green, also very narrow. These are classic Mediterranean garden trees; great accents
6. Garrya eliptica 'Issaquahensis' - Coast silk tassel
Size: 10' tall to 20' wide
Comments: Northwest native tree; hard to find but well worth the search; 10" long catkins in winter, very striking
7. Laurus nobilis - Sweet bay
Size: 12' - 20' tall and wide, depending on conditions
Comments: Once this tree gets going, you'll have all the bay leaves you'll ever need for cooking; upright, column-shaped tree with aromatic leaves; good in containers
8. Magnolia 'Little Gem' 
Size: up to 20' tall x 8' wide
Comments: Column shape; glossy green leaves with brown, felty undersides; creamy white flowers in summer
9. Pinus contorta contorta- Shore pine
Size: 20-30' tall and wide
Comments: Northwest native tree; open growth habit; takes sea coast conditions well, gets its name "contorta" because of the shape these trees take in the winds off the water; tolerates salt spray
10. Pinus flexuosa 'Vanderwolf' - Vanderwolf pine
Size: 18'+ tall x 6-8' wide
Comments: Dense, pyramidal shape, blue-green foliage
11. Pinus strobus 'Nana' - Dwarf white pine
Size: to 7' tall x 5' wide
Comments: Very slow growing; long needles with bluish cast; graceful; may have weeping habit
12. Tsuga mertensiana - Mountain hemlock
Size: 20 ' tall x 8-10' wide
Comments: Graceful, layered growth habit; blue green foliage; very slow growing; native to high mountains from Alaska to the Sierras in California; does best with some protection from hot western sun exposure

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How Will Your Garden Grow in 2013?

What are you going to do in the garden this year? This is the time of year to read, dream, make plans, change them, write lists, draw sketches, and stare out the windows at your garden. While you are imagining all the wonderful things to come, you are laying the groundwork (so to speak) for a successful gardening season.

Here are resources that will help you decide what you want to do when those first perfect gardening days of the year arrive.

Steve Solomon's book Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades is a classic. Vegetable gardening is different in our Maritime climate than in other parts of the country, so general gardening books aren't that useful. Let this book be your guide to the plant varieties and techniques that will work here. Just as importantly, Solomon explains care of the soil, including composting, fertilizing and efficient water use. Healthy soil = healthy produce.

What seeds should you plant? Consider those from Botanical Interests, a Seattle Garden Ideas affiliate. They sell GMO-free seeds, many heirlooms, and their seed packets are so full of useful information, you'll want to keep them around for reference. Visit their website for helpful articles, special sales and occasional contests.

If you are a visual learner, you may find the help you need at The Northwest Flower and Garden Show. This is the show's 25th year of providing gardening inspiration with stunning display gardens, seminars and so much more. The show runs February 20-24 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

For gardeners who like a "calendar" approach to planning, the Maritime Northwest Garden Guide is ideal. The content is arranged month-by-month, listing what to do each month and including tips on when to plant seeds, soil amendments, organic fertilizers, pest control and lots more. I wish Seattle Tilth would release a new edition of this valuable little book, but you can get used copies on Amazon for just $12.99.

Are you planning to add raised beds or compost bins this year? Visit, a Seattle Garden Ideas affiliate, for how-to information, inspiration and products for sustainable gardening. Remember, they plant a tree for every order placed!

In my design practice, I have used my copy of The Pacific Northwest Gardener's Book of Lists so much that it is literally falling apart. I have to tape pages back into it every time I look something up. This book is just what it says, a collection of plant lists for just about every conceivable condition. Wet, dry, full sun, shade, annual, perennial, ground cover, tree, shrub - they're all there. This guide will really help you choose the right plants for the right places.

OK, it's time to get started. There's something so uplifting about garden planning. Enjoy the process.

Related posts:

When Is the Right Time to Prune?
It's February and Time to Prune Roses
Ready To Take Out Your Lawn?