Pacific Northwest

May, 2005
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Portland Rose Festival
Portland's annual Rose Festival is Oregon's largest community event, running through the entire month of June, with entertainment galore for the whole family. This year's schedule includes three major parades, an international rose show, an auto race, and an air show. Rose gardens throughout the city are bursting with blooms, and an indoor rose show, featuring more than 2,000 blooms, will be hosted by the Portland Rose Society.

For details, visit the festival's official Web site at: http://www.rosefestival.org.

Favorite or New Plant

Astilbe
It's a challenge to find colorful plants for damp shade, but with determination I discovered some sturdy beauties. Astilbes illuminate even the most shadowy of dark places, just as long as they get plenty of moisture. Depending upon the cultivar, plumes of pink, red, peach, white, maroon, or lavender flowers gracefully adorn the garden from June through August. I like to swirl all the colors together like a parfait. Astilbe's handsome, ferny foliage is an added attraction before and after the bloom period.

Some of my favorite Astilbe x arendsii hybrids are 'Rheinland' and 'Peach Blossom' for early color, and dark-red 'Etna' and white 'Bridal Veil' for mid-season. For late summer, I like violet-pink 'Finale'. All are easy-care plants and hardy to USDA Zone 4.

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