Northwest Garden Style
Northwest Garden Style, by Jan Kowalczewski Whitner (Sasquatch Books, 1996; $20), is a wonderful reference book that showcases local gardens. The detailed plant lists enable you to duplicate the gardens, or you can use the ideas to create your own combinations of plants. Lists include Plants for Attracting Hummingbirds, Plants for a Water Garden, A Sampler of Fragrant Plants, and Waterwise Plants for a Northwest Beach Garden. The book is broken into chapters that range from Gardening on a Slope to Gardens in Small Places. The photos are inspiring, and the plant lists are detailed enough to make even a first-time gardener comfortable with the process of creating a garden from scratch.
Clever Gardening Technique
Flowers to Brighten the Gray Winter Months
I like to enjoy the cheerful flowers of geraniums during the winter as well as during the summer. Plants that have been doing their best in the garden all summer, however, can be reluctant to continue flowering indoors all winter as well. I've found that by inducing a short period of rest in the fall, I can encourage plants to bloom freely again from winter until spring.
The rejuvenation process is simple. In early fall I dig the geraniums out of the garden and prune both stems and roots back hard. I pot the plants in fresh potting soil in a pot that fits snugly but not tightly, and bring the plants indoors to a sunny window. I leave them alone for several weeks, watering them only as necessary. Then I give the plants liquid fertilizer at half strength at the next two waterings. (I don't fertilize much more than that because I find that my plants tend to produce leafy growth rather than flowers if I do.) By January or February, the geraniums should be back in bloom.