Pacific Northwest

March, 2010
Regional Report

Books

Tall Perennials by Roger Turner, Timber Press, 2009
Landscape architect Roger Turner compiled this resource of more than 600 plants that reach five feet or taller, making it a snap to create drama and surprise in your garden. With careful placement you can create the illusion of space in a small garden, or add excitement and impact to a larger garden. His message is "grow up instead of out". You'll find some wonderful ideas in his book.

Favorite or New Plant

Snapdragons: An Easy-to-Grow Annual
Snapdragons, like many garden flowers, have a long history of enjoyment. Children love opening the jaw of the flower and watching it snap shut. Opening the dragon's jaw in just the right place is a skill passed down from parent to child, just like the love of gardening. The Latin name for snapdragon is Antirrhinum majus. "Anti" in Greek means "like," and "rhinos" means "snout."

Snapdragon flowers are available in every color except blue. The erect spikes are covered with buds that open from the bottom to the top. The gradual opening of the buds provides color for an extended period of time.

Snapdragons flower best in full sun or light shade and should be planted in rich, well-drained soil. Prepare the soil by breaking up large clumps and amending heavy soils with compost or peat moss. The root system is quite fine and can easily be damaged by deep cultivation. A layer of organic mulch around the plants will conserve moisture as well as prevent weed growth. Tall varieties of snaps need to be staked to prevent breakage. Staking should be done early in the season. Tie the stem to the stake with soft cloth.

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