Seattle area garden columnist Valerie Easton is an enthusiastic supporter of creating seasonal bouquets from her garden's bounty. Her book Petal & Twig: Seasonal Bouquets with Blossoms, Branches, and Grasses from Your Garden (Sasquatch Books, 2012, $16.95), relates the joy she finds in the use of "what nature offers up." She reviews guidelines for collecting and preserving living materials and comments on the choice of containers. She also includes tips on plant selection, color, and design. To spur you on, the book includes photographs of seasonal arrangements along with a listing of seasonal plants to grow for use in bouquets. It's a great read and sure to get your creative juices flowing.
Favorite or New Plant
'Crimson Cloud' Hawthorn
'Crimson Cloud' hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata) is a perfect contender if you're looking for a well-behaved tree with springtime flowers and fall leaf color. Growing to a height of 15 to 25 feet with an equal spread, this tree works well in smaller landscapes. Crimson red flowers with white star-shaped centers appear in late spring, and in the fall the foliage changes color from green to bronze to red-orange before falling from the tree at first frost.