Pacific Northwest

June, 2013
Regional Report

Web Finds

If you need help diagnosing a plant problem or want to learn more about environmentally safe gardening practices, Washington State University's Hortsense is an excellent place to start. Topics include problems with turf grass, ornamentals, small fruits, tree fruits, vegetables, and weeds. The site offers nonchemical management information as well as a list of registered chemicals.

Favorite or New Plant

Pincushion Flower
Few perennials are truly season-long bloomers, but Scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue' and its offspring, Scabiosa 'Pink Mist' come the closest. The soft lavender-blue pincushion flowers of 'Butterfly Blue' pincushion flower are among the first to appear, usually in early April, and are also one of the last to finish in fall. 'Pink Mist' has flowers that are a soft lavender-pink. This plant is shorter but otherwise retains all the repeat-blooming qualities of 'Butterfly Blue'. Both are hardy from USDA zone 5-8, very easy to grow, and virtually disease-free. The handsome foliage is deeply dissected and rounded at the edges, adding a nice textural note, especially when used with bolder-leaved plants. Scabiosas prefer a neutral to slightly alkaline, well-drained soil. Sprinkle a little lime around plants lightly every other year to adjust the pH if your soil is acidic. Other than deadheading and regular applications of water, scabiosas are colorful and carefree additions to sunny flower beds.

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