Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Pacific Northwest Gardens - Hebe for All Seasons

"Hey! Why doesn't that boxwood smell like cat pee?"

This was a question posed to me by a friend as we passed a neat little evergreen hedge that outlined a flower bed. My friend is a gardener, but she's new to the Pacific Northwest. Her dislike of boxwoods is nothing personal, she simply doesn't like the smell of them or having to shear them in order to maintain their shape. She was delighted to learn that Hebe can give you a similar formal look without all the work. The Hebe hedge in the picture on the left is Hebe buxifolia.

In fact, Hebe is also relatively new to the Pacific Northwest. It's a small (2-5') evergreen shrub that's native to New Zealand, and it comes in different shapes and colors.

Unlike boxwood, however, Hebe has showy flowers. Flower color depends on variety--they can be white, lavender, or reddish, but the red flowers are on less hardy varieties. Flowers appear in clusters up and down stems, and some varieties bloom in the spring and again in late fall. A few kinds of Hebe have variegated leaves or leaves that turn a bronze color in the winter.

The North Island of New Zealand has a maritime climate that's similar to Washington, Oregon and Northwest California coastal regions (USDA Zones 7-10), so many plants that do well there also do well here. Hebe's native habitat, however, seldom has temperatures below freezing, and summer temperatures are slightly cooler and more humid than U.S. temps. Therefore, a particularly cold winter or hot summer can damage or kill them here.

The rule of thumb is that Hebe with small leaves tend to be relatively hardy in regions west of the Cascades, but varieties with larger leaves should be placed in protected locations, for example near your house or out of the wind. They like coarse, well-drained soil, and they do need water in the hot, dry summer months. They also like at least some sun, so it's best suited for sunny spots, similar to where you would plant roses.

If you'd like to learn more about different varieties of Hebe that are for sale in the Pacific Northwest, check them out on our web site:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Add a Bit of Drama to Your Life - With Dahlias!

One of the most dramatic additions to a flower bed for all summer color is the dahlia. Ranging in size from one to six feet tall, and with flower sizes that vary from two to 12 inches, there are few other flowers that can compare as a striking focal point. Dahlias bloom from early summer until frost. They also come in a variety of colors that allow you to create any kind of effect you like.

Many people are intimidated by this garden star, however, when they find out that it is usually grown from a tuberous root. Yikes, what the heck is that? An example of a tuberous root is a potato. Have you ever left a potato in just the right (or wrong, as the case may be) conditions so that white things started growing from the eyes? Those white things are essentially new potato plants. If you cut up the potato and put the pieces in the ground, chances are you'll have nearly as many new potato plants as the potato had eyes. That's exactly how dahlias grow.

You can grow dahlias from seed, but because seeds are the result of the mixed genes of two parents, no one can predict exactly what the new flowers will look like. If you use tuberous roots from a parent plant with flowers you like, you will get the same kind of flowers on your own plant.

Dahlias are hardy to USDA Zone 8, so in some places you can treat them as perennials. For the most predictable results, however, dig up the tuberous roots after the first hard frost and store them in a cool, dry, dark place that doesn't freeze over the winter. Cardboard boxes layered with newspaper or peat moss are best for storage--never use sealed plastic containers or baggies.

You can divide the tubers in spring and replant them--remember, new plants grow from the eyes. The root ball of one dahlia plant will have many tuberous roots growing out from the central stem. You should be able to see the eyes where the root attaches to the stem. Be sure to keep the eye with the tuberous root when you cut. If you can't see the eye or you aren't sure, keep part of the stem with several roots. It's a good idea to use a sharp knife and dip the cut part of the tuber in sulfur before planting to protect it from pests.

Plant in well-drained soil in April or May, depending on where you live. The soil should be consistently moist, but not saturated, and in a location with at least 8 hours of sun each day. Spring rains should keep the soil moist enough for the tubers until the plant is established without requiring extra water. It's also a good idea to put stakes in the ground next to the taller varieties so that you can tie heavy flowers up later.

Visit our web site to pre-order Dahlia tubers for spring!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Go Straight to the Root For Great Plants!

Are we green thumbs? Sure, but that's just scratching the surface. We've taken a passion for the industry and turned it into a business of saving time and money for landscapers, designers, and landscape architects.

A decade ago, we were sitting where you may be now, running to nurseries looking for the necessary plants and trees for a large professional landscaping project. Then it hit us – no landscaping company has time for this.
All Season Plants was born.

Middle men? No more. Nursery surfing? A thing of the past.

We do all the legwork and go directly to growers to hand-pick the best plants. Increase your profits and efficiency by ordering online (day or night) and letting us deliver products directly to your site. We provide recommendations, themed gardens and the necessary tools to make your garden and landscape projects beautiful.

We offer impeccable products and customer service, freeing you up to focus on your core business—so you can spend time doing what you do best. Designing landscapes. Serving your customers. Increasing your client base.

We bring the nursery to you. We look forward to serving you in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington metro area.