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Robb Rosser

Gardening columnist

Recent Stories

Garden Life: Daily deadheading keeps garden looking fresh

By Robb Rosser May 21, 2015 6 a.m.

Every year there comes a point in time when we find ourselves juggling an endless list of garden chores. With this year's extended spring season, our busy time seems to have come early this year. As the growing season kicks in, there is always the need to deadhead spent flowers, fertilize perennials and roses, and fill gaps in planting borders with annual bedding plants. From the beginning, I put aside a bit of time each day to take care of basic maintenance in the garden.

The Garden Life: Seasonal flowering shrubs carry us through year

By Robb Rosser May 14, 2015 6 a.m.

I am always amazed at the incredible diversity of shrubs on show in the typical Northwest neighborhood. There are so many varieties that none of us can plant every shrub available, although I know a few gardeners who would like to try. We each have to choose an assortment of plants to fit our personal taste as well as the size of our garden and our budget. The pleasant result of all these choices is that a bounty of seasonal shrubs is spread throughout many neighborhoods in the city.

The Garden Life: A garden's colors bear a message to the soul

By Robb Rosser May 7, 2015 6 a.m.

Few things affect the overall look of a garden as much as color. When we walk through a garden, we comment on specific flowering trees or a wonderful daffodil meadow. When we tell someone about that garden, we often describe the colors we see in our mind's eye. Used effectively, color can help invoke the memory of a garden. Creating the personal color palette of a garden is up to the individual gardener.

The Garden Life: Working in yard a great way to grow relationships

By Robb Rosser April 30, 2015 6 a.m.

Most gardeners spend a considerable amount of time alone, working and thinking in the garden. It is in this realm that we often feel most fulfilled by what the garden gives in return for our work. Alone we revel in the sight of a Douglas fir dancing in the evening wind. Or we suddenly recognize the sound of voices in the rustle of aspen leaves. Who knew that a chore as mundane as weeding could be the very platform we needed to revel in deep, uninterrupted thought.

Garden Life: Plant flowers with the natural garden in mind

By Robb Rosser April 23, 2015 6 a.m.

There are some long-established guidelines for planting perennials that are worth considering each spring as you add new plants to the garden. Planting in groups of three is usually better than one plant by itself. Plant in a triangular pattern, with one plant at each point of the triangle. Space each plant considering its mature size. If a plant grows 12 inches wide, place the same plant 12 inches away. Plants may look sparse at first but will grow into each other, with room for each plant to mature to its natural form.

The Garden Life: It's a great time to fill in the gaps in your garden

By Robb Rosser April 16, 2015 6 a.m.

I think the most rewarding job you can do in the garden is to plant the right plant in the right place. April is an ideal time to do so. I thoroughly enjoy the process of shopping for the plants I have added to my "wish list." I can hardly wait for the process of digging in the earth, planting in the garden and then watching that plant grow. For me, this is what gardening is all about.

Garden Life: Garden springing to life with colorful fervor

By Robb Rosser April 9, 2015 6 a.m.

Spring's arrival is all about abundance in the garden. Daylight lasts longer and the sun rises higher in the sky with each passing day. There is more than one hour of difference in daylight from the beginning to the end of April. Until now we have been tantalized by bits and pieces of color in the garden. A cluster of snowdrops here and a dozen crocus there. With the onset of spring, flowers begin to emerge from spring bulbs, perennials, shrubs, trees and vines.

Garden Life: Our garden is the face present to the world

By Robb Rosser April 2, 2015 6 a.m.

"Oh what a beautiful mornin'. Oh what a beautiful day, I've got a beautiful feelin', everything's going my way."

Garden Life: A detailed journal can be a gardener's best friend

By Robb Rosser March 26, 2015 6 a.m.

This would be a good time to begin making entries in a garden journal if you haven't already started one. Keep a running list of plants as you buy them. I add them to my notebook/journal by date of purchase. I know fellow gardeners who keep their journals on a computer, which allows them to view their collection in alphabetical order. Choose any method that works best for you. Think of keeping a journal as one of the simplest and most useful chores you will ever have to do.

Garden Life: Now's the time to plant roses in the garden

By Robb Rosser March 19, 2015 6 a.m.

Signs of spring fill the garden, and these in turn fill the gardener with renewed energy to get the garden year underway. If you're a Northwest gardener with a bit of garden time under your belt, you know that just because the calendar says it's spring, does not make our moody weather comply. Although it's hard to argue with the string of clear, sunny, warm days we keep having between skimpy bits of rain, prudence reminds us that there's still officially one day left of winter.

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