Photo of Robb Rosser

Robb Rosser

Gardening columnist

Recent Stories

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.

The Garden Life: Garden more enticing as days grow longer

By Robb Rosser March 12, 2015 6 a.m.

Once my thoughts turn to spring I start searching the garden for every emerging sign of the upcoming season. Established clumps of early snowdrops surprised me a month ago with their obvious vigor. One day they had barely begun to poke exploratory fingers of foliage up from the surface of the soil. A day or two later they were standing up straight, waving a cluster of bone white flowers as delicate as Tiffany lamps from delicate, arching stems.

Garden Life: Catching spring fever can feel pretty good

By Robb Rosser March 5, 2015 6 a.m.

In my youth, all references to spring fever seemed to hint at love. Nowadays, I can't seem to get my mind out of the garden. In many ways the feeling is still the same: It' a bit edgy; a kind of restlessness. This feeling is commonly associated with the onset of spring. We want something to happen but we're not quite ready for the heady pace of events once we venture into the garden.

Garden Life: Now is time to start whacking those weeds

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

If you want to win the war against weeds, begin now. The advice I hear most often in the name of weed control is to start removing weeds as soon as they appear in the garden. Unfortunately, weeding is not our highest personal priority in early spring. Our thoughts are focused on emerging bulbs and perennials. We are in the mood to add new plants to the garden, not to grub around for old weeds.

Garden Life: Refresh your knowledge before pruning

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

Late winter or early spring, before buds break from bare tree branches, is the time to prune most deciduous trees and shrubs. This includes fruit, flowering and shade trees. Trees have a unique healing process. Unlike our skin wounds, where skin cells regenerate to heal skin tissue, trees work to "wall off" or compartmentalize their wounds. That process of forming callus tissue forms quickly at this time of year.

More stories