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Robb Rosser

Gardening columnist

Recent Stories

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.

The Garden Life: Winter-performing plants have limited audience

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

Much of the plant show at this time of year is low-key, more for the gardener than for someone who is visiting the garden. This may not have been the original motive of planting for winter interest. Most gardeners who take the step of adding winter plants to the garden do so with the intention of giving visitors something to see during the bleakest time of year.

Garden Life: Use winter's starkness to be sure of yard's plan

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

The clarity of winter brings out the skeleton of your garden. In garden design terms, the bones. Paths, walks, hedges and walls are elements that provide background and form for your planting plan and must stand on their own merits. A cedar trellis or metal sculpture may be the only vertical element standing in a winter flower border. The bare branches of a dogwood tree may be the only feature in a sea of lawn. It is part of your overall garden plan to make sure that each element has the stature to stand alone.

Garden Life: In winter, form vision for garden's future

By Robb Rosser January 29, 2015 6 a.m.

There are several times each year when a gardener should envision their garden in a completely different season. In autumn, we plan for the arrival of spring bulbs and plant them in the garden according to that vision. In spring, we often speculate on plants that will carry us into late summer. Winter is a good time to imagine what your garden might look like a full year from now. It's best to keep track of these ideas by forming a plan.

Garden Life: Consult the experts on winter pruning

By Robb Rosser January 22, 2015 6 a.m.

You can continue winter pruning deciduous shrubs and trees through January and February.

Garden Life: Take steps to protect garden from N.W. winter

By Robb Rosser January 15, 2015 6 a.m.

Few things send a chill up a gardener's spine like waking up to an unexpected winter freeze, especially if you have not yet taken all the precautions you promised to take last year after frozen rain and frigid winds overran our gardens in midwinter.

The Garden Life: Closer look reveals winter garden's splendors

By Robb Rosser January 8, 2015 6 a.m.

Sometimes in winter, I simply have to make myself stop and look before I can see what is right in front of me. We have such an abundance of evergreen plants in our landscape that we often take them for granted. We rush around with our heads held down and our eyes dulled over in a gray haze. I try to remind myself to stop for a moment and look around. When I do, I am always delighted by our Northwest winter plant palette.

Garden Life: Resolve to make resolutions to find pleasure in garden

By Robb Rosser January 1, 2015 6 a.m.

This year, instead of making the same resolutions that I've made for the past 10 years, I'm going to take a new direction. I will only make resolutions that I look forward to upholding, ones that will give me pleasure in the process.

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