The Wenatchee World

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Pruning gold

Linda Jorg prunes her honey locust tree she planted five years ago at her East Wenatchee home. She is getting an early start to fall pruning Tuesday.
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In the Garden: The exotic world of coral bells

Peach Flambe,” “Creme Brulee,” “Marmalade,” “Lime Rickey” — wait, am I writing a food column? No, these are exotic names of recent hybrid introductions expanding the world of heucheras — known to most of us as coral bells.
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In the Garden: Your shrub might need some attention right about now

Spring-flowering shrubs provide a colorful backdrop for the first bulbs, and their blooms persist through the spring until the perennials burst forth with their summer color. In North Central Washington, we can grow a number of colorful, fragrant shrubs because our climate provides winter cooling and warm, moderately dry springs.

In the Garden: Plan ahead by staking your perennials before they fall

In the early years of my gardening career, I planted many perennials without a clue as to how to take care of them. It gradually dawned on me that I needed to learn something about tending these beautiful flowering plants. Sometimes it was not such a gradual learning but more of an emergency! Too-rich or too-moist soil, heavy winds or rains, letting the plant grow past the size when it should be divided — all can contribute to a messy, flat clump of ruined flowers.
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In the Garden: Springtime tree topping is not the best answer

Why would savvy business owners pay good money to top trees that beautify and shade parking lots and parking strips, when all it does is shorten the trees’ lives? “I really don’t know why they do tree topping,” says Paula Dinius, urban horticulturist for WSU/Chelan County Extension. She and others were shocked to see so many topped trees around Wenatchee this spring — not a good sign for maintaining healthy trees.
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A casual garden to cluck over

LOS ANGELES — Julie Burleigh has designed highly tailored organic gardens for clients all over Los Angeles, but at home in the West Adams neighborhood, her personal garden reflects a more freewheeling sensibility. Easy-care California natives and hearty gray-blue aloes snipped from a neighbor’s yard share space with giant ageratum with ethereal, lavender-colored flowers, and herbs such as African blue basil and winter savory. Bright red geraniums, figs and other familiar plantings are interspersed with less common white sage and the aromatic edible lovage, which tastes like celery and can ...
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Smaller, cheaper, beloved: Fans of tiny houses inhabit their niche

BALTIMORE — Greg Cantori plans to downsize when he retires. Really, really downsize. His retirement home is 238 square feet — one-tenth the size of the average new American house — and sits in his Anne Arundel County, Md., yard. He and wife Renee can hitch it to a truck and take it with them wherever they go.

In the Garden: Hey, new homeowner, put down the loppers and no one will get hurt

Congratulations on your new home. I imagine you’re really excited to get settled in and make the place your own. The yard is overgrown? You don’t like dogwood trees? The ground looks too bare? The lawn is weedy? You have always loved rhododendrons near the front door like you had while living on the west side of the mountains.
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Show off your good slide

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A sliding door — say, a door of planks hanging from exposed hardware — transforms a room. It’s so eye-catching, so unexpected, that it invites closer looks. It brings smiles. There are also practical reasons for choosing sliding doors. They can be larger — taller, wider and heavier — than hinged doors. They don’t require open floor space like swinging doors. But mostly, architects and designers love them for their looks.

In the Garden: Don’t let weeds squeeze you out of the garden

One of the regular comments I hear from frustrated gardeners is “I love to garden but I can’t keep ahead of the weeds.” It is May. We have prepared our vegetable garden sites and made a wish list for this year’s annual flowerbed. In many ways, it is too late to deal with perennial, grassy weeds. (Note No. 1 to self: during the cold days of March and April, when I have the yearning to garden, weed, weed, weed those perennial grasses.)
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In the Garden: Lettuce eat the landscape

Step outside to pick a sprig of rosemary, a bit of thyme and some oregano, flavoring the soup you’re making. There’s no reason many food plants can’t be integrated into your regular landscape, right beyond your kitchen door. Many are beautiful in their own right, as well as providing fresh food. Planning is key; food plants intermixed with ornamentals need similar sun, water and fertility needs.
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Third Sunday at the Garden: Master Gardener education series begins May 19

Puzzled at what to do about the deer eating your garden? Not sure when you should plant what? Need help deciding how to care for the plants in your yard? The answers to these and many other gardening questions can now be answered at the Third Sunday at the Garden series hosted by the WSU Master Gardeners. The monthly Q&A session takes place at the Community Education Garden on the corner of Western and Springwater avenues.
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In the Garden: Add some buzz to your garden

We’d be in big trouble without pollinators. Bees, butterflies, a host of other insects and even hummingbirds carry the load of pollinating our food crops and ornamentals. Let’s get to the nitty-gritty of what occurs. Nectar is food for bees, hummingbirds, even beetles. While gathering it, they fertilize flowers by scattering pollen from flower to flower as they rummage around gathering nectar. The alternative methods of pollination are by wind or for us to take a tiny brush and flit from flower to flower. It’s much easier and successful helping ...

In the Garden: The business of flowers is, well, big business

Even in countries where poverty is widespread and the economy is weak, people still buy flowers. Our fascination with flowers goes back as far as history can take us. The sight of a flower shop or street stall brimming with color can lift our spirits. The sight and scent of a bouquet on a hall table is a special welcome when the front door opens to a visitor. Scientific studies have confirmed that adding flowers and plants to a dreary, sterile environment such as an office, business, nursing home, school ...
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In the Garden: If done right, arborvitae is a good choice

Arborvitae means Tree of Life. In this region, hundreds of the plants are sold at every garden center every year. They grow rapidly, and they are inexpensive. Best of all, dozens of varieties range in size from 25-foot tree to a 2-foot-tall ground-cover shrub and all sizes in between. In the western United States, arborvitae is the most popular plant to shape into balls, spirals, pyramids and other fanciful topiary shapes. All sizes of the plant provide cover for birds, and quail are particularly fond of nesting in its dense ...
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In the Garden: Master Garden plant sale includes more offerings this year

After a long cold winter, it is finally time for the annual WSU Master Gardener Plant Sale hosted by the Master Gardener Association of Chelan County. This spring, as with most springs in the Wenatchee Valley, has come in fits and starts. Snow one day, 65 degrees the next, and gale-force winds the next. We gardeners go stir crazy during winter and early spring waiting to jump on the first opportunity to be out in our gardens readying them for spring, summer and fall. We look forward to the gorgeous ...

In the Garden: Writing this column may have saved my life!

As a person addicted to making green smoothies for breakfast every day, I often put a handful of fresh or frozen berries into the blender for flavor and for their excellent nutritional benefits. In my garden I grow blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, aronia berries and also native elderberries. I’ve read about how rich in antioxidants and enzymes these berries are, especially elderberries, and often use them in pies, scones, jam, and have canned their juice. Elderberries aren’t particularly sweet, so I have always cooked them in some form with sweetener added. ...