Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Pacific Northwest

September, 2003
Regional Report


Rhododendrons and Azaleas
Geoff Bryant, author of Rhododendrons and Azaleas (Firefly Books, 2001; $16.95), writes that, strictly speaking, there is no such thing as an azalea because all azaleas are rhododendrons (actually a subgenera of the rhododendron family). Now that we've got that cleared up, his book is a rhododendron-lovers dream, covering history, care, and recommended species and cultivars. Color close-ups are dazzling. The book is one in a five-book series that includes Hibiscus, Hydrangeas, Orchids, and Irises.

Favorite or New Plant

Mahonia ? A Shrub for All Seasons
In a quest to extend the season of interest in my garden, Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) was quite a discovery. This native of the Pacific Northwest has large, stiff, evergreen leaves. In late winter it bears upright clusters of fragrant, lemon-yellow flowers, and in early summer its blue berries attract birds.

Oregon grape is a slow-growing shrub, adding about 3 feet to its height over five years. It can grow as large as 12 feet tall, but 6 to 8 feet is more typical. As it ages, its branches tend to sag gracefully under their own weight. It is at home in average garden soil and prefers afternoon shade.


Today's site banner is by nmumpton and is called "Gymnocalycium andreae"