Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Pacific Northwest

December, 2004
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Petunia 'Limbo Violet'
An All America Selections winner, 'Limbo Violet' differs from other single petunias in its unique combination of large flowers on a compact plant. The habit is restricted, and 'Limbo Violet' becomes a mound which, at times, is completely covered with blossoms. The ultimate plant size is only 6 to 7 inches tall, spreading 10 to 12 inches, making it perfect for small space gardens or formal gardens requiring neat, tidy plants. 'Limbo Violet' produces 3-inch, dark violet blooms all season long. I especially like this plant because it recovers quickly from wet, rainy weather. These beauties need no pinching, making the plants virtually maintenance-free. It's a winner in my garden!

Clever Gardening Technique

Winter Storage for Garden Stakes and Pots
My garden shed is crowded with tools and supplies so I can't afford to be careless about storage habits if I expect to be able to step inside without tripping. Here are two winter storage tips that allow me to keep a path clear.

To keep my garden stakes neatly organized, I store them in tall 30- or 36-inch clay chimney flue tiles. I prefer the rectangular tiles to the round ones because the rectangular ones tuck into corners and fit tightly side by side. As I gather the stakes in the fall, I sort them by size and material. Bamboo goes into one set of tiles, metal in another.

Finding space to store pots is also a problem, so I keep as many as I can in one of those ready-made, shed-type enclosures for garbage cans. The addition of a shelf inside increases the storage space. When the garbage bin is full, I put the rest of my pots on shelves attached to the outside of the shed. Terra-cotta pots are sturdier than you might think. Just be sure to store them upside-down to prevent water -- which expands as it freezes -- from collecting inside and cracking or splitting the pots. To prevent plastic pots from blowing away, I stack them into 2- to 3-foot towers and weigh each stack down with a terra-cotta pot.


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