Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Pacific Northwest

August, 2008
Regional Report


Learn About Insects!
The video MicroCosmos (Miramax Films, 1996; $14.95) captures the details and awesome diversity of the spectacular hidden universe of insects. Close-up views and time-lapse photography provides you with a front-row seat to witness the amazing transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly, the remarkable birth of a mosquito, ants drinking from dewdrops and milking aphids, and several other minute miracles of life. It's a video I use in my entomology classes to introduce students to the wonderful world of insects, and it's always well received.

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 EscondidoCal and is called "Water Hibiscus"