Author Archives: Debbie Brooks

Gardening is a Learning Experience

As I set forth with my new gardening experience close to the Oregon Coast I quickly realized my plan would need to change. The area I thought was morning sun and afternoon shade, perfect for Corydalis and Heuchera was actually full sun for most of the day! For this area under the stairs, I am… Read More »

Gardening IS an Adventure!

After 26 years of gardening in the Willamette Valley, I have the opportunity to build a new garden close to the Oregon Coast. Two years ago, my husband and I bought a little piece of heaven along the Siletz River just south of Lincoln City, OR. Being close to the ocean (as the crow flies… Read More »

Using Dwarf Conifers in the Landscape

The Barefoot Gardener has donned her rubber boots since old man winter has appeared. And, now that the leaves have fallen and our gardens are mostly bare, it is a great time to begin thinking about making changes in the garden. Winter exposes those holes in the garden that we fill up with annual or… Read More »

Favorite Plant Friday – Redbud

Driving around neighborhoods on these early spring days you may see a small garden tree full of purplish-pink flower on bare branches. This is the Eastern Redbud – Cercis canadensis. It is hardy in zones 5-9 and grows slowly to a mature height of 25′ or so, making it an excellent choice for smaller gardens.… Read More »

Favorite Plant Friday – Fringe Tree

Since it is National Arbor Month this month will be filled with 4 of my favorite trees. Just starting to bloom now around Portland is the Fringe Tree, Chionanthus virginica. This showstopper is a deciduous tree (USDA Zone 4-9) which has a rounded, shrubby habit. It will grow slowly to 20′ or so which makes it… Read More »

“I’ve made compost, now what?”

Spring is in the air!  New seed catalogs are arriving daily, trees are blooming, perennials are breaking through the warming earth and insects are abuzz.  And, after months and months of being broken down by microbes and fed upon by worms, kitchen scraps and yard debris has turned in to rich compost in our composting… Read More »

Favorite Plant Friday

The winter garden just wouldn’t be the same without Lenten Rose or Helleborus varieties. This perennial beauty starts blooming in December, depending on the variety and continues through March and often into April. So popular these days, there are seemingly hundreds of varieties. Choose the color that suits your fancy or garden scheme and you… Read More »

Favorite Plant Friday

This week Acer palmatum ‘Sangokaku – Coral Bark Maple is the featured plant. A tree growing slowly to 20-25′ tall and about 15 – 20’ wide is of interest year-round. In the spring it dons bright green leaves edged in red. In summer the lime green leaves provide shad for other plants in the garden.… Read More »