local garden centers

With the US home and garden market being valued at around $272 billion last year, getting your backyard garden started can be a bit of a daunting task. Wandering around your local garden centers can feel like walking through a beautiful but nonetheless confusing maze; where do you start? What are you looking for? What do you need? Based on the climate and sun cover of your yard, the answer can vary. Here are a few tips to get you started.

A yard full of colorful tropical plants surrounding a concrete fountain

Here at Al’s, we love working around plants! Many of us even take our work home with us. So you can imagine that many of our Al’s Experts have amazing outdoor living spaces at home, all reflecting individual personalities and passions. This week we are featuring a tropic wonderland created by Peter Eastman, Assistant Store Manager at Al's of Wilsonville.

garden centers

We know, we know, gardening is a great way to disconnect and be in nature. It seems almost contradictory to have garden centers touting applications versus telling you to leave the phone indoors, on silent. Hear us out, your yard garden and general relationship with greenery stands to improve with the help of a little technological boosting.

Pink blooming Mophead Hydrangea

Al’s proudly carries over 20 different varieties of hydrangeas. With that many choices it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But it's hard to go wrong with any variety of hydrangea, in part because they do so well here in the Pacific Northwest. Our Chief of Growing Operations, Dorothy Russo, is here to recommend some of our favorite varieties for your porch or garden.

a red blooming 'Lucifer' Crocosmia on a blue background

There's a lot to love about the perennial Crocosmia. The sun loving Crocosmia are loved by hummingbirds, attracting them to your garden. Crocosmia provide great cut flowers and foliage for indoor summer bouquets, but by leaving the seedheads on you can create late summer garden interest as well. Crocosmia is easy to divide, and we love them for their spear like foliage which can provide great texture to your garden. Here are a few of our favorite varieties:

3 Coreopsis blooms with the words June Is Perennial Gardening Month

We continue to celebrate our favorite perennials for National Perennial Month, and that means we must talk about one of the true workhorses of the garden: Coreopsis. Also known as Tickseed, Coreopsis is loved for its ruggedness and profuse blooms. These are just 2 of the reasons it was chosen by the Nation Garden Bureau to be the Perennial of the Year.

a collage of multi-colored heuchera leaves

Finding interesting color for your shade garden can often present a challenge. After you have exhausted all the combinations of hostas, hydrangeas, and hellebores that you can imagine, you may still be looking for a way to add more hues to your garden. Why not try heuchera!

Nepeta 'Walkers Low' in bloom

These gorgeous perennials will look wonderful in your sunny garden. While their blooms are sure to be the talk of the neighborhood, it's the pollinators that will really take notice! Many perennials are loved by butterflies, bees and hummingbirds alike. These easy care perennials only require removing their spent flowers to help them re-bloom, so they are super easy to maintain while offering big impact in return. So if you're wondering what to plant this season, pick a perennial.

red, pink, and purple penstemons in bloom

Penstemon is a great flower to help attract hungry pollinators to your garden. With sun, and a little shade in the afternoon, these flowers will bloom from June through the first frost, and are loved by hummingbirds and butterflies.

water cascading from a sprinkler onto a plant

Now that your plants have been planted for this season, it's time to turn your attention to watering. Proper watering techniques will ensure success in your yard and garden all summer long. Here are a few recommendations from Al's Experts for when and how to water to achieve the best water-wise results.