Why are we so obsessed with houseplants these days? Filling every square inch of free surface area (near bright, indirect lighting, of course), crowding them ever closer so we can fit just one more?

Us houseplant owners can tell you exactly why we need “just one more”, even though it may remain a mystery to our loved ones.

outside garden center

1. Understand Quantity and Timing

During the summer, the best time to water is early in the morning as the process of photosynthesis begins to unfold. After 10 am, the ground is hot, and water may evaporate before the flowers and shrubs can take up the moisture. The next best time is in the evening around 4 pm when the heat has subsided.

I think nature, if we really look at it, gives us hope. Deborah Blum, editor of the Houghton Mifflin series, Best American Science and Nature Writing, says nature is a great teacher of resilience.

“Here’s what I find inspiring about nature: It’s stubbornness personified,” she says.

Spending the time to really stop and look at nature, the behavior of our plants and the ecosystem in our own backyards serves as a helpful reminder to look to nature as a guide for what we can do in times of uncertainty and hopelessness.

green thumb

People around the nation are increasingly turning towards gardening as a hobby. For perspective, at least 117 million Americans participated in some form of gardening in 2017, and 18-34-year-olds now make up 29% of all gardening households.

If you intend to join this growing number, you should know that the first step to a lush garden is sourcing the right greenery to plant. Every person with a green thumb knows the excitement of a trip down to the local garden center to source new plants and succulents for their backyard.

hands planting a tree into the ground

Have you ever planted a healthy shrub and then watch it struggle to survive? So much of that pain can be avoided if we follow the “right plant, right place” philosophy. This means that you decide not to fight the shade or sun in your garden, but choose the plant that will thrive in the existing conditions. “Right plant, right place” is sound advice that, if given and heeded early enough, prevents beginners from pulling their hair out.

During this time of year, we will even add to that prudent advice: “right plant, right place…at the right time! For those of us new to the gardening game, you may not realize that fall is the absolute best time for planting.

an array of fall plants and decor

Online shopping has become my favorite Covid pastime. After you’ve baked all the bread, organized the cupboards, and sewn a mask for everyone in your neighborhood, online shopping is right there waiting for you; ready whenever you are. It is a welcomed change after having to make so many other adjustments around store closures, distancing rules, and sanitation procedures.

I’ll admit to having a bit of container envy. Just a twinge of jealousy as I walk by a lavish and lush arrangement of seasonal plants perfect for thrilling guests at the front door. Unfortunately, my DIY skills are lacking in this department. I walk through the garden center and see so many choices, but I wonder: What’s the secret to a gorgeous container?

young children in a row tending to a vegetable garden

For some of us, wrapping our heads around this different kind of ‘Back to School’ season is tough. Sure we’re getting back to schedules and routine, back to deadlines and homework, but with hours of screen time during online learning and then hours of unfilled time where there used to be extracurricular activities and sports, it’s going to be an adjustment. Not to mention all of that “togetherness” without a break! Do you have a plan to keep the little ones occupied and engaged? How are you going to keep the days from running into each other?

garden supply

If your backyard is bland, there are fun and exciting ways to improve its aesthetics without breaking the bank. In this article, we look at some simple and inexpensive ways to transform your garden.

A before and after shot of a backyard makover

Follow along as a landscape design professional shares her design principles, common mistakes homeowners make, and tips you can borrow to add that special something to your own backyard redesign.

Imagine, if you will, a perfectly fine yard, yet no one is out there enjoying it. That was the problem that Elida Rivera, Designer at All Oregon Landscaping Inc. was faced with when she started her backyard makeover for one of her clients. This busy family in Lake Oswego wanted their entire family to take full advantage of their outdoor space that was not being used at all at the time.