Farwest

There’s an event every August in Portland, Oregon called Farwest.  People come from all over the Western States and beyond to see what’s growing at the nurseries, what new plants are about to hit the market and to share information about greenhouse growing. The last piece is what really interested me.  I soaked up information from the experts like Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, the Buglady, and Paul … Continue reading Farwest

Germinating Meconopsis

Growing this blue poppy is joy. True blue happiness.  I was delighted when my first Meconopsis bloomed last May. The color is a shimmering radiant blue that reflects the heavenly color of the sky and sea. It’s such a contrast to all the others flowers around that one can’t help but fall in love with this flower. As soon as mine bloomed I was already … Continue reading Germinating Meconopsis

Growing New Zealand Hibiscus

When I see the word hibiscus I think of big, beautiful blooms.  When I hear the words New Zealand I remember scenic flax covered coasts. But when I think of New Zealand hibiscus I feel troubled.  I should have known when this hibiscus germinated so readily and grew so easily that there would be trouble.  Trouble when it grew so fast and sparsely and discouraging … Continue reading Growing New Zealand Hibiscus

Banker Plants and Aphid Mummies

Normally growing aphids is a bad thing, but in respect to our beneficial insect program, it’s a good thing.  At the Environmental Horticulture Program at Lake Washington Institute of Technology we grow and propagate thousands of plants in our greenhouses.  Each year the students put on a huge plant sale that generates money that helps fund the program.  This year we had a serious threat … Continue reading Banker Plants and Aphid Mummies

Aphidius matricariae–A Beneficial Bug

This is an amazing solution to a plant problem.  Big fat hungry aphids are gobbling away on the plants, sucking and deforming the leaves and getting out of control.  This little parasitic wasp is released and is attracted to the aphid colonies immediately.  It begins to lay its eggs inside of aphids and will attack 200-300 aphids in the next week.  Yes, parasitism is slightly … Continue reading Aphidius matricariae–A Beneficial Bug