Monthly Archives: May 2012

Aquilegias (Columbines): Featured Plant

The Aquilegias or Columbines, are beautiful, easy to grow, spring blooming plants of many varieties. The delicate appearing foliage is reminiscent of Maidenhair Fern and the many colored flowers are structured with backward-facing nectar-bearing spurs. A woodland-type plant, they will grow well in part shade or sun and reseed vigorously in the garden.

At Bayview Farm & Garden in the spring to early summer, you will see many varieties of Columbine. All kinds of Columbine will attract Hummingbirds.

From the short, sweet blue and white alpina to the tall colorful Beidermeier to the native Western Columbine, every garden should have some of this easy keeper!

Photo Credit: By Yathramozhi CC-BY-SA-2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

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Cornus Kousa ‘Milky Way’: Featured Plant

The Korean Dogwood,  Cornus kousa ‘Milky Way’, is easily one of our favorite Dogwoods for the Pacific Northwest. This beauty blooms very heavily even when young. The tree becomes covered in bright white, long lasting flowers with pointed bracts. Attractive red fruits form in the summer which the birds just love. The fall color is very showy with warm red to maroon tones. ‘Milky Way’ will grow to about 15-20′ and develop a dense canopy with graceful, horizontally tiered branches. Adding to all these wonderful features is the fact that it has excellent disease resistance in our Western Washington climate. We highly recommend the Milky Way Dogwood for a partly sunny spot in your garden.

Insta-Garden: Just Add Water!

Yes, even those of us who don’t have time to create our own edible gardens can harvest tasty, home-grown veggies. Try out our insta-garden…here’s a look at Elea’s BFG signature pre-planted combos. Try “The Home Tea Shop”, “Asian Spicy Stir-fry”, or “Cut and Come Again” salad blends. Super cute, super affordable and perfect for limited space gardens. Also, consider adding a container full of blooming annuals to increase visual impact.

Just Add Water to these Tasty Combinations

Growing Roses in the Pacific Northwest

Someone once said, “The love of flowers is really the best teacher of how to grow and understand them.” It is easy to love the rose. The rich fragrance, the sumptuous clusters of silky petals, the extravagant color, the rewarding bouquet in the vase on the kitchen table…

It is also easy to be frustrated by the rose…the powdery mildew, the black spot, the aphids, the “little green worms”, the pale dull foliage, the sparse blooms…
In the maritime Northwest with our cool summers and our wet winters, the rose may feel like somewhat of an unwelcome guest, unless we consider its needs and comforts as good hosts always should. Our latest Expert Advice Article, “Planting Roses”, will help you navigate the pitfalls of growing in our Maritime climate. Also, Genevieve Schmidt at North Coast Gardening has a great post on Disease-Resistant Roses for the Pacific Northwest.

Hybrid Rosa rugosas are sturdy and disease resistant. Look for those with a “neat” or “tidy” growth habit to limit suckers.

Clematis in the Garden

One of the questions most often asked at the garden center relates to the pruning of clematis vines. It can be a somewhat confusing topic. This confusion arises from the fact that there are different types of clematis, each requiring different pruning styles. Within the three pruning categories, botanists break things down into sub-groups and the waters become even muddier. Considering that there are hundreds of available varieties of clematis, the topic can get quite overwhelming for the person who just wants a pretty rambling vine to grow over the walkway arbor.

Clematis jackmanii

If you plant a new clematis vine and it suddenly wilts before it really takes off, do not assume it has died. This is a problem known as “clematis wilt” and is a very common occurrence. Cut the whole thing off to about the second bud. New growth will come up from the base. Keep the slugs and earwigs away until it is up and running. Clematis will respond to lots of good organic fertilizer and water, but cannot tolerate poor drainage. Give each vine at least four or five hours of sun a day and keep the roots cool. They are somewhat fragile getting started, but once it finds its feet, the clematis vine is practically bomb- proof.

If you’d like to learn the specifics of pruning Clematis, visit our Expert Advice Article, Simply Clematis.

Photo Credit: Clematis jackmanii, By Scott S Emberley (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Using Annuals in the Garden

It’s a great time for gardeners! Never before have we seen such a huge variety of available plants. Botanists, hybridizers, nursery professionals, and adventurous global collectors all possess a fiery passion for new and unusual garden worthy plants. Their hard work comes to us in the form of little treasures in small pots holding wonderful surprises. The beauty of nature combines with the artistry of humankind right there in your garden.

Superbells Dreamsicle

Just in case you become bored with the same old marigold, consider expanding your horizons. Just like a kid in a candy shop, you can gather into your containers, sweet and delectable beauties that inspire joy in the heart of even the most jaded gardener.

Annuals are plants that sprout, grow, bloom, set seed and die in one seasonal cycle. Because producing seed is their only means of reproduction, they must flower heavily and continuously. If you “dead- head”, or remove the spent blooms, they will flower even more in an attempt to make more seed. This is why annuals are so effective in summer beds and containers for that great color splash.

In new garden beds or mixed borders, annuals can be tucked around to brighten up bare places until the shrubs and perennials fill in. In a cutting garden, annuals will contribute the most volume of choice options for the vase on the kitchen table. Whether for bold, jazzy color or gracious understated charm, annuals render long seasonal interest.

If you’d like to see a list of our favorite annuals, head over to our Expert Advice Article, Hot Annuals for Cool Gardens.

Photo Credit: Proven Winners, LLC., Superbells Dreamsicle

Aphids in the Pacific Northwest

When we consider the natural relationship between all living things, we realize the foundational importance of the insect world. In one square yard of soil and plants in the average Pacific Northwest garden, there can be approximately 2,000 different types of insects functioning as part of a highly complex web of life. From a purely ecological point of view, there is no such thing as a “pest”.

However, when the leaves and buds of our rose bushes are twisted and deformed or our ripening cabbage has layers of aphid stuffing between the leaves, we are inclined to interrupt this natural progression of things.

There are more than 4,000 different aphid species in the world. Each separate species is specific to certain host plants. Aphids are soft-bodied, sucking insects that are an important food crop for many beneficial insects. It is good to have some aphids in the garden, and they are easily controlled when the number get too high or they take up residence where you do not want them. To learn more about aphids and natural controls, visit our Expert Advice Article: The Aphids are in Bloom!

Ladybug Snacking on Aphids

Photo Credit:

Ladybug Snacking on Aphids: By Greyson Orlando (Own work) GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons