GROOMS GARDENING: Enjoy the break from winter gardening | Local News

We are in mid January and the weather has been feeling wintry. No hard freezes, just cold.

We can still see a few colorful leaves lingering on trees around town. 

Nandina, a.k.a. Heavenly bamboo, has turned dark burgundy. The dwarf nandinas that are very common in commercial landscaping, are balls of dark foliage against the mulch. The more common tall Nandina has also turned dark red or burgundy. Many of the tall ones have red berries on them, if the birds haven’t gotten them yet.

Although it is cold, Narcissus are blooming right through January. Their little clusters of white flowers are pretty when seen from a distance. They stand out against the dark leaves of mulch and bare branches of deciduous shrubs.

Camellias are the only other flowers blooming now. Everything else is pretty sad looking from the freeze. I have seen plants in town still alive and colorful but the ones out in the country were killed. Even the roses have been stilled by the cold, no buds are forming. Roses should be pruned next month, by Valentine’s Day.

Waiting another month to prune your roses will keep them from putting out fresh growth due to the stimulating

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Book review: ‘Fearless Gardening: Be Bold, Break the Rules, and Grow What You Love’

“Fearless Gardening: Be Bold, Break the Rules, and Grow What You Love” by Loree Bohl ($24.95, Timber Press): Bohl‘s messages of “yes, you can” and “yes, you should” are the perfect antidote to a world filled with worry and a sense of helplessness toward the unknown.

Here, the Portland-based author, who also produces the empowering blog, ”Danger Garden,” calls out to us to be adventurous; to unlock our passion and have fun while creating the garden we want.

The 256-page paperback begins with stories of rare plant collectors and unabashed rule breakers Ruth Bancroft and Ganna Walska, “enemies of the average” who led Bohl to her practical and rebellious gardening commandments.

garden book review

Fearless Gardening: Be Bold, Break the Rules, and Grow What You LoveTimber Press

In the final chapter, the author profiles seven inspiring Pacific Northwest gardens and describes lessons she has learned from each very personal paradise.

Photographs and captions provide information on unique designs and a large variety of plants found in unexpected places. A Opuntia ‘Santa Rita’ cactus, or something like it, blooms outside McMenamins Kennedy School in Northeast Portland.

This is not a traditional how-to guide, but there are frugal tips, like using discarded pie

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