pnw-gardening

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I’ve always thought of hibiscus as tropical plants. But guess what? There’s a cousin of the hibiscus, called Rose of Sharon, that’s much hardier and grows in cooler climates, like here in the Pacific Northwest. Here’s one of the flowers that bloomed this year at my place.

After framing up our greenhouse and installing the windows I’ve been looking forward to seeing it completed. Between the heat and all of our extra projects, I’ve been struggling to get back to it. I’m hoping to find some time this week to finish up the last of the details. → Peter Schweitzer

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Lilies are such a tease, aren’t they? You wait and wait as the stalks grow taller. Then you wait some more as the buds slowly form. Just when you think the buds are never going to open, they bloom. And if you’re lucky, the flowers are huge, showy and unabashedly colorful, as if bursting with pent-up loveliness. That’s certainly true of this lily in our garden.

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What in the world is this? A misshapen apple? A mutant pear? Nope. It’s a quince, a fruit I’d never appreciated until I moved to the Pacific Northwest. Quince have a lovely, floral fragrance and they’re delicious when cooked, as in the fruit tart I just baked. Wish you could taste it!