Think green with Eastside gardening program

August 12, 2014

NEW — 9 a.m. Aug. 12, 2014

Dust off the gardening gloves and keep those dinner scraps as you learn how to transform food and yard waste into compost and get tips to safely eliminate garden pests in the Master Recycler Composter-Eastside program.

Applications, available here, are due by 5 p.m. Aug. 15.

Email your completed application to Maren Neldam at with the subject line MRC Eastside Application.

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Grange Supply celebrates 80th anniversary

August 10, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 10, 2014

Grange Supply, 145 N.E. Gilman Blvd., will celebrate its 80th anniversary Sept. 6 with food, prizes and a visit from Master Gardener Ciscoe Morris.

The event is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes free hot dogs and popcorn.

Those in attendance can spin a wheel to win prizes.

Morris will speak and answer questions about gardening at 1 p.m.

Embrace the artistic you in your garden

July 29, 2014

A few years ago, a friend of mine from the East Coast visited her son in Seattle. She is a professional floral designer with an eye for the artistic, as opposed to the scientific.

We decided it would be fun to visit a nursery together and check out the plants. We each grabbed a cart and started out across the colorful, lush, potted landscape. She started filling her cart with everything colorful and beautiful. I was interested in odd specimens and natives that fit the peculiar conditions in my yard. We went our separate ways for a while, searching and looking at each and every morsel.

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The birds and the bees revisited

June 24, 2014

Most of us think flowers are pretty just in order to decorate the world. Wrong! Flowers are pretty so that they can procreate, so they can have babies and make more flowers.

Beauty creates sexual attraction in flowers as well as in human beings. We think we are alone in the ability to appreciate beauty. Wrong again! The birds and even the lowly insects, the targets of fly swatters, have an eye for color, pattern, shapes, movement, smells and all things that we attribute to the term “beautiful.”

Plants reproduce in two ways: by wind and by pollinators. Wind-pollinated flowers are plain, like grains of grass. They start out pale green and turn to a very bland hay color when ripe. We don’t pick them and put them in vases, and bugs don’t like them either. What these flowers like is wind, wind that blows their pollen around and doesn’t care what they look or smell like. These plain flowers don’t waste any effort trying to be beautiful.

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The Home Depot hosts garden party

May 13, 2014

The Home Depot is hosting a garden party from 1-4 p.m. May 17 at the Issaquah Home Depot, 6200 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway.

Local blogger Melissa Michaels, from “The Inspired Room,” will host the party and local chef Amy Pennington will demonstrate grilling techniques and share garden-to-table recipes for spring.

The party also features:

  • Herb garden workshop with The Home Depot Gardenieres.
  • Demonstrations of the latest in outdoor power tools and grills.
  • Advice from The Home Depot’s gardening experts on how to plant a successful garden in the Seattle area.

We are the best

February 18, 2014

Not only do we Western Washingtonians have the best football team in the country, but we have many great Olympians as well.

It bowls me over to hear about our Northwest contribution to the rest of the country, not just in sports but also in health care, technology and aeronautics. Our unemployment isn’t too high, and our economy seems to be bubbling along. On top of that, to the chagrin of everybody else, we just happen to have the best climate in the continental United States. Shh! It’s a secret. Everybody else thinks it rains all the time, so let’s keep it that way.

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City arborist hosts free seminar

January 14, 2014

City Arborist Alan Haywood keeps the trees in the community healthy, and now you can learn some of his tips and tricks for your own yard.

Join Haywood at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 25 at Squak Mt. Greenhouses & Nursery, 7600 Renton-Issaquah Road S.E., for the free seminar “Pruning for Health and Beauty.” The seminar lasts about two hours, although attendees may stay as long as they like.

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Owls & pussy cats

August 20, 2013

Almost every night last year when I went to bed I could hear the reassuring “whoo whoo” of an owl. It wasn’t an irritating noise at all; it made me feel like we had a night watchman looking out for us when we seemed to be most vulnerable. “Ole” was an appropriate name, so that’s what we called him.

Then, one day I noticed what appeared to be a pile of bracken fern in the middle of our lower yard. I thought it was odd, because bracken fern doesn’t usually break off and blow around. The tip-off should have been when 20 or 30 crows showed up and started their most irritating, loud discussions.

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