Welcome to Sassy Plants - a blog about urban gardening, edible landscaping, and other plant rants.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Blueberries are fantastic shrubs to grow.  Not only do blueberry bushes produce fruits that are delicious and high in antioxidants, but they are also very nice as ornamental plants. Blueberries have nice fall color, and there are a few varieties that are evergreen as well.  On top of this, blueberries are  happiest in the acid soils of the Pacific Northwest, which makes them even more of a must have for any Northwest garden.      In addition to having acid soil, to properly grow blueberries you need to plant at least two varieties for pollination.  For a long harvest plant early, mid and late season varieties.       (We're having a warm January in Portland - above is a photo taken today of a Legacy variety of blueberry, planted with daffodils that are already blooming!)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I went to the Portland Classical Chinese Garden last week just in time to see the blooming Edgeworthia.  Edgeworthia, a relative of Daphne,  has fragrant flowers that bloom in winter and early spring from unusual looking buds.  It is a very interesting shrub that is not very widely used here, so it is always a treat to see. 

Here's the dirt on Edgeworthia:  

Botanical Name: Edgeworthia chrysantha
Origin: China
Plant Type: Deciduous Shrub
Hardiness: Sunset 5-9; 14-24; USDA to zone 7
Size: 6' high & wide. 
Light Requirements: Full Sun to Light Shade

Friday, January 8, 2010

2010 Garden Planning

Oooh the seed cataloges are rolling in! That means it is time to start planning this year's garden.

There are, of course, many different approaches to the vegetable garden plant selection.
Most people will plant what they eat the most frequently.  Which makes perfect sense.  Others plant not what they eat the most, but instead grow the foods that would cost the most to purchase - in this area things like artichokes, sweet peppers and herbs come to mind. This makes sense, too. Especially if you have a very limited space to work with.
Another aspect of selecting kitchen garden plants, one that I have never heard mentioned (maybe for good reason?!), is to plant things that weigh the most. For example, last year I grew potatoes, among other things.  Potatoes are generally inexpensive and readily available, but they weigh a lot! It requires more fuel to haul those suckers around than it does for, say, sprigs of sage or swiss chard.

This year's garden will be another combination of these three philosophies and will include tomatoes, which we probably eat the most. It will also include herbs like basil, that we eat occasionally, but that are relatively expensive to purchase.  And, it will include those heavy potatoes.  The purple potatoes we grew last year were a hit, but they did take up a lot of space in the garden.  This year I have my unused, full sun parking strip slated for potato production.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Re-Using a Christmas Tree

Yesterday I took down our Christmas tree.  It was a Grand Fir, which we always get, because they smell so wonderful.                          It always makes me a bit sad to dispose of the tree.  Setting it out at the curb, next to the trash, is not a dignified funeral for any tree, let alone a Grand Fir. I usually use some of the tree (a few limbs that I can't manage to cram into our yard debris bin) for mulch.  But this year I am using it all.  I cut off all of the branches and laid them out flat on my shrub beds for mulch. I will use the trunk in a few months as the center for a cucumber trellis.