Cold weather has gardeners turning to indoor gardening, planning


Marianne Binetti recommends “Growing Conifers” by John J. Albers which teaches how to use conifers to create strong bones in the garden.

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Winter is approaching, so don’t prune tender perennials and shrubs, as a haircut now could stimulate growth. That means don’t be snippy with hardy fuchsias, tender salvias, Rose of Sharon hibiscus or abutilons.

Fall means more time for indoor gardening. Youngsters are cultivating the indoor gardening craze and you can jump on board or encourage young green thumbs with this updated indoor gardening book: Tropical plants and how to love Them by Marianne Willburn.

Here’s a review sent to me by student Dante Ayala, who just joined the indoor gardening group: “This houseplant book reads like a Hallmark movie. The author writes about growing tropical plants like a Latin stud she met on the beach, describing them as good for long-term commitment, warning you if they require romantic relationships. high maintenance or are just friends with benefits. There are pictures on almost every page and even my generation who primarily listen to audiobooks or research the internet will find this book fun to read.

Tropical plants covered in this book include begonias, angel’s trumpet and Abyssinian bananas which you may have used as summer patio plants and now want to learn how to overwinter indoors.

A second book to consider for fall evenings is written by a local author and will inspire a better designed winter landscape.

Growing conifers by John J. Albers with photographs by David E. Perry of Seattle is a beautiful book that teaches how to use evergreens to create strong bones in the garden. It includes the basics of soil and placement, but also adds an encyclopedia of evergreen varieties. Most of the magnificent examples of evergreens have been photographed in gardens in western Washington.

Albers has a beautiful garden in Bremerton and his passion for evergreens and his solid knowledge of horticulture are inspiring. After reading this I will be adding more evergreens to my own garden.