About Emma McDonald

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So far Emma McDonald has created 57 blog entries.

Plants and Their People – Rhododendron augustinii

Rhododendron augustinii An early purple flowering rhododendron of slender shape to 6’. Named after the British-born Irish plantsman and Chinese plant explorer Augustine Henry (1857-1930). He sent back over 15,000 dry plant specimens and seeds; of the 12 plants named in his honor, the KBG garden has this example and one more. It does [...]

2022-04-26T10:14:29+00:00April 26th, 2022|

Walt’s Notes from the Garden | March 2022

WALT'S NOTES FROM THE GARDEN | MARCH 2022 Most of the plants here are hardy and time-tested even after our frozen bout last month. Art and Mareen did like to experiment like many of us so I went looking for an unusual plant they had planted from seed from South Africa. Selago corybosa is in [...]

2022-03-08T11:35:52+00:00March 8th, 2022|

Conifers – Larch

Larch (Larix) There are a number of this deciduous conifer in this grove, all of them turning gorgeous tones of yellow in late fall. They typically grow best in full sun. Note the small cones that persist on the branches; only age or fire makes them come off. Washington state has three native larches: [...]

2022-02-16T15:44:28+00:00February 16th, 2022|

Conifers – Himalayan White Pine

Himalayan White Pine (Pinus wallichiana) Extra-long needles that end up drooping in a graceful fashion is a hallmark of this pine. It hails from the foothills of the Himalayas and is an important timber tree throughout its range. Here, it doesn’t grow too much beyond 60’ and is best suited out of a windy [...]

2022-02-16T15:44:35+00:00February 16th, 2022|

Conifers – Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) Indigenous peoples for centuries used this native tree for things like building material from canoes to box construction and more. Today we also associate it with shingles and decking as well. Note the smaller scale leaves and compare to the Hiba Cedar’s foliage (number one of this series). Thus, [...]

2022-02-16T15:44:41+00:00February 16th, 2022|

Conifers – Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) Look over the hillside and you’ll see quite a few other Douglas Firs growing tall and majestic. With age, the bark starts developing a thick layer that has these deep furrows. Check out some fallen cones distinctive with the characteristic ‘mouse- tail’ emanating between the scales. If there are any [...]

2022-02-16T15:44:48+00:00February 16th, 2022|

Conifers – California Nutmeg Tree

California Nutmeg Tree (Torreya californica) You’re seeing stump sprouts from what was a large specimen that unfortunately started tipping over, probably as a result of a girdling root system that never was fully able to spread out and give stability. Look at the size of the almost horizontal trunk to see why it needed to [...]

2022-02-16T15:44:55+00:00February 16th, 2022|

Conifers – Leyland Cypress

Leyland Cypress (X Cupressocyparis leylandii; also as Cupressus x leylandii)  I love the trunk of this specimen as it reminds me of Monterey Cypress, one of its parents, the other being the Alaskan Yellow Cedar. Most Leyland Cypress are not pruned up like this one but rather present an overly large and dense plant. Being fast-growing, [...]

2022-02-16T15:45:01+00:00February 16th, 2022|

Conifers – Sargent’s Weeping Hemlock

Sargent’s Weeping Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis ‘Pendula’) Dwarf forms of plants attract both those whose space is limited and those who enjoy variation in their garden. With the graceful weeping branches, you can add beauty to the equation too.  This naturally occurring dwarf of the Eastern Hemlock was found in upstate New York close to [...]

2022-02-16T15:45:07+00:00February 16th, 2022|