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Natural History

State birds of the Pacific Northwest

March 7, 2017

Birds of the Pacific Northwest describes and illustrates more than 400 bird species commonly encountered in the diverse landscapes of the region. In this excerpt, John Shewey and Tim Blount tell us more about the iconic state birds of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

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Hold that swat—maybe it’s a hover fly!

March 7, 2017

You feel an insect on your arm. You look down, see a yellowjacket—hold that swat! Don’t let a case of mistaken identity turn deadly. Learn about the clever disguise of the hover fly in this species profile from Natural History of the Pacific Northwest Mountains: Plants, Animals, Fungi, Geology, Climate by Daniel Mathew.

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An interview with James Hitchmough

February 28, 2017

“I think almost all planting is in some way a combination of the artistic and the scientific, and my work is no different.” —James Hitchmough

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The Midwest spirit of place

February 7, 2017

How do you define the spirit of the Midwest? In this excerpt from Native Plants of the Midwest, Alan Branhagen captures the spirit of this unique region in rich prose that is equally informative and beautiful: “It’s the blend between the verdant lush forests of the Appalachians on the east and the dry, short grasses of the Great […]

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A dry climate and a wake-up call

February 7, 2017

In this excerpt from her book, The Bold Dry Garden, Johanna Silver honors the legacy of Ruth Bancroft and the pioneering landscaping of the Ruth Bancroft Garden. With diverging public attitudes toward the current climate crisis, garden preservation, waterwise planting, and conservation activism have never been more important—let Ruth Bancroft’s fearless gardening be your guide.

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How do mushrooms grow so quickly?

January 12, 2017

Have you ever walked into your garden or through the woods to find a ring of mushrooms had sprung up overnight? In his third book on the soil food web, Jeff Lowenfels describes the reproduction and life cycles of fungi.

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An interview with Joan Maloof

December 6, 2016

“The idea came to me that we could be most effective in preserving our forests by making sure that each local area—at least each county—has a protected forest that is open for all to experience.” —Joan Maloof

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19 amazing plants to see up close

December 1, 2016

Onset of winter weather got you down? Feed your passion for plants by snuggling up to enjoy nineteen lush images by nature photographer Robert Llewellyn from Seeing Seeds, Seeing Flowers, and Seeing Trees.

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Holiday stress-relief

November 10, 2016

The most important herbs on your shopping list aren’t for dinner—chamomile, clove, basil, and orange provide powerful stress-relief aromatherapy. This holiday season, step into the garden or the pantry for a few cleansing breaths with a few of the fragrant plants featured in Kathi Keville’s bestselling book, The Aromatherapy Garden: Growing Fragrant Plants for Happiness and […]

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An interview with Noel Kingsbury

November 4, 2016
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