Resources To Enrich Your Gardening Experiences

There are a lot of great resources available to help you in every stage of your landscape endeavors. This list is growing all the time, so please check back frequently to see what's new.

Local Gardening Resources

WSU Extension of Benton and Franklin Counties. This is your connection to the amazing research conducted at Washington State University. The extension provides a wealth of knowledge online as well as through their plant clinic, the Master Gardener program and community outreach events. You can bring them samples of your plant/pest problems (please click here for more info or call ahead to find out how to prepare your sample - 735-3551) for FREE diagnosis. You can also bring them your mystery plants for identification. Effective February 6, 2017, the offices will be located at 7102 W. Okanogan Place, Suite 102 in Kennewick.

 

Online resources include:

  • Home Gardening Resources. A plethora of home gardening help for vegetable gardens, fruit trees, flowers, lawns, landscaping issues, etc.

  • Hortsense. A compilation of fact sheets for managing common landscape and garden plant problems.

  • Pestsense. A compilation of fact sheets for managing common indoor pest problems.

  • Extension Gardening Publications. Some publications are free, some are not, but all are beneficial.

The Demonstration Gardens are a great place to get ideas for your own garden! It is also a venue for Master Gardener classes and demonstrations. The gardens are located behind the Kennewick Mid-Columbia library at 1620 S. Union in Kennewick.

Columbia Basin Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society. A great place to learn about our native flora. They frequently host hikes and other events to show off the plants that live in our area. Why not learn about native plants then go to Heritage Garden's Plant Material Provider List and bring some home to live in your gardens?

  • CBWNPS Website. You'll find great information about gardening with natives including books and plant lists as well as planned hikes and places to visit native plant communities on your own. 

  • CBWNPS Facebook Page. There are photos from hikes and other interesting tidbits for those interested in our native plant communities.

  • Watchable Wildflowers List. Check this out if you would like to observe the beauty of our local wildflowers for yourself!

Nurseries, Landscape Supplies. This is not an exhaustive list, but some that I have used and enjoyed (in alphabetical order):

  • American Rock/Old Castle - 11919 Harris Road, Pasco. I have not personally used American Rock yet, but have heard that their prices are competitive. Old Castle has a Belgard design center that is definitely worth a visit if you are considering pavers, a retaining wall, and/or a concrete block fence for your landscape. Many products are on display outside for you to see in natural light.

  • Beaver Bark in Richland. Usually have a wonderful seed selection in the spring from suppliers like Botanical Interests and Renee's Garden. They also have a large selection of rock and bark mulches and garden pottery/decor. Great selection of annuals grown in their on-site greenhouse. 

  • Eagle Rock in Kennewick. Great selection of flagstone, columns, boulders, rock mulches and bark at good prices. This is where I go if I want flagstone!

  • Inland Desert Nursery in Benton City. Grow and sell Washington certified grape vines. They have a large selection of wine and table grapes and make these selections available to hobbyists after commercial growers have completed their orders, usually in June.

  • Job's Nursery in Pasco. They have the best selection of trees in the Tri-cities and a great shrub selection too. Good prices.

  • KIE Supply Corporation in Kennewick. This is where I go for most irrigation supplies. They carry RainBird products at good prices and are willing to place special orders for what they don't readily carry in the store.

  • Mac's Garden Center in Pasco. They seem to have a little bit of everything and their plants always look healthy. Nice selection of tomatoes and other veggies at the start of the growing season.

  • Tapteal Native Plants in West Richland. Ann Autrey is the owner of this little gem. If you are looking for native plants for your heritage garden, she is the lady to call.

  • Western Materials in Pasco. Another great place to see paver, retaining wall, and concrete block fence products. Showroom is inside.

  • Wildlands Nursery in Benton City. Some nursery centers around town have native plants for sale, but Wildlands seems to have a bigger selection and better prices. The nursery is only open by appointment and nursery stock is listed on their website.

  • Wood's Nursery in Richland. They also seem to have a little bit of everything and their plants always look healthy. Nice selection of vegetable plants at the start of the growing season. They have a lovely little garden behind the retail building that showcases a beautiful tricolor beech specimen. Also a nice example of landscaping with stone.

  • Yellow Rose Nursery in Prosser. They have a wonderful plant selection. Take the time to walk around their display gardens behind the nursery. There is something for every season. The fall colors are a delight.

Local Seed Growers. I like to buy local when I can, and that includes my seeds. Here are some local seed companies you should check out next time you are eager to watch some tiny plants grow:

  • Derby Canyon Natives in Peshastin, WA. I have not used this nursery before, but have heard good things! He sells native seed and plants. Looking forward to checking out this place.

  • Floret Flower Farm in Mt. Vernon, WA. They have a wonderful selection of flowers and fillers for your cutting garden. Their seeds move fast, so be sure to check them out first thing in January.

  • Filaree Garlic Farm in Omak, WA. I think they provide the healthiest, best-looking garlic in Washington, hands down. They also sell seed potatoes and shallots.

  • Swan Island Dahlias in Canby, OR. Big dahlia grower in the PNW. Tubers have always arrived looking healthy and robust. They have a dahlia festival at the end of August/beginning of September. A walk through the dahlia fields is amazing!

  • Uprising Seeds in Bellingham, WA. They grow their own seed as well as source high-quality seed from other farmers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Northern California. 

  • Wild Garden Seed in Philomath, OR (Willamette Valley). I have not used this seed supplier yet, but requested a catalog that came in a timely manner. I really like what I have seen and read so far. Organically grown flower and veggie seeds.

Theme Garden Resources

Pollinator Gardens. Wonderful for people of all ages. Be sure to include plants for the entire lifecycle. Here are some local resources to consult when planning your pollinator garden:

Native Plant & Xeriscape GardensGardening with native Columbia Basin plants is a wonderful way to create a unique sense of place. A thoughtful combination of natives and suitable non-native water-wise plants makes for a beautiful and low-maintenance landscape.

  • Heritage Gardens. This program is a collaborative effort between the Benton Conservation District and the Columbia Basin Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society. Heritage Gardens are landscaped areas designed to honor the cultural and natural heritage of the Columbia River Basin using sustainable gardening practices. Lots of great info (and FREE help) for creating your own heritage garden. And for native plants, give Tapteal Native Plants a call.

  • WA State Noxious Weed Board GardenWise Online. This is a great list of noninvasive plant species specifically selected for our climate, and is the result of collaboration between nonprofit conservation groups, state and county governments, and the nursery industry. Also available in booklet form.

  • Denver Water Xeriscape Resources. Denver Water coined the term "xeriscape" back in the 1980s. Their website has lots of great information on the subject.

  • Landscape Plants for the Inland Northwest by Tonie Fitzgerald et. al. A wonderful resource for the water-wise gardener in the Columbia Basin. Plants are divided into categories: perennials, ornamental grasses, ferns, vines, rock garden plants, ground covers, low shrubs (1.5' - 4'), medium to tall shrubs (4' - 15'), shrubs/small trees (10' - 30'), and trees 30 feet and taller. Plant hardiness, sun exposure, evergreen/deciduous, native/non-native, bloom time (perennials and grasses) and soil preferences are listed for each plant.

  • Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest, by Arthur R. Kruckeberg. This is a good all-around book for understanding the plants that span the diverse environments of the Pacific Northwest.

Italianate Gardens. This is actually a fairly diverse theme. When studying in Italy, I visited gardens, parks, and villas in Tuscany (especially around Florence) and explored part of the Italian Riviera (Cinque Terre). Themes range from formal to wild, defined outdoor rooms, to open terraces with expansive vistas:

  • The Villa, by James S. Ackerman. This is an extensive and interesting look at the history of villas (country houses). From Ancient Rome to modern America, this book offers plenty to consider when designing your own suburban villa. More academic though than an idea book.

  • Gardens of Florence and Tuscany, by Mariachaiara Pozzana. A small book packed with color photos of many Tuscan gardens. A brief description, chronology, and itinerary are included for each one. Great for understanding authentic period Tuscan architecture and garden design (particularly Italian Renaissance).

  • My Photography. I've loaded a lot of photos from my stint in Italy onto Instagram for you to peruse. 

Edible Landscapes. More and more people are choosing to convert unused lawn space into vibrant edible landscapes. If you haven't considered this before, you will be surprised at how many edible plants can also be beautiful ornamentals.

  • Growing Food on Parking Strips and in Front Yard Gardens. A short, 5-page fact sheet on things to consider when growing food in your front yard.

  • Vegetable Gardening Information from our local WSU extension office. Peruse the diverse collection of vegetable gardening information offered by our local extension office.

  • The Edible Front Yard by Ivette Soler. A great book full of color photos, edible plant info, a garden planner, edible front yard garden designs and more to inspire you to be a trend-setter in your neighborhood.

  • Edible Wild Plants, A North American Field Guide by Thomas S. Elias & Peter A. Dykeman. An interesting book that includes over 200 of the most popular and common edible wild plants of the U.S. and Canada. You may find something you'd like to add to your edible garden.

Gardening Books

Here are some valuable gardening and landscaping books not mentioned in the categories above: