Seattle and the greater Pacific Northwest can be a tricky place to predict weather patterns. The area is full of potential for amateur gardeners, but finding the perfect time to plant the perfect flower can sometimes be difficult, and requires a bit of research before you set out to design your garden.
Pictured above, clockwise from top left:
1. English Roses are a great way to get started on a summer garden. The British Isles have a climate that closely resembles that of the Pacific Northwest (although they do get more rain during the summer months). The heaviest blooms arrive in the early summer, and repeat towards the end of summer or beginning of fall, depending on climate and specific rose type. English Roses like at least six hours of sunlight and regular watering and fertilizing. Photo from David Austin English Roses.
2. Dahlias are a favorite of mine! Sweet, annual explosions of color, these perform the best when planted in full sun light with regular water. Soil-level watering to avoid powdery mildew, as well as stake-support and disbudding help these blooms thrive. Plant the bulbs just after the first frost, which is usually around the beginning of October, for spring blooms. Photo from Swanson's Nursery.
3. A lovely sign of spring in Seattle: the Sweet Pea! Growing Sweet Peas in the PNW climate is quite easy. Mild winters are the kindest to these buds. Sow the sweet peas in the fall for a spring bloom, or in the late spring if there has been a colder winter. We know the name is tempting but don't eat Sweet Peas — they're poisonous!
4. Last but assuredly not least, the beautiful and resilient Goldflame Honeysuckle. This vine grows upwards to 10-15 feet with a sturdy support. Give it a wide radius from other plants (between 3-4 feet). Honeysuckle needs good air circulation around it to avoid attacks by powdery mildew and fungal disease. Goldflame Honeysuckle blooms the best in early June, and continues to bloom well into the winter. Most varieties of Honeysuckle thrive in the Pacific Northwest, so choose your favorite (with a bit of research). Photo via Monrovia Nursery.
(Images: as credited above)