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Yakima gardeners are halfway between our last and first frost dates, and that’s something to celebrate. I’m proclaiming a Hump Day holiday. We deserve a day off, and besides, it’s too hot for any major projects.

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To celebrate the birth of each of his two daughters, my father brought flowers to my mother at the hospital. He chose potted hydrangeas each time. I never asked him why, but my father was a practical man. A bouquet of roses could have seemed too ephemeral.

This weekend in London, the Royal Horticultural Society is hosting the epic Chelsea Flower Show. Held on the grounds of the Royal Chelsea Hospital since 1912, it’s become the most eminent garden show in the world. Members of the British royal family attend every year, along with 157,000 visi…

These sweet cucumbers aren’t cucumbers at all. They’re in the muskmelon family along with cantaloupe and honeydew. The slightly sweet, melon-like flavor should have tipped me off. They’re also called yard-long cucumbers, snake melons and cucumber melons. Armenian cucumbers are recognizable b…

YAKIMA, Wash. -- When I was in college, someone would have had to drag me, kicking and screaming, to register for a science class. Unfortunately, no one did, and I regret those missed opportunities. I’ve been learning the hard way that to garden well, I’ve got to be better acquainted with bo…

YAKIMA, Wash. -- In 2007, more than 600,000 frozen seeds of Silene stenophylla, an arctic wildflower, were found buried in squirrel burrows below the permafrost in northeastern Siberia. Radiocarbon dating determined the seeds were 32,000 years old. Scientists were able to extract embryos and…

YAKIMA, Wash. -- The Master Gardener program of Yakima County, thanks to one of our leading members, Phyllis, started an heirloom garden several years ago and teaches seed saving classes. With the push toward gardening sustainability, there’s a lot of information out there about saving seeds.

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Since I’ve become a nana, I make twice-monthly trips to Olympia to visit my two young grandchildren. I was there last week when I got a text from a friend, warning me that all her fallen leaves had blown from her yard and simply disappeared. If they arrived on my doorstep, s…

The gardening articles you enjoy in this column are written by community volunteers certified as Master Gardeners by Washington State University. In Yakima County, we are celebrating our 38th year of service to the community.

YAKIMA, Wash. -- My best friend’s son was married last month, and I had the honor of growing the flowers for his wedding. Andy’s bride, Gabrielle, loved an array of easy annuals with an informal, just-picked look. Her dream was to mix them up to pop in a “wild explosion of color.”

A psychology professor (and self-described cat person) got so many reports about dogs' purported brilliance that he decided to test the question: Are dogs super smart? The answer may not make him very popular.

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