Rod's Garden

Gardening information and advice

by Rod Smith

Former Iowa Certified Nurseryman and Oregon Certified Nursery Professional

© 1999-2023 Rodney A. Smith
All rights reserved.

WARNING!! If you click on a link and a blank screen opens, then connects to a strange website, especially if you see a robot, CLOSE THE NEW WINDOW IMMEDIATELY!! The links will work correctly after the first time.
Rod's Garden Pruning
Gardening Advice
Monthly Tips
Calendar of Color
Bible Meditations

Welcome to our garden.

Rod is a former Iowa Certified Nurseryman and Oregon Certified Nursery Professional , with a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture from Iowa State University and a total of 45 years of experience in orchards, nurseries and landscaping. Rod worked at Dennis' Seven Dees Nursery, Portland, Oregon for sixteen years, at Cascadian Nurseries for nine years and at Garron Grounds Management for four years. He currently works for Cascadian All In One Landscape Supply. Rod runs Rod's Garden Pruning and teaches Home Gardening classes for Portland Community College.

Shellie is an avid gardener with herbs as her special interest. She is also a Master Food Preserver.

Emmaline was adopted from China in 1999. Ellianna was adopted from Vietnam in 2001. Nathaniel. was adopted from China in 2005.

Spending time in a garden naturally turns our thoughts to God, who created the beauty of nature.

Come to our garden for information and advice. To ask a question, schedule a landscape consultation, or receive a free estimate on pruning in the West Portland, Washington County area, please send an email to rodandshellie (at), or call 503-484-4774. Please include your location.

Home Gardening Classes at PCC by Rod Smith

Diary of a Japanese army doctor killed on Attu Island, Alaska, during World War II.

Gardening Advice

Fall Planting
Remove Trees Roots and All

Landscape Design

Landscape Design
Naturescaping for Birds, Bees and Butterflies
Naturescaping Plants for Wildlife

Trees, Shrubs, Roses

Trees and Shrubs in the Landscape
Oregon Native Landscape Plants

Annuals, Perennials and Bulbs

Annuals, Biennials, Perennials and Bulbs
Oregon Native Landscape Plants

Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs

Edible Landscaping
Fruit Tree Tips
Planting a Vegetable Garden
Herbs for the Kitchen and Landscape

Lawn Care

Lawn Care

Insect, Disease and Weed Control

Pest Control
Lace Bug Control
Oregon Invasive Weeds


Pruning for Shade, Flowers and Fruit
Seasonal Pruning Guide
Rod's Garden Pruning

Water Wise Gardening

Water Wise Gardening

Winterizing Your Yard

Winterizing Your Yard

House Plants

House Plants

Plant Propagation

Plant Propagation

Improving Soil

Improving Soil
Planting in Clay Soil
Plant Nutrients
Preferred Soil pH

Monthly Gardening Tips

Gardening tasks are similar everywhere but the timing is different. These gardening tips are written for the Willamette Valley, Oregon, which has an unusual climate. Summers and winters are mild and the seasons change a month later because of the influence of the Pacific Ocean.

January | February | March | April | May | June | July
August | September | October | November | December

Calendar of Color

The Pacific Northwest is blessed with an abundance of plants that grow well in this mild climate. It is possible to have plants blooming in your yard every month of the year. Only plants that are usually available in Pacific Northwest nurseries and garden centers have been included. These lists will help find plants that will bloom each season of the year.

The plants are listed by size to make it easier to pick plants that fit into your landscape. The plants are separated into Low, Medium and Tall according to this chart.

                  Low             Medium          Tall
Trees		below 15'	15' to 25'	over 25'
Shrubs		below 3'	3' to 6'	over 6'
Vines		below 5'	5' to 12'	over 12'
Perennials	below 15"	15" to 30"	over 30"

This plant list was made for Portland, Oregon, which is in USDA Hardiness Zone 8 and Sunset Western Climate Zone 6. All plants in this list are hardy to at least 10-20 degrees. Some are hardy to 30 degrees below zero. For areas outside the Pacific Northwest, find your hardiness zone on the USDA Hardiness Zones Map In the plant lists, the number that follows the Scientific name is the coldest USDA Hardiness Zone in which the plant will survive.

Below the USDA Hardiness Zone number is a rating of the plant's water needs: Low, Medium or High. Watering can be reduced and simplified if plants with similar water needs are planted together. Some plants, such as Acer palmatum, Calluna vulgaris, Daphne odora, Erica sp. and Rhododendron sp. will easily develop root rot if the soil is kept constantly moist.

The height and width given are average landscape size that can be expected in the Portland area. Of course, this will be affected by soil, fertilizing, watering and pruning. Most trees and shrubs will reach mature size in ten to thirty years, but a few trees may take 100 years to reach mature size. Perennials usually reach their full size in five to ten years.

Plant descriptions are taken from the Sunset Western Garden Book, various Oregon nursery catalogs and personal observation of mature landscapes in Oregon. Plants grow about 20% larger in Western Oregon than in the rest of the USA.

Perennial Calendar of Color

Perennials by Flower Season and Height
Perennials in Alphabetical Order

Shrub Calendar of Color

Shrubs by Flower Season and Height
Shrubs in Alphabetical Order

Tree Calendar of Color

Tree Color by Season and Height
Trees in Alphabetical Order

Vine Calendar of Color

Vine Color by Season and Height
Vines in Alphabetical Order

Common and Scientific Names of Plants

Common and Scientific Names of Trees, Shrubs, Vines, Perennials, Herbs & Houseplants

Bible Meditations

Arsenokoitai and Gay Christians
Avoiding stupid mistakes
Baby Savages
Can you believe the New Testament?
Constitutional Right to Abortion
God Can Begin to Answer a Prayer Even Before We Pray It?
God Sends Rain on the Just and the Unjust
How To Pray For A False Teacher
In All Things, God Works for Good
Jesus, Humble Servant
Moses and God
No One Wins an Argument
Our Triune God: God the Three in One
Reasoning With a Bible Thumper
Reducing Crime
Romans Road to Salvation and Sanctification
Salvation: Walking Through Life Holding Onto the Father's Hand
Same Sex Marriage and the Bible
Satan, the Devil
The Condensed Bible Story. The main characters and events of the Bible condensed into six pages.
The Evolution Story. Scientific reasons why I stopped believing in Evolution and started believing in Creation.
The Old Man and the Flood
The Right Church
When Will the Rapture Be?
Where Do Babies Go When They Die?
Where Do We Go When We Die?
Would God Allow Suffering?
You Can Take It With You!
You're Too Late

Rod accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior in 1973. He read the Bible straight through from Genesis to Revelation seven times before he attended Ozark Bible College. He has taught Sunday School since 1985 and was an elder and Director of Children's Ministries at his church.

The entire Bible can be read in less than one year by reading three chapters a day plus one chapter from Psalms or Proverbs. For an accurate translation that is easy to read, he recommends the New International Version or the English Standard Version..

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