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In praise of the sun loving Sneezeweed

But as I perused our benches this morning I couldn’t help but notice the Heleniums or Sneezeweed with their festive colors of gold and red and rust and orange. They seem like very happy flowers to me, sort of like sunflowers but smaller and they are sturdier than Gallardia or Blanket flower.

As our gardens move toward their summer climax there are so many perennials in bloom that it is really hard for me to zero in on any one group of plants. Crocosmia and Penstemon and Daisies and Hyssop and Salvias to name just a few are all coming into their glory.

But as I perused our benches this morning I couldn’t help but notice the Heleniums or Sneezeweed with their festive colors of gold and red and rust and orange. They seem like very happy flowers to me, sort of like sunflowers but smaller and they are sturdier than Gallardia or Blanket flower. And there are enough variations of them that you can have some blooming now all the way into the fall.

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Host families needed for high school students from France

Explore a new culture this summer without leaving your home by hosting an exchange student from France, through the non-profit organization, Horizons Du Monde.

Although there has been a great response to this request, Horizons Du Monde still needs about eight families to host French students from July 31 – August 21, 2013.

Explore a new culture this summer without leaving your home by hosting an exchange student from France, through the non-profit organization, Horizons Du Monde.

You and your family will learn, first hand, about another exciting country by opening your heart and your home to a high school exchange student from France

Host families are needed in Snohomish/King county for foreign exchange students who will be coming here this summer. Both boys and girls (ages 16 & 17) will be coming for 3-4 weeks. Students are coming to experience our American culture. They are here on Summer vacation.

The dates of their stay vary through the summer, call Tiffany McClure at 206-819-5388 for more exact dates.

Students come with good English skills, their own insurance and spending money, and mainly the desire to see this area and be a member of an American family.

Left Cost/Right Coast: “Go West Young Man” or perception vs. reality

In 1850 Horace Greeley wrote, “Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country.” How has his promise/vision turned out?

In 1850 Horace Greeley wrote, Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country.

How has his promise/vision turned out? Well, one could argue he was actually trying to rid New York (he was the founder and publisher of the New York Tribune – one of the most influential newspapers of the 19th century) of all the undesirables by getting them to leave town.

In fact, they named Greeley Square in Manhattan after him. Perhaps he succeeded at what he was trying to do, get rid of all those Democrats – in favor of his staunch beliefs in both the Whig and Republican parties.

Three powerful reasons to eat mindfully

Learning to eat mindfully is an important step toward obtaining long-term wellness. Many of the most common health conditions we face may be prevented or reversed if you become more mindful while eating.

I have been reading the great monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s new book on mindful eating called “Savor” and am loving it.

Learning to eat mindfully is an important step toward obtaining long-term wellness. Many of the most common health conditions we face; stress, depression, weight gain and digestive disorders, may be prevented or reversed if you become more mindful while eating.

Heavenly hydrangeas for the hot sun

Steve Smith, the Whistling Gardener, talks about sun loving hydrangeas that are easy to grow and in stock now.

Okay, maybe “hot” sun is a bit of a stretch for the northwest but it is very much true that there are forms of hydrangeas that grow just fine in our full sun gardens and when they come into bloom they remind me of puffy clouds hence the “heavenly” part. They fall into three categories.

By far the largest group is the PeeGee hydrangea which sports a cone shaped flower (or panicle as we call it in our trade) for several months in the summer starting as early as June. They usually start out white and mature to various shades of pink. There seems to be no end to the new introductions that can vary in their height and to a lesser extent degree of “pinkness”.

A cool drink on a warm day with choice of local microbrews and wine at the 2013 Mill Creek Festival

Our good friends at Washington Wine & Beverage Company are once again supplying the Mill Creek Festival Beer and Wine Garden with some handcrafted local brews served frosty cold, along with some great choices for those who prefer to sip a glass a wine.

Our good friends at Washington Wine & Beverage Company are once again supplying the Mill Creek Festival Beer and Wine Garden with some handcrafted local brews served frosty cold, along with some great choices for those who prefer to sip a glass a wine.

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