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Wednesday, December 11, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Staff > Features > Susan Mulvihill > Stories
Susan Mulvihill
FREELANCER
Susan Mulvihill inthegarden@live.com

Susan Mulvihill is a freelance gardening columnist for the Today section.


Most Recent Stories

Aug. 19, 2017, 1 p.m.
For many vegetable crops, picking them while they’re young and tender is the key. Winter squash, however, should stay on the vine as long as possible.

Aug. 12, 2017, 1 p.m.
It’s fair to say that downsizing from 10 acres to a standard city lot would be an adjustment for anyone – but especially for two dedicated gardeners. Kurt Madison and his wife, Margot Casstevens, have turned that adjustment into a learning experience that others can benefit from.

Aug. 5, 2017, noon
Gardening is such a delightful pastime that rewards us with fresh produce and beautiful flowers. When occasional problems crop up, they can dampen our enthusiasm.

News >  Travel
July 29, 2017, noon
What’s not to love about English gardens? With their colorful flower borders, trademark walls, reflecting pools, and perhaps a stately manor, they are a delight to explore.

July 29, 2017, noon
Beth Mort has been around gardening for as long as she can remember. Not only does she enjoy growing bountiful gardens, but teaching others how to do this as well.

July 22, 2017, noon
The 20th annual Coeur d’Alene Garden Tour features a visit to the Hagadone estate on Casco Bay.

July 15, 2017, 3 p.m.
A garden should be a sight to behold, with plenty of color, chirping birds and butterflies flitting about. But that picture isn’t complete without having some lovely fragrances to enjoy as well.

July 8, 2017, 1 p.m.
David Austin Roses display gardens, an hour from Stratford-upon-Avon, covers about 2 acres. The gardens are divided into separate “rooms” surrounded by brick walls or clipped hedges. In addition to borders planted with roses, we saw arbors covered with roses, a beautiful reflecting pool and charming sitting areas where visitors can take in the enchanting views. Attractive sculptures created by Pat Austin (David Austin’s late wife) provide focal points.

July 1, 2017, noon
We gardeners often want what we don’t have: If our gardens are sunny, we long for shady retreats. Conversely, those who have shady yards yearn for sunshine. While some might feel a sunny garden is more visually appealing, a shade garden can be just as delightful and welcoming.

June 24, 2017, noon
Don’t let weeds develop flowers because seeds will quickly follow and then you’ve really got trouble. I wouldn’t recommend putting weeds that have flowered into compost piles since most piles don’t get hot enough to kill off the weed seeds.

June 17, 2017, 12:15 p.m.
The next time you visit Rose Hill in Manito Park, take a moment to remember and appreciate the Spokane Rose Society. After all, Rose Hill wouldn’t be the magnificent garden we all know and love without them. The society formed in 1947 and a few years later, members were hard at work establishing the display gardens that have won many awards over the decades.

June 10, 2017, noon
Garden tour season officially begins this month. First up is Saturday’s Spokane in Bloom tour, hosted by the Inland Empire Gardeners. This year’s spotlight is on six inspiring gardens on Spokane’s North Side.

June 3, 2017, noon
In getting ready for her garden’s close up, she’s never weeded so much in her entire life.

May 27, 2017, noon
Every year, gardeners eagerly anticipate the Friends of Manito plant sales because they know they will find exceptional plants that are hardy for this region. The spring plant sale will be held on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., just east of Manito Park’s Gaiser Conservatory. One of my gardening goals is to attract more butterflies. While perusing their online plant list, I was excited to see many will do just that.

May 20, 2017, 3:30 p.m.
A well-planned home landscape – whether designed professionally or by the gardener-in-residence – does a beautiful job of reflecting those who live there.

May 13, 2017, 12:30 p.m.
I’ve set aside a 3-by-8-foot raised bed in my garden to illustrate how this is possible. Yes, just 24 square feet will produce a bounty of flavorful vegetables. I have chosen three easy crops to grow – tomatoes, zucchini and bush beans.

May 6, 2017, noon
Billed as “the show for gardeners put on by gardeners,” the annual Garden Expo will be hosted by The Inland Empire Gardeners in and around the Spokane Community College Lair building from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 13.

April 29, 2017, noon
Whenever I visit a garden, I’m always drawn to artfully planted containers. It doesn’t matter whether they’re filled with flowers or vegetables, a pleasing combination really inspires me.

April 22, 2017, 9 a.m.
The Spokane County Master Gardener program is an important resource in our community. They staff a plant clinic from March through October, where they answer the public’s gardening questions. They also hold classes and set up information booths at local events. All of this, and more, is done quietly and efficiently. But next weekend, they’ll be boisterously celebrating the new garden season and showing the public what they have to offer.

April 15, 2017, 3 p.m.
Have you ever stopped to think about the trees planted in our parks, along city streets and in our backyards? While they are an important aspect of the environment around us, they frequently are relegated to the background as we look past them to other things.

April 8, 2017, 1:50 p.m.
If you have sandy soil, compost will add texture to keep water from running right through it. With clay soil, compost breaks up the sticky soil particles to improve drainage and aeration. Soil lacking in fertility and plants without vigor will be dramatically improved with the addition of compost.

April 1, 2017, 3 p.m.
Even though it’s too early to transplant our seedlings out in the garden, a few mild days can make any gardener want to jump the gun. Unfortunately, this can lead to disastrous results in this region.

March 25, 2017, 2 p.m.
After what seemed like the longest winter in history, it’s wonderful to finally be done with the snow. Now that it’s gone, there’s no escaping the many outdoor projects that need to be tackled. At the top of my list is pruning some of our trees, shrubs and roses. I fear the weight of the snow for months on end and occasional polar blasts may have caused a bit of damage.

March 18, 2017, 4 p.m.
This year, I’ll be growing a small cutting garden right in the middle of my vegetable garden. Cut flowers are often a blend of perennials, bulbs and annuals, but I’m focusing on annuals so I can try different plants every year.

March 11, 2017, 7 a.m.
Growing your own plants from seed is one of the best gardening skills you can learn. Whether planting vegetable or flower seeds, the concepts are the same. For supplies, you’ll need planting containers, a clear plastic cover or bag for the container, seed-starting mix or potting soil, plant markers, a bright location and, of course, seeds.