Author: Leslie Davis

Checkermallow Love–for Beauty, Conservation, and Pollinators

  Living, gardening, and hiking in western Oregon, I was bound to meet up with this wildflower sooner or later. Rose checkermallow has a range that extends through the Willamette Valley and southward to the California border. It took a sleeping bee to draw me in and I haven’t stopped looking since. … more

The Sweetest Groundcover: Wild Strawberries

  Strawberry-scented Memories My hair still smells like strawberries from the air bnb shampoo I used yesterday. It reminds me of childhood and the scented hair of my Strawberry Shortcake doll. With her round, freckled cheeks and ruffled pinafore, her charm roused her lazy friend Huckleberry Pie every time. I was out … more

Buttercup Brave

  Once upon a time, in earliest spring, when golden moments of sunshine played at rainbow making between intervals of storm showers, a young snail extended their tentacles out to the waking world. Snail, hugging cold ground with mucus-slippered foot, felt little beyond the plodding cycle of clouded day becoming night and … more

To You, Street Trees

Curbed in concrete and asphalt, rooted beneath impermeable surfaces of human engineering, yet still, you tower, you arch overhead, tickling third-story windows, holding nests and sunlight in your crowns. Thank you. Thank you street trees for the visual rest of your complexity in a straight-lined urbanity. Your branches trace dark lines, earth’s … more

Garden Design for the Greater Community

For my latest Pacific Horticulture article I had the pleasure of talking with seven different designers and gardeners about their public-facing, community-engaging projects. Read Garden Design for the Greater Community to hear their stories. You’ll learn how your own efforts to reclaim vacant ground, even if that’s just your own front yard … more

Wild Ginger Love

  privacy a sheltering hood of shining green, shaped in the symbol of love two lobes atop a point, heart overlapping heart, like boudoir sheets unmade, the leaves cover, they drape, hiding and revealing what’s bare and what’s blossoming below. the name: Wild Ginger, an erotic personality, confirmed by musky spice when … more

January Velvet

  Soft-fogged darkness, muted winter mornings, a warm mug of strong brew, and the swaying wands of Douglas Spiraea’s seedheads in complementary hue— rich as earth. Whorled outreaching form rising to ungloved touch, as plumply furred as a small creature crawling from hibernation, angled sunward, against the weight of rain. See their … more

Cedar Waxwing’s Autumn Song to Rosehips

  I flock with my fellows, on November gusts we glide, guided by memories of last year’s feast— sweet, seeded, and plentiful. We descend together and sing our piercing songs to the bounty of rosehips red and bite-sized. My dusky tail feathers spreading squared and wide, colored stormy sky with yellow tip— … more

The Vine Maple Lovers

Every summer day they passed under vining tree arms, dappled shade overhead, crunch of gravel underfoot. The old couple- he on his way in, she on her way out- moved on a busy current, all summer long under the green they flowed, tanned arms shade-patterned by the many hands of palmate leaves. … more

Bumble and Sparkle with Calamint

    “No bees!” is not a command Leela is willing to learn. “Sit, rollover, shake,” and “stay” she’s mastered, but something about the allure of bees flying at her nose height is as irresistible as a squirrel’s swishing tail. The potted calamint (Calamintha nepeta ‘Montrose White’) at my deck stair makes … more