Schools out and it is time to hit the road. Some families stay local and go to area camp-grounds while others travel to more exotic places. Either way, you should make sure your plants are cared for. It just takes a couple of very hot days to see all your hard work in the garden wasted. Your plants need some extra love during the up-coming summer heat. Make sure they are well tended. Don’t take a vacation from caring for them.
This week we featured...
Ferguson’s Festival of Fragrance
A truly beautiful garden should appeal to all your senses. We believe fragrance should be near the top of the list. We paid a visit to Ferguson’s Fragrant Nursery (503-633-4585) for their “Festival of Fragrance” happening this weekend. Danielle Ferguson shared with us some of her favorites including Daphne ‘Eternal Fragrance’, Rose ‘Ronald Reagan’, Hosta ‘Guacamole’, Astilbe ‘Heart and Soul’, Polemonium ‘Bressingham Purple’, Daylily ‘Hyperion’, and Bugbane ‘Hillside Black Beauty’. These are but just a few of the many fragrant plants that you can add to your garden this summer and this weekend is a great time to check them out. During the festival you can take classes in growing Daphne, building a culinary container, or a building year-round fragrant garden. Plus there will be wine and microbrew tasting, live music from Larkspur and you can save an additional 30% off your purchases with a special web coupon. Take the Donald-Aurora exit off of I-5 (exit 278) and head west.
Bringing the smell of lavender into your home is not hard when you can easily build a lavender wreath. We found out how easy it is when we visited Lavender at Stonegate (503-638-5218). The owner, Sarah Bader, told us how easy it is to cut and form a wreath from 3 simple materials. First she purchased a circular metal frame and some fine craft wire from her local craft store. Then she cut a bunch of lavender stems (about 25-30) to about a 6 inch length and then tied them to the ring. You continue this around the edge of the ring until you are finished. You may want to cut your own lavender from the garden or you can pick some up at her field. Cutting your own is not hard. She even showed us how to do that!
You can capture your garden to remember for years and find a new hobby if you learn to sketch or paint scenes from your garden. René Eisenbart, botanical artist for The Oregonian, teaches a series of botanic drawing classes in the Portland Classical Chinese Garden (503-228-8131) and at her own studio, Rene-Art. We caught up with her to learn about her art and to get some pointers on how aspiring garden artists can get started. Using William as a guinea pig she shared some of her tips with us. Tip one; get the right tools. She uses an ever sharp pencil and a kneaded eraser. Tip two; keep it simple. Don’t try to sketch a whole plant. Work on one leaf and then add more as you feel comfortable. Tip 3; use your own perspective. Draw what you see and don’t try to be ‘picture perfect’. You are capturing how it looks to you! Tip 4; add shading to create depth. This can take your drawing to the next level and that leads us to tip 5, adding color. Colors will make your drawing pop! Tip 6; practice, practice, practice! Don’t be disappointed; Rene always sees areas where she can make a drawing better, but she always finds a point where she can call it ‘done’. Rene’s current classes are all booked but you can contact her to be placed on a waiting list for up-coming classes.
Jan’s June Tips
Tips for your garden are few and far between right now. The weather has been nice and growing conditions perfect for most of your garden plants, but that didn’t stop Jan McNeilan from OSU Extension from taking us on a tour of her garden to see what is happening. First she showed us a small fuchsia that had seen a little too much sun. She had cut it back and it was showing signs on new growth. If you have a plant that is damaged you can try the same thing at home. Cut off the damaged parts and give it a little tender loving care and see what happens. We also saw how Jan cut back those hummingbird attracting plants from the ground. The flowers are then higher up and the birds are not targets for the neighborhood cats. We also saw how her ‘straw bale’ experiment was working out. Jan and Ray planted strawberries and potatoes in a couple of straw bales and they were doing fine. We will check on them again in the next month or so to see how they are performing!