Ahhh… the occasional rain shower. It sure feels nice to get the late spring/early summer rain. The garden loves the sun, but it really perks up when those showers show up! This week the cooler weather felt good, especially that first rain after a long dry spell. Time to check your garden to see how it handles the rain. You may need to stake some of those heavy bloom stalks to keep them upright until that sun comes back again!
This week we featured...
Clackamas County Lavender Festival
Ever wonder where they get the flower scents for your favorite soaps and perfumes? We visited a flower distillery to see how they steam the essential oils out of flowers to bring fragrance to your favorite toiletries. Jim Dierking from Liberty Natural Products (800-289-8427) showed us the equipment they use to get oil from the ‘Buena Vista’ variety of lavender. You can get your chance to see the machinery in action at the 1st annual Clackamas County Lavender Festival at the Oregon Lavender Farm near Oregon City. They will have demonstrations of the equipment plus a full slate of other events. You can taste Oregon beers and wine, listen to bluegrass music, and enjoy lavender theme treats (including ice cream). This is a one day event, happening Saturday only, so don’t miss it.
Hughes Water Bowl
Adding a water feature to your garden, deck or patio may not be as expensive or time consuming as you think. We went to Hughes Water Gardens (503-638-1709) to learn how easy and inexpensive it is to assemble a small water bowl. Eamonn Hughes showed us how easy it is to create a beautiful water feature with a small list of ingredients including a bowl, pump, rocks and a few plants. The plants he used included Canna “Watermelon”, Columbia Sedge, water lettuce and fairy moss. In less than 15 minutes you can create a simple water feature that can live indoors or outdoors and provide unending joy.
Garden Molds – Step Stones
Adding hardscaping or step stones is not as tough or expensive as you think. With some concrete and a GardenMolds (1-800-588-7930) form you can make your own garden accents. We met the creator of GardenMolds, Catherine Failor, to learn how easy it is to do it yourself. In just a few minutes we had mixed and poured a brand new step stone. With GardenMolds you can also make other things for your garden including edging stones, totem stakes, planter feet and other plaques and monuments. You can find the kits at selected garden centers and on the GardenMolds website.
Kindergarden – Rainbow Pots
The key to getting kids excited about gardening could be somewhere over the rainbow. With all the colors available in your garden center, it’s easy for them to create their own rainbow in a planted container. Amy Bigej, from Al’s Garden Center in Woodburn (503-981-1245) had help from four young volunteers to create a couple of beautiful containers. We were also joined by ROY G BIV which is actually an acronym for the colors of the rainbow… red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Take your kids to your local garden center and let them create their own container of many colors.
Gartner’s 4th of July
It is time to celebrate freedom! From all the work in the garden and from the kitchen! Jerry from Gartner’s Meats (503-252-7801) joined us once again to share some grilling tips for the up-coming 4th of July. This time he brought us chicken breasts for a grilling treat. The two problems that people have with chicken is having too much pink in the middle or having it turn out too dry. He solved that by having a small meat thermometer at the grill. The breasts were marinated in a new vacuum tumbler that forces marinate into the meat, then Jerry first got his grill to around 325-350 degrees, then he cooked the chicken to a temperature of 165-170 degrees. It was delicious!! If you are looking for a quick and easy meal to celebrate the holiday, check out all the choices at Gartner’s!