Time to fill the bin! Our recycling bin is empty but we should be filling it soon with leaves, clipping and other debris as we get ready for the coming winter. This month is the last time that you can evaluate where your plants are and which ones to move for next year. When we get into November it will be getting pretty cold and wet so now is the time to get out there.
This week we featured...
Portland Nursery 20th Annual Apple Tasting
A is for apple and you will find a ton of apples at Portland Nurseryís (503-231-5050) 20th Annual Apple tasting at the Stark Street location. Over 40 different varieties of apples and pears are available to taste. Many varieties are available for purchase with a percentage of the sales going to Elders in Action. There is a kidís area with face painting and balloon creations. Cooking demonstrations, an apple press and live music are also on the list of activities. Another reason for stopping by is to get a chance to vote for the best scarecrow. Fellow shoppers have entered their best scarecrows for the chance to win prizes. You can also shop from a variety of local vendors that will be offering local honey, mustard, jam and a whole lot more. Now is the time to also take advantage of all the wonderful fall perennials available at both locations of Portland Nursery.
Fall Indoor Plant Care
A lot of people take their indoor plants outside during the summer months. It is good to get them some sun and fresh air, but now is the time to bring them indoors for the coming winter. We had some tips that will help keep them healthy and happy. First, start adjusting them for the reduced light and watering they may encounter indoors. Next, prune off the old, dead or diseased leaves and limbs. Finally, get those bugs! Hit your plants with a stream of water from the hose. This will clean them up and get rid of most of your bad bugs that are on the plant. Next you will want to spray your plant with an insecticide. You can use one of the commercially available products out there. If you are concerned about chemicals or you have a citrus (or other edible plant) you can choose an insecticidal soap or Neem Oil product. The insecticides will kill the sucking insects, the natural products smother them. Check with your local independent garden centers for more tips.
Red Pig Small Tools
Small tools help the gardener get the job done quicker and easier. But there are some small tools that defy description and whose tasks are interesting. Bob Denman from Red Pig Tools (503-663-9404) is a tool genius and he pulled out some of the more interesting tools he makes. The first one was a girdling tool. This tool cuts a small piece of bark off a fruit tree and shocks the tree into producing more fruit. He then brought out a bench scoop that is designed to pick-up more stuff from your potting bench. He also had a weeding tool, a bulb lifter, a root hook and a ball weeder. These are all made by Bob and will last for generations to come. If you are interested in more tools you can check out their website for the full list of tools they make.
Dundee Wine Garden
Some of the most beautiful public gardens are in the strangest places. You would think that a small space of land between a highway and a production facility would not be anything to look at. We found a special garden at Argyle Winery (888-4-Argyle) in Dundee. Jim McDaniel is the man responsible for this amazing garden. Jim used to work in the tasting room and took on the task of building a display garden around the tasting room. He has picked a huge assortment of perennials that are tasty to the eyes (almost as tasty as their wines). His favorites include the Peruvian Verbena, Rudbeckia ĎIndian Summerí and the grassMiscanthus sinensis. He has also modified tools to help him keep a handle on the garden. If you are heading through Dundee, stop by the Argyle Winery, have sip of some excellent wines and stroll through the garden.
Hughes Lily Bloom
This past summer we visited the Victorian Waterlilies at Hughes Water Gardens (503-638-1709) during their Waterlily Festival. We marveled at the huge leaves and saw a couple of the day-old blooms. It is hard to see the lilies bloom since they are a night blooming plant and each bloom only lasts 2 nights. Well, we got permission and set up a camera to capture the night bloom of one of the plants. The results were spectacular especially right now. The plants are producing few leaves and more blooms. We got a first night bloom, which is white. The second night blooms are pink and then they are done! Stop by Hughes and see if you can catch the bloom before it is gone for this year!
Grimmís Lawn Seeding
Fall is a great time to plant or over-seed your lawn. Jeff Grimm took us to a home to walk us through the steps for success. First, you have to remove the old lawn either with a turf cutter or by spraying it with a broad herbicide (like a Round-up), then you add a couple of inches of garden mulch or compost and roto-till that in. You then roll it to remove the bumps and lumps. Next you call Grimmís Fuel (503-636-3623)! They will come out and apply another layer of mulch, and then a layer of a mulch and grass seed mixture. They can apply your new yard in a matter of minutes. Remember to act quickly, once the soil temperatures drop you will have to wait until spring for good seed germination.
Kindergarden Ė Leaf Cards
Falling leaves are a sign of fall and a reminder of a great craft for your kids. Amy Bigej from Alís Garden Center (503-981-1245) showed us how to use those readily-available leaves to create cute note cards and greeting cards from natureís bounty. The kids first picked fresh leaves off the trees (older ones are too dry to use) and then used paint to create a copy of the leaf on the paper. It is a wonderful way to get your kids ready, and excited, for the holidays.