Welcome to spring! Well… it looks like spring at the Oregon Convention Center. We bring you the 2008 Yard, Garden and PatioShow in this week’s special episode. This show is where you will find the greatest plants, garden tools and tips. There are other garden shows but this one is sponsored by the garden industry and local garden centers. We took a tour of the show and featured six exhibitors, but you can find a whole lot more when you pay a visit.
At the show we featured...
One of the features of this year’s show is the emphasis on pet friendly gardens. More and more people are looking at sharing the garden with all their family members, including their pets. Steve Varga gave us a tour of the ProGrass (800-776-4727) display. It featured some elements of a pet friendly garden and some elements of a human friendly garden, and they blended beautifully. On the pet side Steve told us about how the garden needs to be designed for the specific pet that you own. Things like plant selection, borders and edging, water and digging spots all have to be considered. On the human side, creating an area that is fun for people and safe for pets could mean subtle changes. An example is water features. You would not want to use a rubber pond liner for water features. This can be destroyed if an animal were to use the pond. It is better to use a harder concrete or mortar to line your pond to prevent damage. For more information on designing a pet friendly garden, check with the experts at ProGrass. Also, you can have $2 of your admission price benefit the Oregon Humane Society by printing a coupon off their website.
Now that you have thought about your pets, it is time to think about hardscapes for the entertainment areas of your garden. Ron Putz of Mutual Materials (888-688-8250) told about some of the new designs and developments in concrete and stone hardscapes. First we saw some stacked columns of stone that were built in a square. These can be bought and stacked in a weekend to create a spectacular entryway! Then we saw how you can even use some of the same material to build planters and walls. Then we talked about the new patio system that uses pedestals to allow you to build a new patio over an existing one without any teardown of the old patio. This system was great and it allowed for drainage and even had different types of surfaces that you can interchange. Finally, we talked about using some of the Mutual Material product to create a outdoor BBQ area. This will make your outdoor entertaining complete! Mutual Material products are available at branch offices and select local home centers.
Al’s Garden Center
How will you look at 60? Will you be young and growing? Well, Al’s Garden Centers (503-726-1162) are turning 60 and going strong! Mark Bigej filled us in on some of the history of Al’s and noted that the size of their Yard, Garden and Patio booth is roughly the size of their first store! Al’s is known for their great customer service and quality plants. They grow over 90% of all the plants they sell! He found a few of those plants to highlight. The first couple were conifers; a Golden Spanish Fir ‘Aurea’ and a pine called ‘Kotobuki’. Then we moved to the inside of their booth where we found cedar ‘Divinely Blue’ and Bergenia ‘Solar Flare’. You can find great plants like these at all 3 locations of Al’s Garden Centers.
Hughes Water Gardens
Water gardening can seem intimidating, but our friends at Hughes Water Gardens (503-638-1709) make it seem easy. If you stop by their booth you will see some really great water features that they built in less than two days! And they can help you do the same! Eamonn Hughes was especially proud of a three urn disappearing fountain. It is called "disappearing" because the water seems to disappear into the ground at the base of the urns. It actually falls into a reservoir under some rocks and is recirculated. Eamonn also told us about some tips you need to think about as the weather grows warmer. Algae can take over your pond and make a real mess of things. There are numerous treatments that you can use that are safe for pets, plants and other wildlife, but make sure you pick the right one for your pond. Also, if you have fish you may want to hold off on feeding them until the weather warms up. The use of high protein foods can do more harm than good. If you have any questions about water features, water plants or fish, stop by the Hughes booth or their store in Sherwood for help.
Ferguson’s Fragrant Nursery
Every year there is one ‘show-stopping’ booth at the YGP and it always seems to be the Ferguson’s Fragrant Nursery (503-633-4585) booth. Danielle Ferguson showed us how great a winter garden can be! Almost all of the plants in her display are blooming right now in gardens around the area. We saw daphnes, witch hazels, hellebores, euphorbias, and peiris. She even featured euphorbia ‘Tasmanian Tiger’ and heuchera ‘Midnight Rose’. With all these plants being bought at the show we asked Danielle for tips on being successful. She recommended that people allow their new purchases to acclimate in a protected area like a deck or in a garage. If you want to have all your senses stimulated, stop by the Ferguson’s booth or their nursery.
Bauman’s Farm and Garden
Our final stop was a down-home adventure. Bauman’s Farm and Garden (503-792-3524) brought the farm to the Oregon Convention Center. Brian Bauman showed us how his booth recreates an indoor parlor and an outdoor garden center. We started with the indoor area and saw some great indoor plants, some of Bauman’s great preserves and even a fake kitten that looks almost alive! It even looks like it is breathing! We then moved ‘outdoors’ to see interesting planters that are shaped like animals. There was also the spectacular Billbergia ‘Queens Tears’. This plant is a great indoor plant that you can enjoy during the winter months and after a few years it can grow large enough to divide into smaller plants that you can share with family and friends. Bauman’s Farm and Garden is a must see when you go to the Yard, Garden and Patio show this year and anytime during the year.