What a week it has been… it started out with some really nice weather for the GardenPalooza event. Gardeners were excited with all their new plants and décor items that they found at this Meta sponsored event (thanks Meta!). Then we had a few days of rain and as the week closed out we were looking at snow, hail and even a funnel cloud (nearly a tornado) in some areas of the state. Not fun. I thought that the groundhog had forecasted an early spring! Oh well, we are Oregonians and Washingtonians, and we are a hardy bunch… especially when it comes to gardening. So hang in there troops we know the weather will change, it’s just a matter of when!
This week we featured...
You would think that building a planted container for your deck or patio would be easy, but some people get a little overwhelmed in the details. Margie from Portland Nursery (503-231-5050) stepped in to get us back to the basics… the three main things you need, a container, good soil and a healthy plant. Things to remember, look for a pot that will accent your home, deck, or patio colors. As for soils, pick a good quality soil and add a slow release fertilizer. Finally, the plant you choose should be one that is not stressed and should be healthy. The one way to guarantee that is to buy your plants from a local grower or garden center! The coolest part of the planter that she showed us was the ‘Thriller’ plant… the ‘Chile Lantern Tree’, Crinodendron hookerianum. If you would like to build your own unique planter the Portland Nursery website has a featured ‘container of the month’ with a list of plants and a picture so you can see what it will look like when you are done!
Terrariums used to be BIG in the 70’s. I remember having a big acrylic ball with one in our living room. It was cool; it even had a little scene in it with a gnome skiing down some white rocks in the center. Well, terrariums have come a long way and to see the latest in designs we went to Cornell Farm (503-292-9895). Terrariums are basically small self contained gardens. They usually contain smaller varieties of plants and create their own atmosphere. Deby showed us how easy it is to build one. She started with a layer of decorative rocks on the bottom of the container. You can also use marble, glass beads, etc. anything to allow for good drainage. Then you need to add a layer of charcoal. This will help absorb and filter the fumes and smells from the decomposing plant material. Next we added a layer of Cornell Farm potting soil or you can use a good cactus mix for your potting soil. It is a quick draining soil that will keep the plants from sitting in water. Then we looked for small, slow growing plants to include in the scene. These plants included a spider plant and even some mosses. Remember; do not fertilize these plants because you don’t want them to grow fast. They even had a small hanging ball with an air plant and a larger teardrop planter that was hanging from the ceiling. You can fit them just about anywhere. You can check out a great selection of pre-built terrariums at Cornell, or stop by your local independent garden center for more information.
KinderGarden – Potato Bags
Our kindergardening segment this week will get your kids excited about gardening by creating a sack full of spuds! We visited with Amy Bigej at Al’s Garden Center (530-981-1245) and she showed us how to grow potatoes in a garbage sack. She used a black plastic bag, potting soil and a couple of your favorite garden potatoes. She started by punching holes in the bottom of the sack for drainage. Then we filled the sack one-third full of soil. Plant your potatoes in the soil (eyes up), then cover with more soil until the sack is roughly half-full. Keep it watered and keep it in the sun. As the plants grow, add more soil. At the end of the season split the bag open and harvest your spuds!
Spring Pots and Fountains
Just like clothing, pots and containers go into and out of style! We stopped by Terra Casa (503-577-8242) in Damascus to get a little ‘fashion show’ of the newest colors and styles of containers for the coming year. Nick told us about the new style of ‘flow’ pots. These have a ‘falling’ colored glaze that looks like it oozes down the side of the container. They had a turquoise, blue and even a ‘lava’ series of these ‘dripping’ glazed pots. Another of the hot trends is bright colors. Bright reds, greens and yellows are starting to show up in gardens around the area and they can make a statement in your garden. The big color this year is red. Copper reds and the ‘lava’ series have been some of the most popular items to leave the store. Nick also talked about the 3 basics of containers, the thriller, the filler and the spiller. This refers to the plants that you are using. The thriller is the main focal point plant. This is the one that will attract the most attention. The filler plants are the ones that create the base of your design and compliment the major piece. And the spiller… these are the plants that will spill over the sides of the pot to soften the edges of your container and really blend it into your landscape.
Next we took a walk over to the fountains. At Terra Casa they say that they can make a fountain out of any container at their store and now we believe them. Nick showed us how you can build a fountain above ground or even make a small feature that can be buried in your backyard. They will even come out and dig the hole for you and install it. The coolest feature that we saw was how they designed their water features so you can adjust the amount of splash you get. The valve is just right below the surface of the water, so all you have to do is reach in and turn the valve! If you love décor whether indoors or out, stop by Terra Casa. They are just 10 minutes east of Clackamas Town Center in Damascus.