Happy Memorial Day weekend! It is the traditional start of the summer season. I’m dreaming of Gartner’s meat grilling on the deck and warm sun beating down on my well tended garden. BUT… I have the drip of constant rain showers on my deck and garden! Oh well! Still, I have to admit that the garden is starting to look good. Everything is still a little behind in their blooming but it is nice to have color and warmer temps. Now to dream about the 4th of July for another chance at a sunny holiday picnic.
This weekend is a great time to get out and enjoy all the festival around the area. One hot spot is Exit 263 off of I-5 near Keizer. You can check out the Peony Gardens and the Iris Fields at the same time To learn more about both of these events check out the stories below.
This week we featured...
Fisher Kombi System
We have featured the Kombi system before, but there have been a couple of new additions to the line of tools and the motors that run them. We stopped by Fisher Farm and Lawn (503-678-3200) to chat with David about those changes. The Kombi System is a group of tools that all use the same motor, all you have to do is change the attachment for the lawn or garden chore that you are trying to tackle. First of all there is the choice of power plants to run the system. You can get a number of different gas powered motors to meet you gardening needs. They even have the Easy 2 Start system that just needs a couple of light pulls to start your machine up. Then you have the full line of choices for attachments. These include sweepers, trimmers, edgers, cultivators, and pruners. These attachments are very easy to change too. Just unlock the attachment from the power unit and pull it out. Push the new one in and lock it and you are good to go. Check out the full selection at Fisher Farm and Lawn or you can check out the STIHL website for more information and a dealer near you.
Adelman Peony Gardens
It is Memorial Day weekend and that means the peonies are blooming. These easy and worry free plants are great in the garden and the best place to see them is Adelman Peony Gardens (503-393-6185) near Brooks. We visited a couple of years ago when they first planted their display garden and now that garden is looking fantastic! The plants are a little bit behind in their bloom cycle but that just means that you will see varieties that are normally done blooming by this time of year. A couple of the varieties that we found included ‘Merry Mayshine’ and Hephestos’. Carol Adelman showed us around the garden and told us about common problems that the home gardener might be experiencing. The only thing that the home gardener may have on their peonies is a fungus. This is caused by the cold and wet spring and if you notice it all you have to do is cut off the infected parts and spray with a fungicide similar to one you would use for Black Spot on your roses. They are so easy to care for that is about the only problem that you will encounter in your home garden. We then talked about one of the most interesting event for peony lovers in the Northwest. The American Peony Society is having their annual convention in Wilsonville at the Holiday Inn. This is the first time they have had the convention on the west coast in the history of their society. You can check out the peony blooms from around the country at the hotel on Saturday from 1 to 5:30 and Sunday from 9 to 4. If you miss this flower display you can still visit the bigger one at the Adelman Peony Gardens through the middle of June.
Schreiner’s Iris Gardens
Another of the showcase events in our area is the Memorial Day chicken Dinner at Schreiner’s Iris Garden’s (1-800-525-2367). We stopped by and found that the blooms are just starting to pop. The colder weather has slowed the blooms down and it seems like they were just waiting for this weekend to show off. Steve Schreiner took us out to the display garden to show us the great mixed beds and also to show us the new catalogue. OK, it was just a fake one with William’s picture on it, but that is the type of fun everyone has at the gardens. It is hard not to have fun with all this wonderful color. The scent in the display gardens is intoxicating. People forget that most iris have a wonderful smell. Each bloom will remind you of candy, sugar, bubble gum or some other great smell. Schreiner’s even has a fragrant collection that you can order for your own garden. The flowers in the garden are also wonderful because they are all labeled and are easy to see even if you have limited mobility. Iris also make great cut flowers and you can pick up growing tips for your own garden, though they are one of the easiest plants to grow. They like full sun, have little or no disease and other than slugs, they have no pest problems. If you want to see the fields or the display garden you have plenty of time to do so, they will be looking good until the middle of June. Stop by and check out all the colors!
Ants are the #1 pest problem in the US. Recently we have noticed that we are having a bad year for ants. To learn how to get rid of them we contacted Norm from Central Garden and Pet. A couple of years ago we met with Norm to learn about the Amdro product. Norm explained how the Amdro product creates a barrier to your home. The ants treat this as a food. The other products only take care of the ants that touch the product. Amdro is a bait that they take back to the nest. They take it back to the queen and once she is gone, so is the problem. This time Norm also showed us the new line of products from Grants Kills Ants. Grants has come up with a liquid and a solid product that works as well as the Amdro product. For the liquid version all you do is remove a small stopper from the trap. The ants climb in and take the ‘food’ back to the hive. Grants has come out with a solid product that is safe around kids and pets. It is in a capsule that only allows the ants in and out. There is also a spray product that works on contact! You can find these products at selected home and garden retailers all over the state.
A couple of times this spring we have told you about the wonderful new Earthpot. This is a pot that is made from a biodegradable paper material that will breakdown in the soil, leaving you with a healthier plant and no plastic waste to get rid of. This week we heard a story from Jonn at the Garden Corner in Tualatin that was pretty interesting and so we stopped by his nursery to learn more. Recently he took his family to Seattle to visit the Pacific Science Center and saw their whale exhibit. Under the whale display was a collection of garbage that they found in the whales stomach. This pile of trash included a plastic pot and a plastic plant tag from a nursery. This motivated Jonn to return to his nursery and to try and eliminate as much plastic from the nursery as possible. He is now growing perennials, annuals and vegetables in the Earthpot and he soon hopes to have all his plants in these earth-friendly containers. For more information you can stop by and see him at the nursery or go on-line to the Earthpots website, www.OBCEarthpots.com.