Have you made a trip yet? When we are out shooting new stories for the show each week we have noticed that there are a lot of families loaded with camping gear and bikes, heading for the outdoors. With all this travel it is good to remember your garden. If you have an understanding neighbor, you could have them come over and water all the time, but what if they forget? It is a good idea to get some watering tools from your local garden center to help your plants survive your trips away from the garden. After all, you spent all that time getting everything ready for the summer; it would be too bad if it didn’t make it through the season!
This week we featured...
A variety of plant that is hard to kill is the sedum. These little wonders grow in areas that other plants find hard to endure. Donna Wright from Black Gold shared a way to enjoy your wreath on a garden wall or on your picnic table. She used a wire wreath frame and then planted 5-6 varieties of sedums in patterns of 3 for a beautiful display of color and texture. If you would like to build your own wreath, check out these directions.
Kindergarden – Rainbow Planter
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.
Grande Valley Iron Gates
Adding structure to your garden can take many forms. One way to do it is with fencing and gates. We were recently at Grande Valley Ornamental Iron (503-981-6923) and noticed some of the cool designs they had for gates and fences. We met with Ed to learn about how they get the process started for new customers. It starts with a meeting. The new customer sits down with Jan, Ed’s wife and designer, to pencil out some ideas for design. Sometimes during these meetings they can come up with 2-3 different ideas. Then Ed and Jan will make a visit to the garden and do some measuring. This is where they get an idea for how the gate or fence will fit in the garden. They also fine tune the design at this point. They make these designs unique, in fact, a design will not be reused unless the owner agrees to share it, so they can be sure their design is one-of-a-kind! Once the gate is done it is delivered and installed. GVOI is getting quite the reputation. They have even build gates, fences, and fireplace screens for the abbey at Mt. Angel. If you are looking for a new gate that will compliment the beauty of your garden, check out Grande Valley Ornamental Iron.
This time of year there seems to be a fresh new berry getting ripe every day. While there is nothing like the taste of a fresh berry, sometimes we would like to preserve our favorites for later in the season. The best way to do that is by freezing them. To get some tips on freezing your berries we stopped by Smith Berry Barn (503-628-2172) in Scholls. Joelle and Rich grow dozens of different varieties of berries and they have become experts in preserving them. They have to; they use these fresh frozen berries in their delicious shakes and jams all year long! Joelle brought in some fresh raspberries to show us what to do. The first thing you do, no matter which berry you have is to refrigerate them. The berries continue to ripen even after you pick them, so the refrigeration helps slow down that process. If you are getting ready to eat them or can them you wait until you are ready to use them before you wash them. This helps the berry stay firm. To wash them just float them in a bowl of clean water. This will remove any dust or sprays on them. Smith Berry Barn doesn’t use any sprays so it is just a tiny bit of dust that you will be removing. Once they are clean remove them from the water and pat them dry with a cloth or paper towel. If you are washing strawberries make sure you leave the stem on until you are done so the berry doesn’t get any water inside the fruit. Take the stem off right before you eat them or freeze them.
You can now eat them fresh or get them ready for freezing. To freeze them, spread them out on a cookie sheet or other tray in a single layer and place them in the freezer for about 4-6 hours depending on your freezer and the type of berry you are freezing. Take a bite of one to make sure they are frozen completely. You can then pour them into a sealed or zip-lock freezer bag for storage. Make sure you label the bag with the date to keep track of freshness. You can now pull the berries out and use them for any late season recipe that you have. Make sure they defrost before you add them to your recipe. To get some of the freshest berries check out the Smith Berry Barn website. They have a daily updated list of what is fresh in the fields!
STIHL Electric Tools
If you have a big yard or garden you know how tough it is to use electrical garden tools, so you are stuck with smelly gas powered equipment to get the job done. The newest in electric powered garden tools comes from a leader in garden equipment, STIHL. We joined our friend Wayne Sutton to learn about these new tools and what they can do in the garden. He brought out 2 different tools that are brand new to the market, a hedge trimmer and a lawn edger. These new tools have a lithium ion battery so they can really hold a charge. The batteries are interchangeable between units and they can even be ‘quick charged’ so you don’t have to wait to finish a job. Plus you won’t have to mess with the smelly gas of a combustion engine. There will be more tools coming out in the near future so check with your local STIHL dealer to see if they have a machine for your needs!
Growing orchids can be very intimidating, especially if they start to out grow their container and need a bigger space. Lori from the Oregon Orchid Society joined us to show us how easy it is to repot an orchid. You can repot an orchid to dress it up in a nicer pot or give it more room for growth. First of all don’t repot a plant when you first buy it. They are blooming and they don’t like to be messed with while they are blooming. Then we looked at a plant that was at the end of its bloom cycle. This one you could just tear off the old root ball and get the plant down to the good firm healthy roots. Cut off all the stray roots with a scissors. You will want to sterilize the scissors first. Next prepare the planting mixture. Lori recommends a bark mixture with vermiculite. You can make your mix like Lori or you can buy a good commercial product like the Black Gold Orchid mix. Remember that the orchid likes what we like; a warm room, good water and sunshine. You can finish by cutting off the old bloom which will send all the plant energy to the roots for future growth.