So much for no 90 degree days this summer! For those of us in the valley it has been a pretty mild summer. As our friends and neighbors have been baking all over the country, we have been blessed with some pretty nice weather. Lately things have been heating up and though we are approaching the end of the season we still have plenty of nice weather ahead. Be sure to keep your plants (as well as yourself) well-watered. Enjoy these last few days before the kids head back to school and get outside and enjoy the garden.
A couple of notes… next week we will not have a new ‘Garden Time’ show. We are taking the weekend off. We will return with a new show on the 10th. We are also just a few weeks away from ‘GardenPalooza: the Tour’. This is a 4 day event that will feature selected nurseries and garden vendors from around the valley. Be sure to check out www.GardenPalooza.com for daily updates.
This week we featured...
Swan Island Dahlia Festival
WOW! If you have never been to the dahlia festival you have missed one of the most spectacular shows of the summer. 40 acres of blooms greet you as you drive up. But that is only part of it… Nick Gitts from Swan Island Dahlias (800-410-6540) showed us the different styles of dahlias and high-lighted a couple of the different varieties. We saw the different styles of flowers including pom pon, orchid, single, collarette, cactus, decorative, Waterlily, and laciniated. The colors are just fantastic too, just about every color except blue! He also filled us in the special events that they have planned for the 2 weekends of the festival. If you stop by on August 27, 28, 29 and September 3, 4, 5 (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) you will also get a chance to see over 15,000 blooms in 400 different cut flower arraignments. You can also enjoy food, cut flowers and informational talks to help you grow dahlias like the experts. And it is all free. Take some time to head down to Canby (not Swan Island) for the annual dahlia festival.
Bauman Plant Trials
We all want to get a sneak peek at new and exciting things before the rest of the crowd. For the gardener that means ‘plant trials’. Plant Trials are when growers try out new varieties to see how they grow and they present these new plants to retailers and other people to get their reactions. This year Brian Bauman of Bauman’s Farm and Garden (503-792-3524) is working with numerous growers to see what they have in store for 2012 and he is offering everyone a glimpse at what is coming up. These new plants will be on display from September 1st through the 10th during their Red Carpet Plant Premier. Also during this event you will get a chance to see over 150 different hanging basket combinations. You can vote on the ones you like and even place your order for next year. When spring rolls around and your basket is ready, they will call you so you can come and pick it up. All this kicks off with the 2nd annual Chicks Night Out on the 1st from 5-8pm. All the ladies are invited and the first 500 women will receive a free Solenia sun begonia. Events that are scheduled for the 1st include a prize wheel, wine tasting, food sampling and a fashion show. These events are a great start to your fall and a wonderful way to end your summer!
Kindergarden – Lettuce Bowls
This week our kindergarden segment comes to you from the Children’s Hospital Garden at Legacy Emanuel in North Portland. This therapeutic garden is especially designed for children and their families and is open 24/7 in the center of the hospital. Registered Horticultural Therapist Teresia Hazen invited us out to show us how to plant a lettuce bowl. A family that was visiting the garden lent a helping hand as we walked through the steps. First you get a planter and fill it full of potting soil. Leave about an inch and a half of room at the top so the water stays in and the soil doesn’t wash out. Have your kids sprinkle the lettuce seeds on top of the soil. They are small seeds so make sure that they get spread out evenly. Next cover the seed with a tiny layer of soil (about ¼ inch) and water them in. In a few days you will see the seeds sprout and in about 3 weeks you can harvest fresh lettuce. Cut the plant with a scissors at the base and let it re-grow you will be enjoying lettuce for many more weeks to come. This is a great project for the whole family and it will get your kids excited about getting out and gardening!
There are so many different tools on the market these days and new ones are introduced all the time. But some of the best tools are ones that have stood the test of time. Some of these older tools are ones that have fallen out of favor but may still be more effective than some of the newer models. To see some of these old, more unique, tools we stopped by Red Pig Garden Tools (503-663-9404) in Boring and chatted with Bob Denman. Bob not only sells tools, he makes them. Some of these tools were his newer versions of an older model. The first one he showed us was one called the ‘Woodsmans Pal’. Originally designed for use by the Marines in the jungles during World War 2, it is now used to cut through tough brush like blackberries and scotch broom. We then looked at a ‘hop hoe’. It was originally used to work around hops in Europe, but now is used as a good hoe/digging tool by local gardeners. For all our University of Oregon fans we next looked at a ‘Duck foot cultivator’. This one was a multi-use tool. Different edges of the tool allowed you to hoe, weed, break up soil, create furrows and much more. It is a great tool if you don’t want to carry a bunch of long handled tools around the garden. These are just a few of the different tools that Bob makes. If you are look for a specific tool or you want to have one specially made, give him a call. He even will show you how to use your tools to prevent injury and to help you make your gardening tasks easier!
The Labor Day weekend is here and that means one last big Bar-B-Que for the summer. With all that is going on you don’t want to waste your time in the kitchen trying to feed everyone. Jerry from Gartner’s Meats (503-252-7801) invited us to his place to show us how easy outdoor entertaining can be! Jerry had the Traeger Grill loaded with marinated chicken breasts, portabella mushrooms stuffed with Italian sausage and twice baked potatoes. These were joined by a full compliment of macaroni and potato salads, breads, rice dishes and other treats that you will also find at Gartner’s. The chicken was the highlight of the show. These breasts were marinated in Gartner’s own special marinade and grilled on medium heat until they had reached 160 degrees. If you are not into chicken, Gartner’s has other goodies for the grill including steaks, burgers, short ribs, brats, and chops among others. If you are looking for a quick and easy meal, anytime, stop by Gartner’s.
A lot of people are looking for that tropical feel in their gardens, but most of the tropical plants are not hardy in our area. We found some plants that are not only hardy; they are perfect for a lush tropical jungle feel! Wayne at Little Baja (503-654-5359) told us about their partnership with Oregon Palm Nursery. They now have palms and bamboo for their customers. The palms are hardy in our area down to 10 degrees! You want to make sure that they are planted in a good draining soil, a little sandy if possible. Water them well for the first year until they are established and then sit back and enjoy them year round in your garden.