Back to School, those dreaded words that signal the end of the summer, but does it really? We are having some of the hottest weather of the year right now and there is more and more fresh produce coming in from the garden every day. It doesn’t sound like the end of summer to me. There are plenty of warm and wonderful days ahead, get out and enjoy them!
And speaking of getting out and enjoying the summer and fall, this coming week will kick off the ‘GardenPalooza: the Tour’ event (September 15-18) at various nurseries and garden stores around the area. You can check out the www.GardenPalooza.com website to see videos of the featured garden centers, get coupons and special offers and see a complete list of events at the garden centers. We will also have William and Judy making special appearances at select locations with giveaways and other freebies. You can also sign up to receive a gift certificate to a local restaurant! Hope see you all sometime between Thursday and Sunday of this coming week.
This week we featured...
Amazing Animal Plants
Kids have lost touch with gardening and the simple joy of getting outside. To combat that, a local hospital has created a garden that is very kid friendly. We paid a visit to an old friend of Garden Time, Teresia Hazen from Legacy Health who is in charge of the Children’s Garden at Legacy Emanuel Hospital. Teresia and her team have created an amazing garden that is open to all members of the community. In addition to creating this wonderful retreat they also conduct classes and host activities that help kids get back in touch with the earth. This month they have plants around the garden with animal names labeled for kids to find. Plants like ‘Monkey Puzzle’, ‘Dinosaur food’ and ‘Shrimp Plant’ can be found in different areas of the garden. You will also find humming bird feeders, bird houses, a yellow brick road and even the Tin Man. Teresia recommends a book that all parents should read called ‘Last Child in the Woods’ by Richard Louv that will get you excited about getting your kids back out in the garden! For more information about the garden or any of the ‘healing gardens’ in the Legacy Health network you can check out their website at www.LegacyHealth.org/Gardens.
Fall Hydrangea Care
Recently Madonna was presented a bouquet of hydrangea blooms and she stuffed them under a table and said that she ‘absolutely loathed’ hydrangeas. Well, she may hate them, but most gardeners find them a wonderful plant that delivers great color to the garden without a lot of care. Now is the time to start cutting back your hydrangea plants in preparation for winter. We traveled to Hydrangeas Plus (866-433-7896) to get some tips on making those hard cuts to your hydrangeas. This time of year you will start to see the buds for next year’s growth and fall is an excellent time to prune your plants to shape too. Don’t worry about making those hard cuts; you can take off as much as a third of your old wood if you want. Kristin VanHoose showed us where to make those important cuts, but if you still are worried you can give them a call (or drop them a line) anytime.
Pest Patrol - Wasp Solutions
It is that time of year when the wasps start to make their way into our gardens (and picnics, and parties, etc.) We found a couple of nests in our neighborhood so we thought we could share some information with you about dealing with them. First of all, if they are not in an area where there are a lot of people, you can just leave them alone. Wasps can be a beneficial insect if they are not bothering people. Next identify the type of flying insect you are dealing with. If it is a honey bee colony you can get a bee-keeper to come and get them and they can soon be put to work in an orchard making honey! If it is a harmful pest, you can buy an insecticide, and apply it yourself, find a repellant or get a hormone trap. If you are looking to repel them, some folks swear that dryer sheets are great for doing that. Just place them around the table if you are eating and they will stay away. If you use a hormone trap you will need to make sure that you have a fresh batch of hormone attractant and then place the trap in an area away from your food. You want them to fly away from your entertaining area. If you are using an insecticide remember to ALWAYS read the label, it is the law! You will want to wait until dusk, that is when all the wasps return to the hive, and you can make sure you get them all. Get a product that has a stream sprayer, this will get you out of the area where the nest is. And finally, use protective clothing and don’t spray in a breeze. You want to make sure that you get the bugs that are causing a problem and not any helpful bugs… follow these simple rules and you can be stinger free this summer.
Kindergarden – Planting Pea Pots
Our kindergarden segment is brought to us from our friends at Legacy Health and the Children’s Garden at Emanuel Hospital. Kids love planting seeds and this project will allow them to plant seed and enjoy a wonderful taste treat in just a few weeks! This project involves planting pea seeds in a pot. Instead of having the seeds in the back of the yard where no one goes to visit them, now you can have your garden right up close and personal! Once the seeds start to grow you can train them up on a trellis or some stakes, and in just a few short weeks you can be enjoying fresh peas without having to travel out to the garden to pick them. They will be right on your deck for easy harvesting.
Senior Gardening Day
As we grow older it is important that we stay active to remain happy and healthy. For many senior citizens, gardening is a great way to do that. To help celebrate seniors and gardening the Friends of the Portland Memory Garden, Portland Parks and Recreation, Home Instead and Portland Nursery on Division (503-788-9000) have joined together to provide a day filled with music, fun activities and good times for any senior that can stop by. Sara Denney from Portland Nursery explained why this event is so important to our local seniors. It is also a great way to introduce some to the joys of gardening. Visitors can enjoy hands-on planting stations, where they can take a pot with bulbs home or even create a unique bookmark. There are light snacks, live music and even specials on plants for seniors. If you are a senior citizen, stop on by on Wednesday September 14th from 1-5 pm, get a little dirt under your nails and enjoy the benefits of gardening.
Year-Round Hanging Basket
The hanging basket is a symbol of summer. It is usually filled with colorful annuals including bacopa and tender fuchsias, but we found a basket that can last through summer and through the whole year too! Dan Heims from Terra Nova showed us a basket that was filled with perennials and other hardy plants. This basket was loaded with heuchera, heucherella, brunnera, begonia, and some new trailing tiarellas! It loves the shade, and is loaded with colorful leaves and flowers. During the winter months you can just take it down and place it on the ground. Water it and forget it. In the spring, trim off the old leaves and you are good to go again for the season. The only rules that remain the same are the ones about water and fertilizer. During the growing season, keep them well watered and fertilize once a month. Plant a basket with perennials this year and enjoy a year of great color and interest!