Welcome to our first hour long Garden Time program of the spring. For the next 12 weeks we will expanding the show so you can get a ton more gardening information. We will also throw in a home or cooking segment too. We are excited this time of year for all the extra stuff we can bring you every week.
We also want to thank everyone who came out last weekend for the annual Spring GardenPalooza. It was a blast with a near-record crowd joining us. We saw lots of plants going to new homes and that always makes me happy!
This week we also welcome the Capitol Subaru family to Garden Time. We will be partnering with them in the new Garden Time Outback. Be looking for it for a chance to win a gift card to a great local nursery. More on that later…
Also we are just a few weeks away from our trip to Victoria BC. We have a few surprises for the people who have signed up for that trip. Once we finalize the tour to Victoria we will be announcing a new destination for our next Garden Time tour.
This week we featured...
Bees for Beginners
Recently we have heard a lot about colony collapse in honey bees. That has a lot of people interested in bees and in hosting hives at their homes. To learn what someone should do to get started we stopped by Ruhl Bee Supply (503-657-5399) and talked to John Edwards about what you need. First of all, how many hives should you have? John recommends that you should keep no more than 3 hives if you live in the city. You should also check with the city and county where you live to learn about any regulations (they have a handout at the store that covers most of the metro area) and you should also check with your neighbors. Someone could be allergic and you wouldn’t want to create any problems. Next is the type of hive you should get. There are many different types of hives. John showed us the traditional hive which has starter combs that the bees can use. These are upright and can be expanded by adding ‘supers’ to them. There are also hives that look like they are lying on their side. These have simple slats in them that the bees use to build combs without a starter comb. To find the one that is right for you, you should check with the staff at Ruhl Bee.
We then moved to equipment. John showed us a smoker. This is used to make the bees less aggressive. The smoke will lull them to sleep a little bit. Then you should look at some sort of protective gear for your face, arms and legs. Finally, John recommends a class (they have them at Ruhl bee) or a very good book. You really need to do your research first, so you can have a healthy and happy hive!
Small Trees for Small Spaces
Smaller gardens means smaller spaces for tree and other large plants. There are still lots of choices for large trees that don’t get so large. We stopped by Portland Nursery on Stark (503-231-5050) to check out some of the trees that they have to offer. Sara pointed out 4 that would do well in a small space or even a pot. These are also called parkway or parking strip tree because they stay so small. The first one we looked at was a Korean Dwarf Lilac called ‘Paliban’. This one will get to 5 feet and stay there. The best part is that it gets those fragrant lilac blooms in the middle of spring that will knock you out. Next we moved to a viburnum called ‘Allegheny’. Most people are familiar with viburnum in a shrub form, but this one is a variety that does well as a ‘standard’ (which means it has a trunk). This one stays about 8-10 feet tall and has those thick viburnum leaves too. It also has the showy clusters of blooms. The third plant we looked at was a Styrax Japonica or Japanese Snowbell. We have one of these in our garden and it has reached the maximum height of 20 feet. It is spectacular in the late spring with tons of fragrant white blooms. The rest of the summer it gives you lots of wonderful shade. It is one of our favorite plants. Finally we moved to another shrub that has been adapted to grow as a tree. The ‘Black Lace’ Elderberry is a great plant for the smaller garden because of all the different looks it gives you. You start with the colorful new growth, the showy pinkish blooms and then the lacy foliage for the rest of the season.
A lot of these trees qualify as Portland Street Trees, meaning they have been approved as trees that will not get invasive and disrupt utilities. They may also qualify for a ‘tree-bate’ from the city of Portland. If the tree is approved you could receive a $50 credit. Be sure to stop by either location of Portland Nursery (or check their website) for the details on this program and to find a tree that is just right for your small space!
Bauman’s at Fir Point Farms
A lot of people love the plants at Bauman’s Farm and Garden (503-792-3524) but the drive to Woodburn sometimes seems too long (though it is really close). To remedy that Bauman’s along with our friends at Fir Point Farms have teamed up to bring you the best of both worlds. Bauman’s will be selling plants at Fir Point Farms starting this weekend through Father’s Day. To kick things off the first 500 people who stop by the new location will get a new tomato plant. They also have some cool new plants that are available to the public for the spring. The first is a new coleus called ‘Yellowfin Tuna’. This is part of the new ‘Under the Sea’ collection of coleus because they look like exotic seaweed or fish. It has great green foliage. There are also new petunias on the market this year. One that you can find at Bauman’s is ‘Starlight Orange’, they pair that one with a new Superbells Calibrachoa called ‘Spicy’ in a hanging basket that looks fantastic. You can also get the plants separately if you want to add them to your garden. If you want to get a treat you can eat, stop by Fir Point Farms. Then wander back to the greenhouse and pick up a plant or 2 to take home.
Call 811 Before You Dig
There is no better feeling than turning some soil in your garden. That feeling will disappear quickly if you dig into a utility line. We found out that there is a new, easy way to avoid this problem. Scott from NW Natural Gas told us about the 811 number. This number is a nationwide number to help homeowners and businesses locate buried utility lines so you can stay out of trouble. The ‘Call Before You Dig’ program is not new, but people still don’t know much about it! One call will help you locate any line. If you don’t call you can be held liable for the damages of cutting a line. Besides, it is the right thing to do! Just call 811 (www.call811.com) two business days before you dig.
Everyone is focused on blooms in the spring when it comes to color, but you can get lots of spring, and year round color, if you focus on conifers in the garden. We stopped by Tsugawa’s in Woodland (360-225-8750) to check out some of the cool conifers that they have to offer. Brian showed us a nice selection of plants that they carry starting with the plant that started it all, the Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pine. This one was found by a hunter in the hills of eastern Oregon and it has been a wonderful plant in many Northwest gardens. Next we saw the Eastern Hemlock ‘Golden Duchess’. This one stays low and has a drooping spreading habit. It will only get 2-3 feet tall so it can stay low and not over-power your other plants. Then we went to the next plant which was a ‘sport’ (a part of a plant that is radically different than the parent plant, it is then cut and propagated as a separate plant) off a Nordman fir called ‘Golden Spreader’. It’s bright yellow coloring is great in those shady areas where it can really pop! The next plant didn’t have a ‘yellow’ color to make it interesting. This Norway Spruce called ’Pusch’ has something else cool about it. The new cones on this green plant are a bright red or crimson. It is a great plant for any part of the garden since it isn’t as sensitive to bright sun as some of the yellow varieties of plants. The final plant gets the tallest of the bunch. The ‘Skylands’ Golden Oriental Spruce gets close to 20 feet tall when it is mature, but it has that wonderful bright colors for brightening up any spot in the garden. If you are looking for something colorful and unique in the garden, consider a conifer and stop by Tsugawa’s to check out their selection.
Planting a Strawberry Pot
With the push for edibles in the garden the last few years we had the idea of bringing those edibles to your doorstep. We stopped by Little Baja (503-236-8834) to get some ideas from Wayne about planting strawberries and how to choose a pot to bring your fruit and vegetables to your deck or patio. First we pulled a strawberry pot out of his inventory, which was no problem with all the pots he has on the lot. We learned that you need to plant in layers. You don’t just fill the pot full of Black Gold soil and shove plants in! You fill your pot with soil up to the first holes and then place your plants in and then move to the next layer. We also learned a little bit about strawberries. ‘June-bearing’ gives you one crop. ‘Ever-bearing’ and ‘Day Neutral’ gives you 2 or more good crops of berries through-out the summer if you treat them well. There are a couple of other things that growers do to get a good crop… plant new berries every 3-4 years. For a list of varieties and recipes, check out www.oregon-strawberries.org. Finally we talked about planting trees and other fruits and vegetables in pots. Smaller varieties of fruit trees are very popular right now and you can even find single trees with multiple varieties on one trunk. These are great in containers. Wayne even told us about people who plant tomatoes in pots on their deck! Sounds like a winner to me! The reason for choosing a clay terra cotta container is in the clay. Clay breathes and allows air and water to move freely through the sides of the container. This makes for a healthier and happier plant. If you are looking to bring your gardening ‘up close and personal’ check out the selection of containers at Little Baja on Burnside in Portland.
Spring Basket Rejuvenation
Our hanging baskets are pathetic! If your containers are a little tired we’ll show you how to give them a fresh start. William got some helpful hints from MJ at Farmington Gardens (503-649-4568) in Beaverton. First of all she talked about the old basket. If you REALLY loved the plants and you want to save them you should look for new growth. Look for green buds or scratch the surface of the stems to see if they are green underneath. This will tell you if the plant made it through the winter. The other thing you will need to do is refresh the soil. Dig out the plants you want to keep and use fresh potting soil. The old soil has had all the nutrients taken out of it by the plants last year and they will need more ‘fuel’ to get going for the new season. After all that, it will still take lots of time to get your planter back to the shape it needs to be in! So you can see why MJ recommends starting all over. She told us how to use structure and color to build a winning hanging basket. MJ also showed us how to mix perennials and annuals to get great color all season long. She also rotates her annuals to freshen up her pots every couple of months. If you are looking for some great plants, or a little help in getting started on a new planter or basket, stop by Farmington Gardens!
Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest
William and Judy visited the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm for the Annual Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest (1-800-711-2006). This event showcases the fields full of beautiful tulip blooms. This year the early warm weather has the fields looking spectacular! Barb Iverson took Judy out to the vendor area and we checked out the new ‘Holland’ street scene that they have added for this year. It is just one of the new things they have added near the gift shop. Then we headed out to the fields where we were surrounded by incredible blooms! Barb says this is the best bloom she has seen in years. This year they have added a tour train that can take the elderly out into the fields. It has padded seats and stops at various parts of the field so everyone can get a good look. Plus it is a lot softer ride than the cow train! One area that we found interesting was the small display areas out in the fields. These areas featured all of the bulbs that they have planted in the field. You can take a look at these bulbs and compare them side by side. Once you figure out what you want, you can order them for next year. Also, if you are confused about which ones to get, you can order special prepackaged mixes of bulbs. This guarantees that you will have a nice combination of bulbs that will continue blooming for months. The flower fields are just hitting their peak and the farm is full of events and it is still a must see for anyone, even non-flower lovers. Every weekend they are packed with different activities including a wooden shoe carver, pony rides, arts and crafts, wine tasting and other entertainment for a small fee. Even when the weather is a little damp, the fields never disappoint. You can even check out their ‘field report’ link on their webpage for the most up-to-date bloom report. Bring a camera; this is a scene you have to capture on film!
Peninsula Roses 2014
Last year we followed the replanting of the rose garden at Peninsula Park as they prepared for the centennial celebration of the park. We found out later that they were not done. This past winter they received hundreds of new roses and did the hills around the garden with new roses. The garden is now complete and ready for the new season. It took lots of help to get the roses ready, first of all the volunteers took the donated roses from Bailey’s, Star and Week’s Roses and pruned the roots and canes and got them ready to plant. Then they went into the garden a couple of days later. This is just the start to a summer full of events again. Starting on the 26th of this month you can learn about how to take care of your own roses. They are having a bunch of free classes with the first one called Good Dirt on Roses: Tips for planting and they will continue every few weeks with a new topic. They are also going to have a movie premiere in June where they will show a documentary produced by 12-14 year olds about the history of the park and the neighborhood. It will be screened in the park on June 26th. If you are interested in any of these programs or want to volunteer you can contact the friends at www.Facebook.com/PenRoseFriends or PenroseVolunteers@Gmail.com.
Grand Valley Garden Gate
Metal is HOT in the garden this year and now you can join the ‘heavy metal’ trend and save yourself some time and money. We visited with Ed Viska of Grande Valley Ornamental Iron (503-981-6923) to check out one of the new metal garden gates they just finished. Old wooden gates look nice, but after about 6-8 years they can start to sag and even rot in certain conditions. Decorative metal gates look better and can last over 40 years with little or no maintenance. Sure they may cost a couple dollars more, but you won’t be replacing them! Ed walked us through the process of creating one of these functional art pieces. First you meet with Jan, Ed’s wife, who is the designer. She will help you come up with a perfect design. The best part is that they try to not copy any previous design, and that makes your gate unique! Then the plans go to the metal fabricators. These guys, build your gate piece by piece, by hand, right here in the Willamette Valley! They are true artists! Then, once the gate is done it goes to the painters to be powder-coated. This process actually bakes the paint on to the gate so it will never peel or rust. Then Grande Valley will send a crew out to install your gate. Let me tell you they do a great job. The posts are very long and when secured that gate will never move! If you don’t have time to wait and want a gate right away, stop by their store between Aurora and Hubbard to pick out one that is prefabricated. While there also check out their wonderful selection of arbors, trellises and other décor items. Then bring something ‘hot’ to your garden.
The TOAST event is happening this weekend in Downtown Portland! To learn more about it we stopped by the Big Bottom Whiskey in Hillsboro. This event is one of the largest craft spirit and distillery tastings in the world. The Oregon Distillers Guild is behind this event and they are responsible for promoting the craft distilling industry in Oregon. They have a great website called the Oregon Distillery Trail. This website features tours and destinations for fans of distilled spirits. They also sponsor the TOAST event. Ted Pappas met with William in the tasting room of Big Bottom to share a great cocktail, the traditional spring drink, the ‘mint julep’. The TOAST event kicked off last night and is continuing tonight, April 12th at the World Trade Center in downtown Portland from 4-10pm. The cost for tickets is just $20 on-line, $25 at the door. There is also an on-site liquor store so you can take home a bottle or two of a spirit that you like.
Now back to the cocktail… The difference with this mint julep is that Ted makes his simple syrup with the mint in it. In the past your would muddle the mint in a glass and add ice. In the end you would end up with green pieces of mint in your teeth! Since the mint is cooked with the simple syrup and then strained, you don’t get any piece in your teeth! You take a cup of water and a cup of sugar and put it in a container on the stove. Add the mint and let it simmer for about 20 minutes until the fluid gets like a syrup, that is a simple syrup. Now to make the cocktail… take a shaker and add ice. Put in 2 ounces of Big Bottom Whisky, 2 ounces of the mint flavored simple syrup and then shake. Strain into a martini glass and add a sprig of mint for an accent! Enjoy. You can also enjoy when you come to the TOAST event. Don’t miss it.