Cold rains don’t bother us in the Pacific Northwest…. This week we have been battling the cold weather, but I know that the garden needs it. And not just our garden! The tulip fields at Wooden Shoe in Woodburn were blooming really fast, as were the lilacs in Woodland, Washington. This cool weather has slowed things down quite a bit and that means we can enjoy these blooms a lot longer. That also means you can still enjoy both locations for a few more weeks. In fact we dodged a few short showers to travel to the Lilac Gardens this week. Check out our story below.
This week we also introduced our new set of wheels, the Capitol Subaru Outback. We now have a large flower on the side of the car. If you see us, give us a honk and a wave! We are happy to partner with our friends at Capitol Subaru for this wonderful vehicle.
Also, you may have noticed that we are doing some ‘home and cooking’ stories on the show. While we have this longer one-hour format we have decided to showcase some cool ‘garden related’ recipes and helpful home tips on the program. You will notice that they appear at the end of the program so you can get out in the garden earlier if you are not interested in those topics. Still, we would want to thank our ‘home’ friends for supporting the show and we would ask that you do the same!
This week we featured...
Slug and Snail Control
SLUGS!!! These little pests will devour your new plants and vegetables. If you are looking for a way to keep them in check, William and Judy had a selection of different ways you can deter them or just get rid of them. Slugs are a real problem here in the Northwest and spring is the time when you may notice them the most. They will eat the foliage off your nice garden plants and may even eat the plants as they are just coming out of the ground. Look for holes in the leaves of your tulips, iris and hostas. These are a few of their early spring favorites. First we talked about the chemical baits that you can use. These tend to be the most effective and are made with Metaldehyde which goes by the brand name of Meta. You can get this bait in a liquid, meal and pellet form. If you have children or pets and are looking for something safer, you can check out the products that contain iron phosphate. These are safe around pets and children. William and Judy also talked about the non-chemical methods of control. They covered beer traps, which work like a scent trap, and copper tape which gives them a shock. You can even search your garden in the early morning, finding them under boards and rocks, and just dropping them in a bath of soapy water or just cutting them in half with your pruners. Take the time to find the method that’s best for you and check with your local garden center if you need help.
Pittock Rose and Terraces
The Pittock mansion (503-823-3623) in northwest Portland is celebrating their centennial this year. To mark that occasion they have a bunch of activities happening all year long. We were able to be there when they dedicated a new rose to Georgiana Pittock by the Royal Rosarians. This was a wonderful tribute to the woman who helped start our current Rose Festival with some of her friends. She and her husband were leaders in the early days of Portland and their home is a wonderful reminder of days gone by. Pittock volunteer Shirley Edwards shared some of the Pittock history with us and also gave us some details on growing this wonderful rose. If you would like to add this rose to your garden you can find it at Dennis 7 Dee’s on Powell and at the Mansion gift shop.
Unfortunately, that home was in danger of some major damage from our weather. The terraces were not draining correctly and the water was undermining the foundation of the building. Last year they did a major re-building of the terraces and executive Director Marta Bones showed us how it will extend the life of the mansion for generations to come. If you would like to tour the mansion and share it with friend you can print out a 2 for 1 coupon that is good until the end of this month. Check out the link here and then go up and capture a piece of Portland history.
Outdoor Adventure at PCM
A few months ago we were at the Portland Children’s Museum (502-223-6500) to see the ground breaking on a new outdoor exhibit for children called Outdoor Adventure. This week we returned to see the grand opening of the space. It was incredible to see what they have done in such a short period of time. Kids were going crazy in this new space. We were joined by Ruth Shelly, the Executive Director of the Children’s Museum to get a tour of the area. We started at the top of the hill behind the museum. Here toddlers can find an area that is just right for them. There are areas to dig and fountains to play in. Then we moved to an area where children can build their own camping area with sticks and tarps. Then came the climbing tree, the mountain river that they can dam-up and control the flow of fresh water and a dry creek bed too. The lower part of the hill has a meadow and the amphitheater where events will be held all year long. It also has an indoor area that is loaded with fun activities. This grand opening is not the end of the project, there are plans for more activities on the hill and that means more fun for the whole family! For more information on volunteering, donating or bringing your family give them a call or check out their website. Oh, and you better bring a second set of clothes if you bring the kids! They will get ‘down and dirty’ while having the time of their lives!
Orchids in Terrariums
In the past we have shown you how easy it is to grow orchids. They like what you like! To make it easier you can grow them in a terrarium where you can control the environment even more. To learn how to do that we met with Stephanie Willis from the Oregon Orchid Society. She really loves orchids and that love has led her to growing them in containers. The pluses of growing in a terrarium is that you can control the atmospheric elements and get into the ‘details’ of growing. The drawbacks are that they need a little more attention to make sure they get a good start. Those drawbacks can be minimized if you follow the correct steps in planting your terrarium. Stephanie walked us through the steps. You start with a half inch layer of charcoal (to absorb odors and keep your water clean, and then you add a layer of gravel for drainage. Then she added a sphagnum moss to keep the soil mix from migrating down into the gravel and charcoal. Planting soil came next. The soil was an African Violet mix (a ‘light’ soil) with extra perlite added to make it even lighter, and then another layer of moss for a top dressing. Then the whole thing was watered down to get it wet and get it ready for plants. Stephanie picked plants that would stay small and not outgrow the terrarium too quickly. That included the orchid! She usually picks out 3 plant to accent her orchid selection so she has something of interest in the container even when the orchid is not in bloom. Finally she dressed the container with pieces of cork, rocks and other pieces to finish it off. If you would like to build something similar you can contact the Oregon Orchid Society or stop by their 2014 Oregon Orchid Show and Sale, happening this weekend, the 26th and 27th of April, at the Ambridge Event Center in Portland from 10am to 5pm both days.
French Prairie Hanging Baskets
We are getting close to Mother’s Day and that means it is time to get your hanging baskets, but how do you take care of them once you have them. To learn some care tips we stopped by French Prairie Gardens (503-633-8445) in St. Paul and chatted with Stacy. French Prairie grows all their own baskets from tiny cuttings and they pick their own unique mixes of flowers. Like most growers they grow 2 types of baskets for their customers, sun and shade. There is a big difference between the two. As Stacy told us the shade baskets don’t like ‘sun on their heads’. That means light sun (possibly morning sun) and then shade in the heat of the day. The sun baskets are different. They like full sun most of the day. She warned us that we have to keep them well watered since they are in baskets and can dry out faster. Plus most of the varieties of plants they use are heavy feeders, and that means they like lots of fertilizer. They fertilize their plants at the farm once every week or 2 with a balanced 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer. If you follow these simple rules you will have great color all summer long. If you are looking for some really great hanging baskets stop by the farm and pick some up. While you are there enjoy in a little time in the country with a pastry from the bakeshop.
You can also call now to book a time for their Mother’s Day brunch. Spaces are limited so call now.
Kordell’s Spring Fragrant Plants
There is nothing better than a plant in full bloom, except when you pair that bloom with fragrance! We stopped by Kordell’s Produce (503-638-1014, 10 S.W. Rosemont Rd.) in West Linn at the corner of Stafford and Rosemont roads. Don’t be misled by the name, Kordell’s is a great garden nursery. In fact, we haven’t seen one with so much plant material! We met with Kordell in one of their greenhouses to take a look at some of the plants he loves for fragrance. First of all, he pulled about a hundred plants from the nursery, but we narrowed it down to just a few.
First we started with some of the larger and taller plants he liked, starting with gardenias. There are now a lot of hardy gardenias on the market, and even though they can survive in the landscape, Kordell recommends that you keep these in a pot on your deck or patio so you can enjoy the smell all summer long! Next we looked at a jasmine. Jasmine are great because they can bring height to your garden. They will climb up just about anything and in full sun, they perform really well. We finished the larger plants with a selection of daphne. Most of these like full sun and will do really well in a pot since they also like well drained soil and you can’t beat the smell!
We then moved to the smaller plants in the garden. We stared with the ever popular heliotrope. This is a favorite in every summer garden. They like a little break from the afternoon sun in the summer but they can overpower you with the smell of vanilla at their peak. We then saw a very interesting plant that is not known for its flowers. The Citronella Geranium is known for its lemony scent and its reputation for keeping the mosquitoes away if you grow it on your deck. Then for the REAL citrus smell you can try the Improved Meyers Lemon. This plant will permeate the air with a wonderful citrus smell when blooming and then reward your with actual lemons later in the season. It also needs to be in a container so you can bring it in during the coldest of winter months. If you would like to have some of the best in local produce stop by during the summer months, but for the best in garden plants you can stop by anytime! Get some of these and enjoy a season of ‘scent’ in your garden.
2014 Hulda Klager Lilac Days
It is that time of year, Lilac time. We took the short trip up I-5 to Woodland Washington to check out the lilacs at the Hulda Klager Lilac Days (360-225-8996). The 2014 Lilac Days will run from this weekend through Mother’s Day. Hulda hybridized many lilacs and became known as the ‘Lilac Lady’ in the Woodland area. She opened her garden to the public for an open house in the spring during the 20’s. She passed away in 1960. You can read more about this wonderful woman in this past issue of the Garden Time On-line magazine. You can sign up for your copy on the home page of the Garden Time website.
The Hulda Klager Lilac Society now runs the garden and opens it every year for this festival. They charge a small fee during the festival. That, and the proceeds from the gift shop, keeps this garden going all year long. Another way that the group raises money for the garden is through a lilac plant sale. Of the over 400 varieties of lilacs in the garden you will find over 100 available for sale. Some are blooming in pots and when you take them home they can make an instant bang in your garden. All these funds are used to continue to improve the garden, including the ample covered seating! Take the time and visit it when you get a chance, it is spectacular!
Plant your strawberries now for a bountiful harvest this coming summer. Mark Bigej from Al’s Garden Center (503-726-1162) explained the different types of strawberries to William and even showed us how to plant them. There are 2 main types of berries you can plant. ‘June-bearing’ gives you one crop and are perfect for lots of berries at one time for canning and preserving. ‘Ever-bearing’ gives you lots of small crops, and are great for handfuls of berries until the first frost. For best results plant your plants in a row about 1 foot apart. Amend the soil with a time released transplant fertilizer. You should also keep the crown of the plant above the soil level. There are a couple of other things that growers do to get a good crop… plant new berries every 3-4 years. Some gardeners ‘tip back’ the plant, which means you cut off the runners. This makes the plant put its energy into the fruit, but Mark told us it is not necessary. Another tip that some gardeners do is to remove the blooms from your first year plants to promote root growth and make a better harvest in year #2… but we think that may be going too far! Check out your local garden centers for a full range of varieties.
New Tigressa Carpets
Like the garden there are ‘new and improved’ products every year. This includes carpet! To learn more about this home necessity we stopped by Cascade Flooring America (800-942-0376) in Vancouver and talked to Sunny, the owner. Home improvement is unique and individual, which means no two remodels are the same. For a lot of people the easiest place to start is with new carpet. Lately, Tigressa worked on their wonderful ‘stain-resistant’ carpet and made it even more soft. You can now get the best of both worlds when it comes to floorcovering and save money since the cost of manufacturing has dropped! There are many different types of flooring that can handle every day wear and tear, and it is not just vinyl either. Composite flooring, wood floors, and tile are all very popular; and once again the costs have been dropping on those as well.
If you are thinking about starting a remodeling project the best time may be this weekend at Cascade Flooring America. They are having their Semi-Annual Sale on the weekend of May 3rd and 4th. They have some great savings on different flooring, tiles and carpets. If you are looking for some helpful advice and savings to boot, stop on by or better yet, call and reserve some time with a designer so you can make the right choice the first time!