Welcome to a preview of summer. If this week is any indication, we are in for a hot summer. This could create problems for some of your plants. Take some time during these early hot spells to see which plants are showing stress. This could be a sign of bigger problems further down the road. If they are showing signs of troubles now it could be worse once we get a really long stretch of hot weather later. A couple of ways to solve the problem include adjusting your watering system to cover those areas with stressed plants, moving the plants now so they can acclimate to a new area before the really hot weather arrives, or applying a nice 3 inch layer of mulch to your garden. The garden mulch idea is one of the best solutions. It protects the plants, holds in moisture, and breaks down into a nice fertilizer. Check out our story with Grimm’s Fuel to see how easy it is to have them apply it to your garden!
We also want to invite you to visit some of the great events and gardens happening around the area right now. There are 2 that are taking place just minutes apart in the Keizer area. Just off of I-5 at exit 263 are the Adelman Peony Garden and Schreiner’s Iris Gardens. Both have lovely display gardens, weekend events and gift shops. They also have plants and cut flowers for you to take home. The best part, there is no admission charge for either location. Head east from I-5 at exit 263 for Adelman’s and head west for Schreiner’s. The best part is to just enjoy these fantastic spring days, and events, while you can!
This week we featured...
Now is the time to plant your tomatoes and there are a few things you can do to ensure a bountiful fall crop. One thing you can do is to plant your tomato deep! Tomatoes will grow roots along their main stem as long as you leave a portion of the leaves above ground. Also, by adding a small amount of garden lime to the soil you can avoid ‘blossom end rot’, a condition that causes a brown spot at the end of your tomato. If your night time temperatures are still a little cool you may want to protect your new plants with a cover, like a cloche, or use a product like a Wall-o-Water. Don’t forget to set your tomato cages up as well. Use a couple of these tips now and you will have a great harvest this fall.
Must See Oregon
Oregon is a great place to visit. We tell that to our visiting friends and family, but do we even take the time to enjoy it ourselves. This weekend at the Oregon Garden (1-877-674-2733) you can ‘test drive’ Oregon! The first annual Must See Oregon event sponsored by Capitol Subaru, features over 40 exhibitors showcasing Oregon destinations and attractions. Admission to the garden is free and you can even tour the Frank Lloyd Wright Gordon House. Other events include talks by local travel experts like Grant McOmie and Steve Arndt, a fly casting clinic and a geocaching event. There are prize drawings, tickets to events and even autographed travel books that will be given away. If you are planning a vacation this year, this is a ‘must see’ event!
Burl’s Rare Plants
Some of the most unusual plants we see when we are shooting the shows are found at Rare Plant Research (503-780-6200). Burl Mostul, the owner, always has some very cool plants! We met him in his garden and checked out his olive trees. His had survived the cold winter pretty well and he told us why. It is because his are a mature plant. If you have a smaller olive tree with less than 1 inch diameter trunk, you will need to protect it. He did get some dieback but he didn’t lose the plant. He even told us that you may not have lost a plant when you think it has died. He has seen some of the plants send up shoots from the roots in some cases. So don’t be in a hurry to pull out those plants. Great tips!
We then went inside his new tasting room for his winery. He was getting his nursery ready for the big Annual Open Garden and Nursery which is happening this weekend, May 17th and 18th from 11am to 4pm and he pulled a couple of plants out for us to look at. The first one was Sinningia leucotricha which is from Brazil and has incredible pink blooms. The second plants were an assortment of Echeverias and aloes that love full sun. These will get as big as 16 inches across, but you have to protect them in the colder months of the year. The next plant was a pineapple lily called Eucomis ‘Victoria’. It doesn’t grow a pineapple, but the blooms look like little pineapples! The next plant was Hypoxis hemerocallidea, or commonly called African Potato. This is a medicinal plant from South Africa. It is hardy for our area and burl believes that this is the first time it has been grown in the northwest by a nursery. We actually bought one of these because of the bright yellow blooms that look like stars. Finally we looked at a variety of the pitcher plant, Sarraceniaceae ‘Scarlet Bell’. It is hardy for our area with Burl’s getting down to 8 degrees and bouncing back. If you are interested in seeing more of these plants you can check out the Rare Plant Research website or stop by this weekend and see them in person. While you are at the big open garden event, stop by the new tasting room and try out Burl’s great wines!
Rosarian Rose Contest
For over 100 years the Royal Rosarians have been the official greeters to the city of Portland and have been ambassadors of good will to guests of the city and the world. Since 1938 they have also sponsored the Royal Rosarian Foundation Rose Garden Contest. Royal Gardener Kimberly Evart Bown met us at the International Rose Test Garden at Washington Park in the Royal Rosarian Garden to tell us about the Royal Rosarians, the rose contest and how people can enter. The contest has many categories and is open to anyone within a 20 mile radius of Pioneer Courthouse Square. Generally they ask that gardens contain at least 25 roses to enter, but there are categories for special gardens that can have as few as 12 roses. Check out the Royal Rosarian website for details. Just click on the ‘Events’ link for all the rules and an entry form. The entry period ends on the 22nd of May. Judging takes place on the 1st of June followed by the awards presentation on June 17th at the Rosarian Garden.
If you get a chance you need to stop by the Rosarian Garden at Washington Park and see all the great flowers. It also contains plaques for all the Rosarian Prime Ministers to date. They also have a new statue that you have to see! And remember the Rosarian slogan… ‘For You a Rose in Portland Grows’.
Hanging Basket Roses
Did you know that roses make a great plant for a hanging basket. Not the huge climbers or hybrid tea roses, but the smaller ground cover type of roses. We met with Ben Hanna at Heirloom Roses (503-538-1576) and he showed us how easy it is to plant one of these baskets. First of all, you need one of those smaller varieties of rose that will cascade over the side of the container. Then you will need to plant at least 3 of them in one container so it fills out fast and looks even. Then you will need to water it in and watch the moisture level like you would with any type of hanging basket, and don’t forget to fertilize with a water soluble fertilizer every few weeks.
Now remember that you will only get one or two years of the rose in the basket, but the good news is that you can then move it into the ground in your regular garden and enjoy it for many more years! No more trying to winter over the old hanging basket to save the tender plants. If you are interested in trying out a rose basket, stop by Heirloom Roses between St. Paul and Newberg for some tips and some help. They will even pot it up for you. Remember to bring a picnic lunch, the display gardens are just starting to burst into bloom for the season!
Adelman Peony Gardens
We are at the end of May and that means the peonies are blooming. These easy and worry free plants are great in the garden and the best place to see them is Adelman Peony Gardens (503-393-6185) near Brooks. We visited a couple of years ago when they first planted their display garden and now that garden is looking fantastic! The plants are in full bloom and we are being treated to a show like we haven’t seen in years. Carol Adelman showed us around the garden and filled us in on the different styles of peonies. There are 3 basic types; herbaceous, tree and intersectional peonies. The herbaceous peony is one that will die back to the ground during the winter. Not to worry these plants are a favorite in the upper Midwest and can handle our coldest winter. They will return year after year. Then we talked about the tree peony. This is not really a tree, but a peony with a woody stem. These will lose their leaves but will also return every year and reward you with great blooms. These can be pruned back but you need to be careful not to cut off too much. The final type is the intersectional or Itoh peony. These were first hybridized by Mr. Itoh in Japan and combine some of the best attributes of the 2 other forms. They have wonderful foliage and great bloom color, plus they are hardy in all areas of Oregon! In the past she has told us about common problems that the home gardener might be experiencing. She showed us how to get a stronger plant by pulling off the side buds from your peony stalks. This lets your peony stand tall if it rains. Of course you can leave the side buds on and that will give you more blooms. We also asked about ants on peonies. A lot of people are worried about the ants on their plants. There is nothing to worry about. They are there because the plant is pushing sugary sap up the stems to the buds and the ants are just enjoying the feast. It is not causing harm to your plant. They will disappear after the flower blooms because the sap is gone! They are open every day from 9 to 6 until the 15th of June. They also have events happening every weekend so check out their website for more information.
Grimm’s Spring Mulching
Now is the time to apply a good layer of mulch to your garden. Chuck from Grimm’s Fuel (503-636-3623) joined us to talk about the different types of mulches you can get for your garden beds. In the past people liked the red, fresh color of a new Fir or Hemlock mulch. This type will age to a grey color and will help keep the weeds in check. The problem is that they tend to pull nitrogen from your soil as the wood breaks down and that leaves less for your plants. The other problem this year is availability. The wood based mulches are harder to come by due to the housing market, fuel costs and timber harvesting. The new popular mulch is Garden Mulch. This is a nice dark color and it will help your garden by providing nutrients for your plants. Grimm’s has all the different types of mulches and can deliver them in bulk or can even blow them in so the work is done and you save your back!
Refinish Your Deck
The summer is nearly here and it is time to refinish the deck to have it ready for the upcoming evenings of outdoor entertaining. To learn the steps we should take we stopped by Parr Lumber (866-214-7277) and talked to Amber. The key for your wood deck is to do the correct preparation before you start. If you have an older wood deck it probably looks pretty dull and grey. To get it back to its correct color you will need to clean and brighten it first. If you put the new stain on an old, unclean board it will look splotchy and uneven. The good news is that you can clean and brighten your deck in just one day! First you will need to get a good cleaner. There are fine products from Wolman and Superdeck, but you will need to check with a Parr expert to make sure that you get the right kind for your deck material. When you put the cleaner on your deck you need to work it around with a good stiff brush. After the cleaner is done, then you can use the brightener. Most of these brighteners will work on your deck while it is still wet. You can leave the brighteners on the surface for the recommended amount of time and just hose them off.
Once the deck is cleaned and brightened, then you can apply the new stain. There are lots of choices when it comes to stains. You can go from a semi-transparent which will allow you to see more of the natural grain in the wood to a solid stain which is more like paint. If you are changing the look of your deck and you are not sure about the new color, find a slightly hidden part of the deck and do a test patch. This will let you check the color before you do the whole deck. Wolman and Superdeck have great products here too, but we also talked about Penofin which has rosewood oils that will penetrate the wood and help protect it longer from UV damage and the RainCoat product which is more of a clear sealer. With most of these products you will need to redo the process every 2-3 years. Amber also recommends doing a thin coat to start with and then applying a second coat if needed.
If you have a new composite deck material they also have special cleaners for those that work great. If you need to clean and re-stain your deck, be sure to do the job right the first time with help from our friends at Parr.
A couple of weeks ago we visited with local author Laura B. Russell, who has written a new book called Brassicas. It is a book filled with great recipes and background on these, very healthy, yet underutilized vegetables. Today she shared an easy recipe for cauliflower! She just cut up the cauliflower into small pieces and placed them on a baking sheet with olive oil and salt. These went into the oven and roasted at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes, until they had browned. While they were in the oven she made a green salsa, called Salsa Verde, out of chopped parsley, green olives, capers, and chives. These were mixed with mustard and olive oil. Once the cauliflower was roasted it had dollops of the salsa placed on top and it was ready to eat.
She also showed us her Mexican Pickled Vegetables. These were made in a rice vinegar, garlic, water and oregano bath that is simmered on the stove for 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Another dish was a broccoli stalk and kohlrabi slaw that was easy to make at home or you could buy the shredded vegetables at the store and just add the dressing on top! If these all sound good let me tell you they were! You can try them yourself. Just pick up a copy of Laura’s new book and start getting healthy!
There is one thing in your home that serves a unique purpose and that is lighting. But you can use this functional item to create a new style for your home. Anne from Rejuvenation (503-238-1900) on SE Grand showed us some of the unique lighting styles they carry and talked about how the types of light, and where they are used can really make a difference in your home. First of all, she addressed the whole issue of incandescent bulbs being outlawed. They are slowly being phased out because they are so inefficient, but don’t worry the LED and compact florescent are getting better and can save you a ton of money. We found out that lighting is the jewelry of the home; it is one of those small things that can make a big difference. Rejuvenation specializes in reproduction and period lighting, your classic American lighting from the 1870’s to the 1960’s. They have styles that range from basic to eclectic! You can pick out ‘age appropriate’ lights if you are doing a remodel or you can also pick out lights that will help recreate a style or mood in a newer home as well. If you are looking for a unique finish or color they can help you out because they produce the period reproductions at the factory in Portland. If you are looking to add a new light to your home, either inside or out, then stop by Rejuvenation and talk to the experts.