It’s Rose Festival time and I think we may be bucking a trend! In years past the Festival has had the reputation of being a time for the early summer rains to start, but now it seems like we are getting a reprieve. I’m not going to complain! It is a great time to get out and enjoy some of the best days of the spring and start to get in the mood for summer. To get ready for the summer we are still putting plants in our garden. We stopped by a garden center the other day and walked out with 3 flats of plants. I think by August our garden will be packed with color!
A great place to get your final plants for the spring season will be at the Subaru Garden Dayz event happening at Capitol Subaru in Salem on the Parkway, next weekend the 14th from 11 to 3. William and Judy will be there along with a bunch of garden vendors. We will be giving away some seeds, plants and we’ll also have drawings for gift cards and Dramm garden tools. There will also be free hotdogs and pop. It should be a great event. Click on the Garden Time Subaru on our website for more information.
This week we featured...
Are you ‘space challenged’ when it comes to your patio or deck? Instead of spreading out your planters, consider going up! Donna Wright of Black Gold showed us how to stack your pots to add height to your plantings. We used smaller pots on top of a larger pot and built layers of 3. We showed you how to build one with color, but you can also make one filled with herbs to keep outside on your deck to use whenever you are cooking. We also used the Black Gold Coco Blend potting soil. The Coco Blend contains coconut fiber that helps retain water so you water less often.
Al’s Cocktails from the Garden
Summer is a time for gardening and a time for entertaining. At Al’s Garden Center Sherwood (503-726-1162) they can help you do both! We stopped by and chatted with Josh about how they can help you with your gardening and also with your cocktail making. There are lots of plants your can use for your cocktails and infused liquors. Herbs and fruits can be sliced, crushed and soaked to give your drinks different flavors and scents. Josh showed us how easy it is when you harvest to do something simple like ‘muddling’ some fresh fruits (strawberries and blueberries) and fresh mint. Muddling is when you lightly crush a fruit, herb or vegetable to release more flavor or fragrance. This is a great way to add a twist to any drink or cocktail (Josh also had an extra little twist of his own with a carbonated bottle). If you would like to learn more about mixing fresh ingredients in your summer drinks then you need to register for the Cocktails from the Garden event (register here). On June 19th at the Sherwood store and June 20th at the Gresham store, you can learn from a Master Mixologist from Eastside Distilling, as they demonstrate how to make some great cocktails. The cost is just $10 at the door and you will also get 20% off all your plant purchases that evening. While you are there be sure to check out the assortment of different bar and outdoor entertaining supplies, and then get ready for a summer full of fun!
Berries, Brews and BBQ
Prairie Gardens (503-633-8445). We met up with Katie in the greenhouse to first get some tips about hanging baskets. Stacy talked about the need to give those baskets a shot of fertilizer about every 2-3 weeks to keep those blooms coming. They also need lots of water during the hot weather to keep them from drying out. If you have questions you can call them at the nursery for some more tips.
Then we switched to talking about the great event coming up. The Berries, Brews and BBQ event is happening over the next 2 weekends at the farm. The admission is free for the farm and once you get in you can find tons to do for the whole family. If you are into brews, they will have different breweries sampling brews on each weekend. If you like fresh berries the fields will be open for u-picks (or you can get some fresh berries in the store) and if you like BBQ they will have an assortment of different BBQed meat for you to try too. Of course they will have the farm animals out for visitors and hayrides for the family. Stop by and enjoy a day in the country with the best tastes of the season.
Lonesomeville Border Pots
Going to Lonesomeville Pottery (503-774-5387) is always an experience. The pottery is outstanding, unique and beautiful, but their gardens are also spectacular! Plus we get a chance to hang out with Wayne, one of the owners. Wayne is a blast to visit with and this time he took William on a tour of the gardens to show off his ‘muumuus’. A ‘muumuu’ is a dress that helps hide little imperfections and Wayne has something similar in his garden. His muumuus are pots that he fills with wave petunias. He can place them around the garden and when they grow out they cover those areas that don’t always look so good. He also had another cool idea for containers. This time he had ceramic borders around his garden and, as a spacer, he placed planted containers of flowers to break up the line! It was a great idea. The borders were built with ceramic edging that Lonesomeville makes and is an outstanding addition to the garden.
Your chance to see this wonderful garden and purchase a piece of wonderful pottery is today, Saturday, June 7th from 10am to 4pm at their home/studio in SE Portland. Stop by 5006 SE Long St.
Portland, Oregon 97206 and check out the sale and the garden!
Big Mister Twister
A couple of years ago we met an artist named Patrick Dougherty (http://www.stickwork.net) in Corvallis at OSU when he was installing a piece called ‘pomp and circumstance’ on campus that was made of willow branches that were woven together. Patrick works with maple and willow saplings to made striking structures that involve the viewer. You can walk through a lot of his installations and they always seem to blend into the natural landscape.
We met up with Patrick again at the new Outdoor Adventure area at the Portland Children’s Museum (502-223-6500). The Outdoor Adventure is a perfect place for his new piece of artwork. ‘Big Mister Twister’ is the name he gave to this large meandering piece that sits on a hillside as a group of interconnected blocks that lean in all different directions. The name comes from a childhood memory of a favorite tree. The name is perfect for this structure which took a month to build. The fact that it is located in the Outdoor Adventure is also significant. This area is a place where children and parents can rediscover the fun of being in nature and this piece is definitely fun! We were there at the dedication and once the ribbon was cut it was a mad rush by all the kids to get to play in it. There are paths and secret hiding areas where kids can ‘get lost’ without getting lost. It seemed like the parents were having as much fun as the kids were. If you would like to see this wonderful piece of interactive art, you can stop by the Portland Children’s Museum and wander down the hill in the Outdoor Adventure area. It is a must see for kids and parents alike.
One of the most overlooked annual in the summer garden is the Sunflower. The newer varieties of sunflower are amazing and are not anything like the old standby’s you used to find in your garden. Sara Ori at Portland Nursery (www.portlandnursery.com, 503-231-5050) on Stark told us about some of the new varieties available and we just had to stop by to learn more. Sara told us that the newer plants come in all different sizes and styles. The newer styles include some that don’t get very tall at all. Some can stay as short as a foot or 2 high, while others can get 10 feet tall or more. Some of the shorter ones that she liked included ‘Choco Sun’ and ‘Big Smile’ The best cut flower varieties included ‘Moulin Rouge’, ‘Ruby Eclipse’, ‘Italian White’ and ‘Double Quick Orange’. The Double Quick Orange doesn’t even look like a sunflower, it looks more like a mum. But that is what is fantastic about these newer plants. They can change your expectations about sunflowers and decorating with them. If you still want the tall varieties Sara recommended ‘Mongolian Giant’ and ‘Giganteus’. These larger varieties also had edible seeds and are great for attracting bees and other pollinators to your garden. If you would like to pick up some of these newer plants, you can stop by Portland Nursery and bring home a little sunshine to your garden.
If you have a sloping garden lot, you have probably dealt with uneven surfaces, rain run-off issues or a lack of gardening space. One way to solve those problems is with a retaining wall. We have watched the guys at The Wall (503-735-9255) and they seem to have it all figured out. Judy met with Rick and we talked about how a well-designed hardscape, including walls, patios and steps, can solve a lot of problems in your garden and make it beautiful at the same time. Rick had his crew working on a retaining wall at a home in Lake Oswego. They were getting rid of a slope in front of the home that was going to give the homeowner a larger front lawn. The crew was using large rocks that were found on the property. These rocks actually gave the wall a more ‘natural’ feel and made it fit in better with the rest of the landscape, and it kept the price of materials down too! The Wall just doesn’t reuse rocks, they are known for the ways in which they use recycled concrete in some of their work. They can come in and break up an old driveway, pour a new one, and then use the old concrete to build a beautiful retaining wall. They can also use new materials, like bricks, concrete and pavers to build as well.
They also have a designer on staff to help you through the process of making your yard and garden more beautiful. Give them a call if you want to take care of a slope issue or if you want to add some structure to your garden.
It is spring and that means spring cleaning, inside and out. To help with the outside cleaning you may need a power washer. The right power washer can help make a tough job easy. Skylar from Stark Street Lawn and Garden (503-862-5016) showed us a couple of power washers and how you can use them. The larger models have a lot of pounds per square inch and a lot of water volume. The home owner may not need something that big. For most homeowners a machine that has a PSI of 2000 or less should do the job. If you have a higher PSI you could do some real damage to your deck or the side of your house. Look for a model that has interchangeable nozzles that will help you adjust the pressure to meet your needs. You should also be aware of maintenance issues. Make sure the oil is good and that the pump is operating correctly. If you are looking for a machine to make your outdoor chores easier, check out the different machines at Start Street. They can also fix them!
The spring is here and that means the return of the Rufous hummingbird to local gardens, but did you know that we have had the Anna’s hummingbird here all winter too? The Rufous are just returning to the area for the summer. To learn more about these birds and how to keep them in the garden we stopped by Backyard Bird Shop (503-620-7454) and talked to Scott. He showed us some of the feeders that they have in stock and how to use them (and protect them) so the birds can enjoy them all summer long. One of the questions we have had in the past is one that they get at the stores as well, ‘doesn’t having a feeder create a problem for the birds by getting them to rely on a non-native source of food?’. Scott told us that the hummingbirds use the feeder as only one of the sources for food. The birds usually have multiple sources for feeding and that includes flowers and small insects. They know better than to rely on one source of food, they are pretty smart that way!
He then pulled out a little swing. It was the Pop’s Hummingbird Swing. This cute little swing actually serves a purpose. Birds will sit on it near the feeder to protect their food source. It really works.
Rejuvenation Bathroom Style
One of the areas where we spend a lot of time in the normal home is the bathroom. It is also the room that probably gets the least amount of attention when it comes time to remodel. We stopped by Rejuvenation (503-238-1900) in SE Portland to remedy that. We met with Jen Foley, the bath style expert on the staff to get some tips for redoing your WC (water closet, British for bathroom). She recommends that you start from the top and work your way down. First look at lighting. You want to pick out fixtures that will accomplish what your needs are. If you have a lot of natural lighting coming in through a window, you might need less lighting. If you are applying makeup early in the morning you might need more. Another consideration is mirrors. How much space do you have? Do you want it to be a medicine cabinet? Does it work well with the rest of your fixtures like lighting and sinks, and where are you going to place it? Now you move to all the other fixtures in your bathroom. What type of coating or material do you want for your towel bars, faucets, and handles? Chrome has been a popular choice over the years, but now people can chose from brushed nickel and oil wood bronze to help hide fingerprints and add a deeper color to the look of your bathroom. The main thing to remember is that it is YOUR bathroom. Even if you get tips and hints from your friends, at the end of the day, it is your space. That includes mixing and matching your design elements. As Foley mentioned, as long as you like it and it is done with a purpose, it should work for you. If you feel like you need a hand in redoing your WC, then stop by Rejuvenation and let them help you get through it with the least amount of stress.