Happy holiday weekend! We hope everyone had a great 4th of July. For our friends in Victoria, where we just took our Garden Time tour, we hope you all had a great Canada Day on July 1st. Speaking of Canada, this week to celebrate the holidays we are going to take you along on our trip to Victoria BC with a couple of stories about our tour. If you would like to join us on our next tour, we will be going to Costa Rica in January of 2015. If you sign up before the 11th of July you will enjoy an additional $100 off the cost of the trip. It is a great value and includes 21 of your meals, your hotels and airfare! Check out this link for more information, http://www.gardentime.tv/tours.
As you all may have noticed, we are back to a half hour program again. We have a lot of great sponsors during the spring that allow us to buy the extra time for a longer show. During the summer some of them don’t have the funds to support us. That is why it is important to let our sponsors know that you appreciate their support of the program all year long.
This week we featured...
Tsugawa Trees and Shade Plants
Shade plants are sometimes hard to come by, but Brian Tsugawa from Tsugawa Nursery (360-225-8750) found some great shade plants to share with us and some new tall trees to provide that shade. There are lots of new maples out on the market the last few years and we had 3 of them to look at. The first tree was a new sugar maple. These maples are known for their great fall color. This one is called ‘Fall Fiesta’ and will get over 40 feet tall with orangeish-red fall color. The second maple that we looked at was a Red Maple called ‘Sun Valley’. As the name says, this one will get red in the fall and is another tall variety, getting over 40 feet tall. Another maple that we love is the ‘Eskimo Sunset’. This one has great green and cream variegation on the top of the leaves and burgundy coloring under the leaves.
Now that you have that new tree to provide you some shade, Brian had some plants that you could put under that tree. These love morning sun and afternoon shade. Dwarf conifers are perfect for these somewhat shady areas and if they have variegation they are even better. The variegation really makes them pop with color in those dark areas. Two of those varieties included Sawara Cypress ‘White Pygmy’ and ‘Fairy Puff’. If you don’t like variegation, there are other choices. Brian brought out a Dwarf Staghorn Cedar with some really twisty foliage, which will stay low to the ground, and a weeping ground cover hemlock called ‘Bennett’, which also had cool foliage. These were just a few of the plants that he was able to pull out of the nursery in just a few minutes. If you are looking for a shade tree or plants for under those trees, stop by Tsugawa’s and we’re sure you will find just what you’re looking for.
Victoria Garden Tours
We recently returned from our first Garden Time tour to Victoria BC and we had the pleasure of having Joan Looy from Victorian Garden tours (250-380-2797) She took our group for 3 days around Victoria which is known as the ‘City of Gardens’. We were able to tour Beacon Hill park, the signature park of the city and then to private gardens like the ones belonging to Birgit Piskor, an award winning sculptor and Lily, the landscape designer, who owns the ‘Four Seasons Garden’. We were also able to tour the Government House gardens. These gardens are located on the grounds of the Queen’s representative to the people of British Columbia. These gardens are designed and maintained by volunteers and overlook the Straits of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains.
We finished the tour with a stop at the Butchart Gardens (see our story below) and a visit to the Horticulture Center of the Pacific with its 10,000 varieties of plants and a huge local bird population.
Joan loves to share these gardens with tour groups throughout the year and she also mixes in a lot of local history and lore. If you want to take a garden group to BC we would recommend her to be your #1 local tour guide. We found Joan though our tour guide Carolyn Horne from Time to Travel Tours (503-684-5997). She can help you book a trip if you would like to pay a visit!
Butchart Garden Tour
One of the signature gardens in North America is The Butchart Gardens (866-652-4422) in Victoria. We had the pleasure of being greeted by Carlos Moniz, the horticultural manager for the gardens. Carlos has a long history with the gardens, in fact his father was the horticultural manager while Carlos was growing up and they even lived in a house on the property for years. Maintaining the gardens requires a huge staff. They employ over 70 people on the property, with 50 of those as full time staff. In the spring over 300,000 bulbs pop up and give a spectacular display of early color. Then in May the staff spends about 3 weeks transitioning into summer color, planting over 300,000 annuals around the garden. 16 staff gardeners just work in the greenhouses to prepare all the plants for the gardens. Butchart has over 900 different varieties of plants in the garden.
All this started over a hundred years ago by Jennie Butchart when her husband finished mining the limestone deposits on the property. With all this space and ample financial resources she decided to plant a garden. She had top soil trucked in and started with the Sunken Garden. Today, the Sunken Garden is the signature garden on the property, though the rose garden, the Japanese garden and the Italian garden also show off incredible structure and color year round. There is a reason why this garden is a popular destination for gardeners and non-gardeners alike. If you ever needed a reason to visit Victoria, The Butchart Gardens should be at the top of your list.
Black Gold Makeover Winner
This last spring at GardenPalooza, Black Gold once again offered to give away $500 towards a garden makeover. Well, we have our winner. Charlie Guy and his wife, Judy, are our winners. We had the opportunity to stop by and present them with a check. Charlie told us that they were going to use the money to add more blueberry plants to their garden. They were also going to use some of the funds to get netting and posts to keep the deer and ‘robbers’, I mean robins, away from the fruit.
We would like to thank Black Gold for sponsoring this great contest. Don’t think that they are leaving out all the other gardeners out there. Click on this link to print a $3 rebate coupon that you can send in the next time you buy some Black Gold soil at your local independent garden center.
The Springs Recipe
A couple of weeks ago we visited The Springs at Clackamas Woods (503-446-4223) in Milwaukie to see how a group of elderly community members were staying active by gardening. Today we paid a visit to the kitchen and talked to Erin, the Food Services Director, about how she uses that home grown produce and other foods to create healthy, tasty and nutritious choices for members of the community at Clackamas Woods.
Today she was making a roasted pork loin, with roasted baby carrots and potatoes. First she dressed the loin with rosemary, sage and olive oil. Then she seared that in a frying pan to seal in the juices. While that was searing in the pan she prepared the potatoes with rosemary and olive oil, and then placed them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven. She did the same with the baby carrots only this time she used dill and butter instead of olive oil for seasoning. The pork loin went in a little bit before the vegetables so they could all finish cooking about the same time. Cooking with herbs from the garden never tasted better! If you would like more information about The Springs at Clackamas Woods check out their website or give them a call.