Ireland. Sounds nice doesn’t it? Well this week on the show we promoted the Ireland trip that we will be taking in July of next year. Seats are still available, but as we found out with our Victoria trip and our Costa Rica trip, they fill up fast. Right now all you need is $250 to secure a spot on the trip (plus insurance if you choose that option). The rest of the payment will not be due until Spring of 2015, and it will include airfare! Not a bad Christmas gift! Just click on the airplane on the Garden Time home page.
As we enter November we also start the holiday season. For the next few weeks we will have ideas for gifts for the gardener and places you can visit to celebrate the season. We hope we help you find the right gift for the gardener in your family.
One last note. Next weekend, the 8th, we will not be on the air. We are preempted because of NCAA football, but we will be back for the 15th with an all new show.
This week we featured...
A lot of people are familiar with the garden succulents that you find in the outdoor garden, but did you know that there are a group of succulents that you can use indoors for winter color and texture? We stopped by Little Prince of Oregon to visit with Ryan and see what they grow for our area. Little Prince grows about 100 different varieties of succulents and you can find them in just about any size and color to match your décor. Even though we call these tropical succulents, they can also be called tender succulents because they typically won’t grow outside in our climate. There are ones like ‘hens and chicks’ and other sedums that can be grown outside and you can find those in your garden centers as well. These tender little plants can be grown in containers indoors or you can make your own container as well. Judy showed us how you can use a hollowed out pumpkin as a planter. You just fill the inside with soil and plant your succulents in the pumpkin. Of course once the pumpkin starts to rot you can move the plants into another container, but even for the short time they are in the pumpkin they will make a great centerpiece or décor item. Ryan even showed us a rice pot that he planted some in and that you can find at your local garden center. Remember that these plant don’t like to be over watered. Give them a good soaking and let them drain well when you plant them. Then let them dry out a little before watering them again. If you are lucky, some of these varieties will even bloom for you! To find a garden center that carries plants from Little Prince, you can check out their website.
Growing Poinsettias/Evening of Lights
Believe it or not, it is time for poinsettias. They are starting to make their appearance at local garden centers and other stores. The big push will be in a couple of weeks but you can get some nice plants right now. The big question that we hear is ‘how do I pick a good one’ and ‘how can I make it last’. To find out the answer to these questions we stopped by the growing operation for Al’s Garden Center (503-981-1245) and talked to Dorothy who oversees the growing operation. She pulled a few plants out of the greenhouse to show us some of the different varieties that they are offering this year, how they grow them and how you can take care of them. She told us how they start to grow them in late June. These plants start as small cuttings of larger plants or as ‘plugs’ (tiny starts from another grower). These are supplied from growers in Mexico or Central America. They are grown out and pinched back for lots of blooms.
If you are looking for a good plant; first look for good branching. A single branch plant will not give you the bunches of blooms that you want. And speaking of blooms, the bright colors you see are not the flowers of the poinsettia. The flower is the small center buds that are usually yellow. The bright colors are modified leaves (bracts). As for the blooms you will want small tight buds that are not yellow yet, that means they are early in their bloom cycle. Also look for good healthy green leaves under the brightly colored ones.
Now that you have picked out a good one, how can you make it last? Al’s recommends that you treat your plant with tender loving care. Make sure that is doesn’t get placed in too hot of a spot, that it doesn’t get in too many drafts and keep it in bright non-direct sunlight. You will also want to water it regularly without over watering or having it set in water. Remember to remove the decorative foil sleeve when you are watering it. If you follow these tips it will be around for a couple of months if not longer! You can find a sheet of ‘care tips’ at all Al’s Garden Center locations or on their website.
Also, you can find all of these varieties at the up-coming Al’s Evening of Lights event. The event takes place at the Sherwood location on November 6th from 4-9pm, the Woodburn location on November 7th from 4-9pm and the Gresham location on November 8th from 4-8pm!
75th Annual Mum Show
Who doesn’t like a beautiful bloom? In the late fall, it is hard to find blooms in the garden, unless you are a grower of mums. A lot of gardeners have the common chrysanthemums in their garden, but one of the overlooked types of mum is the show mum. We visited the garden of May Wong who grows lots of these huge varieties and is part of the Portland Chrysanthemum Society (503-255-6119). The show mum is grown for contests and also for the stunning display they put on in your garden. These mums are protected from the sun, pinched back to just a few blooms and cultivated carefully. May explained that these are classified by bloom type into categories like ‘Reflex’ and ‘Irregular Incurve’. If you are interested in seeing these blooms up close you can check out the 75th Annual Chrysanthemum Flower Show this weekend, November 1-2, Saturday and Sunday at Portland Nursery, 90th and Division hours, starting at 9 a.m. each day. You can also get information on joining the society at this event.
Haitian Garden Art
We recently found some garden art that looks great and can help other in need at the same time. A stop at Garden Gallery Iron Works (800-452-5266) was all we needed. We found a huge selection of Haitian Oil Drum metal art. The artists in Haiti take old 55 gallon oil drums and clean them out. Then they flatten them and draw designs on them in chalk before they use a hammer, chisel and a nail to make these intricate patterns and pictures. Common themes include village scenes, animal figures and religious art. The variety is staggering! Plus, when you buy the art, you are helping to support the communities that have been devastated by recent hurricanes and other natural disasters. If you would like to check out some of this incredible art, stop by Garden Gallery Iron Works in Hubbard.
While you are there, look for the cute gloves that Judy was wearing in the story. They are really comfortable!
One of the drawbacks to our society today is the disconnection that some people have with the earth. People lament that kids and others have forgotten where their food comes from and how important the earth is to all of us. One place that is aiming to fix that is Zenger Farm (503-282-4245) in East Portland. We’ve known about the farm for quite some time and felt a visit was in order to let everyone know about this great educational facility.
First we met with Jill Kuehler, who is the Executive Director of the farm. She explained the past history and how the farm is now a non-profit. The 16 acre farm was bought by the city of Portland for storm water management and realized what a great opportunity it had for education. The 10 acres at the bottom of the property still remains a wetland and has become an outdoor classroom for many classes and the David Douglass school district. The main farm has become an urban farm with a Community Sponsored Agriculture program and a supplier to many restaurants and businesses. They are continuing to grow their programs and other class offerings. In fact, they are in the process of building a new education center and office building to house the growing programs!
Next we went out into the fields to talk with Program Director, David Perry. He is in charge of lining up programs like the Farm Camp, Farmer Training and other workshops for the community to access at the farm. He was especially excited for the Winter Camps that are coming up in December. The 6 days of camps start on December 22nd through January 2nd. Campers will be making farm themed gifts, delicious treats, and making candles from local bees wax. If you would like to become involved with the farm they are always looking for volunteers. You can lead field trips, help teach classes, donate money, enroll your kids in camp, sign up for their annual CSA program and even volunteer in the garden. For more information on volunteering or donating you can contact them at the farm.