It’s GardenPalooza day! This has been a great spring week and it ends with a great event. GardenPalooza enters its 14th year with another great day planned. We are expecting a sunny day and pleasant temps as we help gardeners kick off the gardening season. This year we have 45 different garden vendors with everything you need for the garden. There are also lots of giveaways! We have herb seeds from Capitol Subaru and Ed Hume seeds, there are watering tools from our GardenPalooza sponsor Dramm, we also have a selection of garden books from Timber Press and we are giving away a $25 gift card every half hour from Al’s and Portland Nursery. There are free samples from Black Gold and great goodies from Country Grains. You can also enter to win a $50 gift card or a Portal Arbor from Garden Gallery Iron Works or a rare Snakebark Maple from French Prairie Perennials!
It is a free event, with free parking and free admission. Plus, you can save a lot of cash too! Just go to www.GardenPalooza.com and check out the coupon page for tons of discounts! Stop by today, April 2nd, between 8am and 4pm.
We hope to see you there.
This week we featured...
Egan Gardens – GardenPalooza
Ellen Egan has made a name for herself at GardenPalooza because of all the great colorful garden plants that she brings every year. This year is no different. We stopped by Egan Gardens (503-393-2131) to see what she was going to have today at GardenPalooza. First she showed us the geraniums that she has (both the regular and the Martha Washington’s). These are great plants for the Northwest garden. They are cold tolerant which means they start early in the spring and grow all season long, well into fall. This year the neon colors are really popping in the garden. She will be bringing Sennettis, oxalis, begonias and other plants that are starting to pop. She mentioned that they have lots of new varieties introduced with lots of bright colors. Of course we could tell you more, but we would recommend that you come to GardenPalooza and see them for yourself.
Planting a Hydrangea
Spring is the time for planting and now is a good time to plant a hydrangea. We stopped by Hydrangeas Plus (866-433-7896) and talked with Kristen about what you need to get your plant off to a good start. First prepare the hole! We have said this many times. Put at least a $40 effort into a $10 plant. That means you need to make the planting hole the best home you can for your new plant. Kristen recommended adding some amendments to the soil, either a mulch or compost mix, and some starter fertilizer if you want. She has been amending her soil for years so it had a great soil mix and perfect soil texture. Then you should take your plant out of the pot and rough up the roots. This will stimulate new growth. Then plant your hydrangea in the hole. Make sure that the ‘crown’ of the plant (the part where the plant meets the soil) is slightly above the soil level. This will help the crown from getting too wet and rotting. Then tamp down the soil around the plant and make sure it is well watered. Check the water every couple of days and give it another good soaking to keep those roots wet until they establish. Once your plant is in the ground it will give you lots of great blooms for years to come. Next year you my notice that the blooms are changing or losing color. This could be because of your soil conditions. Some varieties of hydrangeas will change bloom color if your soil becomes too acidic. If you see this happening, you will want to add Aluminum Sulfate to turn your flowers back to blue or garden lime to turn them back to red or pink. If you have questions you can always contact Hydrangeas Plus to get them answered.
Or, you can come to GardenPalooza on April 2nd and ask them directly. Kristen will be there with plants to sell and all the fertilizers and amendments for your hungry plants.
Garden Time Rose
Last year Garden Time turned 10. A few of our favorite growers honored us by naming new plants after our TV show. We have another great plant to add to your garden. Heirloom Roses (503-538-1576) is proud to introduce the Garden Time rose. It took them an extra year to grow a bunch and they are ready for your garden! Ben from Heirloom met us at their cottage between St. Paul and Newberg to show us this beauty. As they describe it: A delightful white shrub that offers repeat blooms on long canes. Lightly fragrant and approximately 3'x3', this rose will invite everyone to have a little "Garden Time". They are just finishing the last few weeks of growing it and it will be available for pick up or shipping after May 1st. You can get your name on a list to get one at our website, www.gardentime.tv/store, or you can drop by GardenPalooza this weekend and add your name to a list that we will have there!
Who doesn’t need a little more Garden Time in their life!
Sebright Gardens – GardenPalooza
Sebright Gardens (503-463-9615) is known for the great hostas that they sell, but they are really experts in all kinds of shade plants! They are another vendor at the GardenPalooza event this weekend and so we stopped by their nursery in Brooks to see what they were going to bring to the event. Thomas had a huge table full of great plants to share. We started with ferns. Ferns have a ton of different sizes and textures. They also work well with tree roots, so you can plant them in just about any shady location. Then we moved to the hostas. It wouldn’t be Sebright without some great hostas. The one that really had everyone on the crew swooning was lemon/lime colored one with bright red stems! It was a knock out. Then we saw the wonderful abutilon, also known as the Flowering Maple, due to its maple shaped leaves. These plants are wonderful in the garden, but I think they are even better in a container. If you can get them closer to your deck or patio you can enjoy those blooms even more. Plus, they are a hummingbird magnet. We then saw a heucherella. This is a cross between a heuchera and a tiarella. This plant has the best of both plants with wonderful winter color and bright new foliage for the spring and summer. Judy’s favorite plant was next, beesia. These little glossy leafed plants are evergreen and produce wonderful little stalks of flowers in the early spring. Another early spring flowering plant is the trillium. These are woodland natives and can be tough to grow, but once they are established they will come back year after year! Sebright will also have some primroses there including some very unique ones. These little garden gems come in some pretty interesting forms like the sieboldii 'Lacy Lady'. Finally we ended with Epimediums. These plants have gotten better over time with more and taller flower stems and beautiful foliage.
You have to stop by the Sebright booth at GardenPalooza, or their retail location near Brooks!
As I mentioned earlier, there are also lots of giveaways at GardenPalooza! We have herb seeds from Capitol Subaru and Ed Hume seeds, there are watering tools from our GardenPalooza sponsor Dramm, we also have a selection of garden books from Timber Press and we are giving away a $25 gift card every half hour from Al’s and Portland Nursery. There are free samples from Black Gold and great goodies from Country Grains. You can also enter to win a $50 gift card or a Portal Arbor from Garden Gallery Iron Works or a rare Snakebark Maple from French Prairie Perennials! Look for William and Judy for your chance to win one of these great prizes. But don’t forget about the money saving coupons too. You can print out the coupons here, http://www.gardenpalooza.com/coupon.htm, for even more savings.
Fruit Tree Traps
Fruit trees are great in the garden, but the tasty fruit is also an attractant for some nasty pests too. We wanted to know how you can find out if you have a pest problem and how to deal with it. To learn more we met with Ray from Collier ArborCare a division of Bartlett Tree Experts (503-722-7267) to talk about finding these terrible invaders. With all the rain we have in the area, some of the firstiseases they look for is scab, rust and mildew. These are fungal diseases which show up in moist conditions. These diseases make your tree all black and your fruit deformed. They start by spraying with a copper and oil spray, which is all natural. This will coat the bugs and provide a layer of protection to your trees. The coating will smother the bugs and create a barrier for fungal diseases. This is not a once-and-done spray. You will want to continue doing this for all the spring months. This treatment is also good for cherries, plums, peaches and apricots. You will want to start as soon as you can. The earlier the better for all your fruit trees. Now what about your trees if you miss the first spraying. Then you go for the traps. For some fruit trees, like apples and pears, you can use a trap that attracts the apple maggot and coddling moth. This trap will attract the moth so you know if you really need to spray. Another way to battle the moths are pheromone ties. These are little ties that you put into the trees to confuse the breeding moths. They send out a scent to the moths that overpowers their receptors and they can’t find the females to breed, reducing the number of moths in the trees. Very tricky! The final trap was for the apple maggot. This was a pheromone trap as well. This one used ammonia and a yellow color as an attractant for apple maggots! All these are used together so there is an efficient application of sprays and other treatments. They want to be sure they are seeing a problem before they treat it! If you think you need help with your fruit trees, give Collier/Bartlett a call for some help.
If you like fresh vegetables, you can’t beat onions fresh from the garden. Some people have a tough time with onions, but they are really easy if you follow these simple rules. First get your starts from your local garden center. You may find them in 3 different packages. One package will be the tray pack; another is a bunch of starts that are rubber banded together, and you will also find seeds. With the tray pack or starts you will want to separate them into individual plants and plant them in the ground as a single stalk. Spread them out from 2-5 inches depending on how big you want your onions to get. If you plant them close together you will get smaller onions. If you have a larger variety like Walla Walla you can plant them further apart to allow them to get larger in the ground. If you are planting seeds you will find that they are very small. That means you will need to thin the plants out as they grow. No worries, these little, mini onions are great for seasoning in your soups and stews. Then you will have room for your other onions to grow bigger. William also shared his rules for success. Use good loose soil so they grow nice and big, and water well for the best success.
Farmington Pet Day
Pets are a wonderful part of a lot of families. To recognize that, Farmington Gardens (503-649-4540) is having their first of their seasonal ‘pet days’ at their nursery this weekend. MJ joined us at the nursery with some of her favorite furry friends. But before we met some of these friends we talked about some pet friendly plants. She started with alyssum, strawberry, phlox and marigolds. These are great low, groundcover plants and some people even believe that Marigolds are flea repellents. That is a win-win. They also attract pollinators to your garden! Herbs are also good for the pet friendly garden. Rosemary, thyme, and sage are not just good for song titles, they are great for your pet too! Coreopsis is also a great plant for the pet garden. These plant look great in any garden! Pet friendly plants are not just for perennials and annuals, you can also add shrubs to the mix too. Mahonia, forsythia and camellia are also good for the pet friendly garden. You can see that there are a lot of plants that will work for your senses and your pets as well.
For more plant friendly tips you can stop by the nursery today, Saturday, for their Spring Pet Day. They will have a pet groomer, pet treats and even bandanas for all pets who stop by to visit!
TOW – Deadheading Daffodils
Now is the time to deadhead your early spring blooming plants. By removing the seed heads, you are telling the plant to send the energy to the bulb or tuber to make it stronger for next year’s bloom. Don’t cut back the foliage yet! That part of the plant is putting the ‘gas’ in next year’s engine. When the foliage dies back in a couple of weeks you can just pick it up and clean up your garden bed then.
Margie’s Farm and Garden – GardenPalooza
What is spring without a little bold color? You can find plenty of great color at GardenPalooza at Margie’s Farm and Garden (503-866-6123) booth. She showed us some of the great plants she will have at GardenPalooza. We started with the azaleas and mini-rhododendrons and the pieris which all had great early spring color. Then we worked into plants that included heather and lemon cypress, which are wildly different plants but still full of great spring color and fragrance. Next we looked at some great spring containers. These had wonderful collections of bright colorful blooms, fragrance and texture. Margie talked about how she uses her own tastes and preferences for putting together baskets and combinations, but she also talks to her customers to see what they would like in a container, and then she builds it. This year she also realizes that people may not want one specific container and that they may want a single plant, so she will have separate plants for people to choose from. If you are looking for some really great plants, check out her booth at GardenPalooza!
Garden Gallery Iron Works – GardenPalooza
Metal art in the garden is a ‘hot’ item this year and one of the best ‘artists’ will be back to GardenPalooza this year. Garden Gallery Iron Works (800-452-5266) will be back with a whole bunch of new items for adding structure to your garden! Don met us at their retail location in Hubbard to show us some of the things that he will be bringing to the event. First of all, he had some very cute plant stakes and stands. These are prefect for the garden because you can have a single post for climbing vines and a cage for those ‘flopping’ plants. He will also have a collection of rusted metal items to choose from including trellises, and arbors. The special things he will have for GardenPalooza only includes some ‘one of a kind’ items too. You can also sign up for at $50 gift card (download the GardenPalooza coupon page) and a chance to win a portal arbor if you stop by their booth or the Garden Time booth at the event. You have to come and see these items; there is much more at their store in Hubbard! Stop by the booth to see some wonderful items.
Spring is a great time to catch all those early blooming plants, but don’t forget about the trees that are showing off. We took a walk with Martin Nicholson of Hoyt Arboretum (503-865-8733) to check out the magnolia collection in Washington Park. The arboretum has a great collection of the 2 main varieties of magnolias, the Asian and the American, about 20 cultivars which are in bloom right now. Magnolias are a native to other parts of the world but they do well here too. You just have to remember that they need specific conditions to thrive. Most of them like full sun, but their roots don’t like the heat. So if you can provide those conditions you can grow most of the different varieties available. They also like summer rainfall, so give them a little drink during the heat! One of Martin’s favorite magnolias is a huge specimen, the magnolia ‘veitchii’. This one can get as tall as 60-90 feet so you better have room for it, but it also has pink blooms the size of a dinner plate! Martin mentioned an old favorite, the star magnolia. This one has white flowers that burst open in a star shape and will stay small for the garden. If you get a chance, check out the magnolia collection at the arboretum. It is free and there are self-guided maps at the visitor’s center.