Welcome to Memorial Day weekend! We are proud to salute all those who gave their lives for our country. We honor your sacrifice. We also hope that everyone has a great weekend with family and friends!
Some of you know that we have had a couple of weeks of interruptions in the Portland area. KPDX had some programs that ran long and so we were cut short the past 2 weekends. We're sorry for any inconvenience you may have experienced. We should be fine for the next two weeks. However, we will experience one more disruption on the 10th of June. We will be moved to the afternoon on the 10th (2:30) due to NASCAR and the Rose Festival Parade. We will let you know more as the date gets closer.
If you are out and about this weekend (at one of the many tours we feature in the show this week), think about stopping by the Schreiner's Iris Gardens on Monday afternoon. The Garden Time crew will be there enjoying the live music and great food, along with the wonderful blooms!
Another event where you can catch up with the Garden Time crew is at Subaru Garden Dayz at Capitol Subaru on the 3rd of June. We will be there from 11 am to 3 pm. Giving out free plants and seeds. Helping kids plant up sweet peas and entering people for some great drawings. Oh, and you can also buy plants and garden art for your garden too!
Hope to see you there!
This week we featured...
We are at the end of May and that late spring heat means the peonies are blooming. The cold and wet spring kept the blooms from popping until now, but it was worth the wait. They are looking great! Peonies are an easy and worry free plant that are great in the garden and the best place to see them is Adelman Peony Gardens (503-393-6185) near Brooks. The best part of this garden is that they have display fields and a display garden. The display gardens still look fantastic but the fields feature waves of color! 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 the fields and also the display gardens. Did you know there are 3 basic types of peonies; 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 winters. They will return year after year. Then there are the tree peonies. These are 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! She also told us about common problems that the home gardener might be experiencing. She told us that to get a stronger plant you need to pull 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! Also we found out that the peony is one of the toughest plants in your garden. If they can survive in the snowy and freezing Midwest, they can survive here! The gardens are open every day from 9 to 6 until the 11th of June. They also have events happening every weekend so check out their website for more information.
Cascade Nursery Trail
One of the nicest organizations that we know of is the Cascade Nursery Trail. This is a group of smaller specialty nurseries that are located on the east side of the Willamette Valley. Some of these we have met before on the show and others are only open by appointment. This weekend is a great chance to check out all 6 locations as they will be celebrating their Spring Fever Open House. To get an idea about what you will find we stopped by 3 of the locations on the tour. We started at Garden Thyme Nursery (503-551-1875). Patti met with Judy in the greenhouses with a group of some great plants for your summer garden. Now, these were not all in bloom, but they will soon be shining in the garden! Plus these are plants that butterflies will really love. The first one was a Gaura. This one was a taller variety with long flower spikes with white flowers. The best part is that these will continue blooming if you cut off the blooming spikes as they finish blooming. She also had a shorter variety with soft pink blooms. The next plant was a solidago or golden rod called Fireworks. It gets tall stalks of yellow blooms and is deer resistant. We saw one last plant with Patti and it was Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium) 'Pink Frost'. This one loves the heat and will get pink buds and blooms in the late summer. This one also has wonderful variegated foliage to enjoy even when it isn't in bloom.
Judy then tossed over to William at Sebright Gardens (503-463-9615). William was in the garden with Kirk and they were talking about how to use some plants for troubled areas in your garden. These areas could include dry shade areas like under trees. There are a lot of plants that can handles those areas and do quite well. Kirk brought out one that looks great and performs well in those tough areas. This was a heucherella, this plant is a combination of a heuchera and a tiarella. It has the wonderful foliage of the heuchera and the fancy flower spikes of the tiarella. They also have a wonderful selection of ferns and hostas that perform well. In fact, there was one hosta that not only does well in the dry shade it can take hot, bright sunlight too and not get burned! Kirk also showed us how they can use containers, in this case 3 pots under a tree, to bring plants to those dry shade areas and fill those empty spaces. Now it was time to head over to our last stop with Judy.
Judy was at Secret Garden Growers (503-651-2006) with Pat and she had brought out some really crazy looking plants that she will have available this weekend. We started with a non-traditional mahonia called 'Soft Caress'. This one has a finer foliage than the original species and stays shorter too. It has light yellow blooms and a soft fragrance. The next one was a really weird one. It was Farfugium 'Shishi Botan', also known as the Parsley leafed Ligularia. Though you can't eat it, the leaves do look like wrinkled parsley leaves. It is a great texture plant for those woodland shade gardens. Speaking of weird, the next plant was so weird we bought one after taping the story! This little plant was the Albuca spiralis 'Frizzle Frazzle'. This one has incredible curly leaves, that look like tight curls. They are a bulbous perennial and are a little tender for our area. However, if you give it some protection in the winter it will send up some really cool flower spikes that have a unique fragrance. We then saw a taller plant for your garden, a Fatsia japonica called 'Spider Web'. This one is great in full shade, because the light speckled leaves will burn in direct sunlight. It is extremely hardy, though, evergreen and deer proof. Our final plant was a relative to the citrus family, Poncirus trifoliate 'Flying Dragon'. This plant has curvy stems and sharp little spikes. It also has white fragrant flowers and tiny fruit which are not edible. Pat said they are the perfect plant if you have a teenage daughter, because they make a nice barrier under a bedroom window! This was a great last stop on our tour, we are just sad that we didn't see all the vendors on the Cascade Nursery Trail, but you can try to see them all this weekend! Check out their website for a map and times for all the participating nurseries.
Egan's Pollinator Pots
Everyone wants to have a healthy population of pollinators in their garden, but a lot of people think that you need a large space to have enough plants for a pollinator garden. Ellen Egan of Egan Gardens (503-393-2131), invited us out to show us that's not always true. She put together 2 pots that show how you can attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden. She told us that every little thing you can do can help, including being mindful of spraying in your garden, and building little pots like these. The first pot contained cuphea or firecracker plant, lantana, osteospermum and zinnias. This first basket was heavy on yellows, oranges and reds, but you don't need bright colors to attract pollinators. The second basket was her 'Pink and Purple People Pollinator Pot', and as the name says it is full of pinks and purples for those who like the cooler colors. This pot had some great plants too like, purple salvia, verbena, nemesia, and a shorter variety of heliotrope. These plants were put in deep containers so they can stay well-watered. You will also want to add a little water soluble fertilizer in a month or so. If you are interested in a container like one of these you can stop by Egan Gardens and pick one up or they can help you pick out your own plants to do it yourself!
Inviting Vines Tour
One of the best collection of plants is right here in the metro area. The Rogerson Clematis Collection is located at Luscher Farm in Lake Oswego and contains lots of beautiful clematis that you can't find anywhere else! To help fund the care and maintenance of this collection they annually host the Inviting Vines tour. In the past, this tour took visitors on a trek to see many outstanding gardens around the area. This year is their 10th anniversary and they are doing something different. They are doing their 'greatest hits' tour. This tour will cover 4 of their most popular gardens and the Rogerson Clematis Collection at Luscher Farms. Linda Beutler is the curator of the Rogerson Clematis Collection. She took us on a brief tour of the newest garden at Luscher Farm, dedicated to newer varieties of clematis, hybridized after World War 2. This garden also has 2 new varieties that were bred in Holland and have a fragrance! Not something you normally see in a clematis.
The tour takes place this Saturday, May 27th, from 10 to 4pm. Visitors to these gardens will get to see a great mixture of shrubs, vines, perennials, native and woodland plants. If you are looking for tickets you can find them at lots of local garden centers, check out the list on the Rogerson Clematis website. They are $25 and you can buy them at the Rogerson Clematis Collection garden at Luscher Farm or a number of local garden centers. For a complete list you can go to the Rogerson Clematis website.
This is a great way to support a great organization and also see some great private gardens.
Little Baja Succulent Planter
Sedums and succulents are the 'hot' new plants for the low maintenance gardener. To get an idea on how to plant them we stopped by Little Baja (503-236-8834) to get some ideas from Jared. He had a few different pots for us to consider. We started with the smaller concrete pots. These were perfect for a single sedum and he also top dressed it with some stones and a little bridge to make it look great. Then we moved to a larger terra cotta pot from their inventory. This one was big enough for 3 plants (and they even have much larger ones). The reason for choosing a clay terra cotta container is in the clay. Clay breathes and allows air and water to move freely through the sides of the container. This makes for a healthier and happier plant. Sedums and succulents like a well-drained soil. They don't like to set in moist soils. You can use a cactus or sedum mix if you can find it, but you can also make your own. The soil that we used was a 50-50 mix of regular potting soil and perlite.
Once your planter is done, and the plants are established, you only need to water it every couple of weeks. To be safe you also want to make sure to not put them in the harsh, hot sun. 4-5 hours of morning sun is perfect for these plants and containers. You can pick up these pots and a select inventory of sedums at their store!
If you would like to stop by and check out these plants and containers, you will have no problem with parking anymore. Little Baja now has a safe and secure, gated parking area on 15th and Ankeny. Perfect for those who want to shop a little more!
Moxie and Moss Workwear
We always tell you that your work in the garden goes much easier if you have the right tools, and that includes your clothing. For women gardeners it is sometime harder to find comfortable, heavy-duty clothing that also looks good. We heard of a local company that is just coming out with a new line of workwear for women called Moxie and Moss. We met with Kate in her garden to learn more about this great product. Kate and a friend are partners in a landscape company and they were always having a tough time getting clothing that fit right and also have all the right pockets for their tools. So they designed a pair of jeans themselves and came up with their first product, the Maven. They also got together with another friend who knew the apparel industry and are now moving their 'Maven' product and a couple other products to market. These jeans are designed with women in mind. The men's wear that they used to use was big and bulky, and didn't always meet the needs of their active landscape business activities. They also went to other busy women and had them test the jeans and made changes for all active working women.
If you would like to learn more about these jeans and other Moxie and Moss products, you can check out their website. Plus, right now, you can get a special discount by ordering their products during a special pre-sale. When ordering just enter the promotional code 'greenthumb15' for special savings of 15% off!
Schreiner's Iris Gardens
May is a busy month for local blooming plants. The leading plant for most of May is the Iris and we are lucky to have the leading iris grower in the country at Schreiner's Iris Gardens (1-800-525-2367). Schreiner's not only grows iris, they also host the public at their huge display gardens every spring, and this year they are really putting on a show! The warmer weather that finally arrived has the blooms going crazy and that has meant a full garden. It's a busy time for the Schreiner family, but irises are in their blood. In fact they have been growing iris as a family for over 90 years, growing award winning irises. We met with Steve Schreiner in the display gardens to learn more about the irises and some of the other plants they propagate. First we talked about the bearded versus the non-breaded iris. The bearded iris have a 'beard' on each of the falls (lower petals) of the blossoms. They also have a huge array of colors to choose from. The non-bearded iris, like the Siberian iris, don't have beards, have smaller blooms and a more elegant foliage. At Schreiner's they sell both.
He also had some tips about bearded iris for us. The number one tip was about watering. Bearded iris are the perfect plant for areas with water restrictions. Iris are drought tolerant! Once they are established they can survive on very little water. You should also look out for slugs. Bait for them regularly. Fertilizing your plants should be done before they bloom and you should use a light fertilizer. Nothing too strong.
We also found out that Schreiner's will soon be selling daylilies. They have found a great partner with award winning hybridizer, Bill Marriot, and will be featuring some of his varieties soon!
These next 2 weekends are always big ones at the display gardens. This weekend is the Memorial Day weekend which has special events scheduled every day. Stop by this weekend and you can see artists displaying in the garden. There will also be wine tasting from Methven Vineyards and spirit sampling from 'Spiritopia' Craft Spirits. The weekend wraps up with the annual Chicken BBQ by the Gervais Knights of Columbus and the sounds of jazz from 'Calamity Jazz'. This isn't the end of the blooms though. The gift shop will stay open for a couple more days and the display garden will stay open for visitors until the blooms are gone. Stop by and check out the gardens, it is always a blast.
SLUGS and SNAILS!!! These little pests will devour your new plants and vegetables. If you are looking for a way to keep them in check, William and Judy had a selection of different ways you can deter them or just get rid of them. Slugs are a real problem here in the Northwest and spring is the time when you may notice them the most. They will eat the foliage off your nice garden plants and may even eat the plants as they are just coming out of the ground. Look for holes in the leaves of your tulips, iris and hostas. These are a few of their favorites. First we talked about the chemical baits that you can use. These tend to be the most effective and are made with Metaldehyde which goes by the brand name of Meta. You can get this bait in a liquid, meal and pellet form. If you have children or pets and are looking for something safer, you can check out the products that contain iron phosphate. These are safe around pets and children. William talked about the non-chemical methods of control. He covered beer traps, which works like a scent trap, copper tape which gives them a shock and even an electric fence. You can even stalk your garden in the early morning and just drop them in a bath of soapy water or just cut them in half with your pruners. Take the time to find the method that's best for you and check with your local garden center if you need help.
Smart Pot Raised Bed
Building a raised bed doesn't have to take a hammer or nails, or even any wood! To find out more about this great new invention, we stopped by Donna Wright's house. Donna works for Black Gold soils and she told us about Smart Pots. These are fabric pots made out of a heavy duty fabric. They are durable yet porous! Air and water can transfer through the fabric so your plants will do better. The circulation allows the roots to remain healthier which makes a stronger plant. The dark exterior also keeps your plants warmer so they get the heat they need to thrive. They also come in many sizes so you can have pots and raised beds anywhere you have room. Donna was using the wonderful Black Gold All Organic product in her bed. The organic soil is all natural and great for vegetables and flowers. Plus, by using the Black Gold potting soils and not the dirt from her garden, she is going to get some large healthy fruit and vegetables because the soil is fluffy and full of nutrients. You can find the Black Gold product at most of your local independent garden centers. If you are interested in the Smart Pot they have a retail locator on their website so you can find the location nearest you.