What happened to the sun? We were finally getting into the warm days of early summer and someone turned on the showers again. Somebody can stop paying the water bill, we don't need anymore!
There is one surprise this spring brought, William's surgery. Right after filming a little over a week ago, he ended up in the hospital and had his appendix removed. He is resting comfortably and will be back to full strength soon!
This weekend also marks the last time that our show will be moved on KPDX 13/49. There is a FOX NASCAR race followed by the Grand Floral Parade and that has pushed our show to 2:30 in the afternoon on Saturday. Now, if you are one of our followers on YouTube or Facebook, you have already had the link to the show posted or sent to you. Some people watch the show a day or two before it airs. You can too. Just subscribe to either of those two media sites to get access before anyone else! We should be back to our normal time next week, for the rest of the year!
This week we featured...
If you are looking to try something new in your garden, have you ever considered a garden train? There is a very active club of Garden Railroaders in Portland and next weekend they are having their annual garden tour. We stopped by one of the locations to talk to Alan and Nola Olson about their railroad. Alan and Nola used to live in Portland and when they moved to Vancouver, they picked a house where they could work their garden and the train into the backyard. The layout is their entire backyard, but this train is not huge. Alan created a layout that incorporates a lot of different little surprises. Their railroad, The Crooked River RR, doesn't feature any specific place but a lot of places from their life together. Old employers, friends and family make appearances throughout the garden. Plus there is plenty of whimsy! You can find dinosaurs, petticoat junction, Han Solo and Christopher Robin in various locations around the layout.
Plus there are lots of plants. Nola is the plant person and has taken some volunteer maples (their fictitious town is 'Mapleton') and other nursery plants to create a wonderful pattern of plants around the train tracks and town. Some of the plants include Lilac 'Miss Kim', Ilex 'Pagoda' and a great dwarf Chinese wisteria called 'Kofuji'. She lovingly prunes them every spring and creates the structure that really adds to the overall layout. It is amazing when you get down and look at the train at eye level. It is a different world.
Now, if you are interested in seeing this train and would like to see up to 13 more garden trains, then next weekend is the perfect time. The Rose City Garden Railway Society is having their huge summer garden tour. This tour takes place every year on the Saturday before Father's Day from10am to 5pm. Society members open up their backyards to the general public and you can stop by and see these enchanting layouts. There is a booklet that is a self-guided tour of trains from Corbett to Hillsboro. It is also your ticket! The booklet/ticket is available at local hobby shops and garden centers around the area. If you would like to find the location nearest you, check out their website. The cost is only $10 for an entire carload of people. So gather all your friends and pick up a booklet/ticket and start 'training'.
We have all seen them, the people in the parades with the white coats and straw hats, the Royal Rosarians. For viewers of Garden Time, they are the sponsors of the rose garden contest each spring. They are also the official ambassadors of the City of Portland, by Mayoral Declaration. To learn more about the Rosarians, we met with the current Prime Minister, Jim Stahl at the rose garden at St. John Fisher Catholic Church in SW Portland. He told us about some of the great things that the group does around the area. They were formed in 1912 and work hard to promote the city and state around the world. They welcome dignitaries who visit and provide support to the Rose Festival events in June. Working with the City of Portland, its Sister City organizations and Travel Portland, the Royal Rosarians are key participants in welcoming tourism and investment in Portland each year, but they don't disappear the rest of the year! They support various groups around the metro area through their Royal Rosarian Foundation. If you want to learn more about this great, totally volunteer group, check out their website. We still think that their motto says it best, 'For you a rose, in Portland grows'.
A Vintage Flea
Antiques have always been hot. Now they are getting hot in the garden! Flea markets are the place to be for some of these buried treasures that you can use in your home or your yard. This weekend there is one place where you can get your garden and flea market fix at one time. Margie's Farm and Garden is hosting 'A Vintage Flea'. A Vintage Flea is a vintage/flea/antique market with anything from antiques and mid-century vintage to crafts and castoffs. Kathy joined us to tell us about the event which is happening from 9am to 5pm on Saturday, June 10th. Here you can find just about anything you want for your home and garden. As I mentioned before you can also get your plant fix too! Margie joined us to tell us that they will have 30% off almost every plant in the nursery. They are still full of great color plants and baskets. You can still add color to your garden. If you are thinking about planting now you should just pay more attention to the watering and you should be fine. If you are out and about this Saturday, stop by!
Lord and Schryver Home
A couple of the most influential landscape designers in our state are hardly known! In fact their work is celebrated and appreciated in some of our most popular parks and our nicest private homes. Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver were leaders in their field. Most people don't know of them because they have since passed away, but their work is all around us. After graduating from the Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture in Groton, Massachusetts, they met on a trip to Europe and in 1929, established the first women's landscape architecture firm in the Northwest. They worked from their home and office on Mission Street in Salem, and through their 40 year landscape architecture partnership, designed and created over 250 gardens and public spaces in the region. They did public works like Wilson Park at the State Capitol and the grounds at the Marion County Courthouse and North Salem High School. They also designed gardens for the Bullitt family in Seattle and the Pamplin family in Portland. You can get a feel for their work at their home too, known as Gaiety Hollow, in Salem. We met with volunteer Bobbie Dolp who filled us in our their history and Curator and Garden Manager, Lindsey Kerr, who talked about the garden. They told us how there is now a conservancy that is dedicated to preserving and interpreting their work and legacy. If you would like to get a look at their garden, they have an open garden the 2nd Sunday of each month from April through September from 1-4pm. Check out their website for all the details and information on how you can help preserve this wonderful legacy, and see how these two women left a legacy of beauty all around us!
5 Blue Thumb Tips
Anyone can have a blue thumb! We recently met with Kevin from the Regional Water Providers Consortium to get 5 waterwise tips for the homeowner. The idea behind these tips is to give the basics on being water efficient in the garden, and you don't need to be a garden guru to do these.
1. Know when to water: Water early in the morning (before 10 a.m) or later in the evening (after 6 p.m.) when temperatures are cooler and evaporation is minimized.
2. Know how much to water: The amount of water needed each week changes with the weather. Go to www.conserveh2o.org for information on how much to water for the current week. Different plants have different water needs, and you'll find this info on the website too.
3. Water thoroughly, and less frequently. This will encourage your plants to develop a deeper root system. Plants that have larger root systems are more effective at accessing water and need to be watered less frequently. Established landscapes and lawns need to be watered two times per week. Newer plantings, vegetables, and potted plants may need more frequent watering. Creating a watering schedule will help ensure that your plants get the right amount of water each week.
4. Prevent run off by applying only the amount of water your soil can absorb. Much of the soil in our area is clay which means it holds onto moisture well, but takes longer to absorb. You may need to break your watering session up to give your soil time to soak up the water you are applying (e.g. water for ten minutes, soak in for half hour, water again for 10 minutes).
5. Add compost or mulch to your soil to help it absorb and store water. This is important for the health and well-being of your plants and it can also reduce your water usage by holding the water longer near the plants that need it.
By following these 5 simple tips you can see your plants thrive and your water bills drop! For more great information about using water wisely inside your home and out, check out the Regional Water Providers Consortium at www.conserveh2o.org.
Spring is the time for gardening! The change in the weather is drawing everyone back outside and into the garden. It is also the time for lots of pollen in the air. For those who suffer from allergies, this is a terrible time to be in the garden. But did you know that there are ways to alleviate your allergy suffering? To learn some tips for making these symptoms tolerable we stopped by Providence St. Vincent Medical Center on the west side of Portland and talked to Dr. Ken Weizer. He told us that more than taking over the counter drugs to feel better, you should take a look at your overall health. Dr. Ken recommended that we start by drinking lots of water. Allergies can dry out your sinuses and that can make matters worse. The fluids in your nose help to flush out the pollen and other allergens. Also remember to wash your hands and face often. You carry a lot of the allergens around on your hands especially after working in the garden. You can help yourself by keeping those hands clean. You can also wear a mask. This creates a physical barrier for allergens to go through. You can also help your sinuses by washing them out with a neti pot. This is a container that you use to pour water through your nose and sinuses to clean them out. When you get home Dr. Ken also recommends that you wash your clothes and bedding often, especially your pillow cases.
Another way to help your allergies is to be selective in your garden plantings. We found a book called 'The Allergy-Fighting Garden' by Thomas Leo Ogren, which gives you tips for smart landscaping to help with your allergies, just be aware that there are plants all around that will still be producing pollen, even if you reduce the ones in your garden. Sometimes the pollen is just the last straw for our systems. Some people have a lot of little allergies and once the pollen hits, it is just enough to push us over the edge! Dr. Ken recommends that you contact your doctor to see if there is a way to figure out the other little triggers and see if you can reduce those as well. Providence has lots of resources Including their Integrative Medicine site, and their page on seasonal allergies.
So look up these resources and then get out and enjoy your garden!
Even though we are in the 'summer' season, there are nights where we still get a chill. To take the chill off we stopped at Little Baja (503-236-8834) to look at the 'Baja Chimney', or chiminea, an outdoor fireplace for your deck or patio. Jared gave us a couple of tips for making your chimney last for years and years. Always start your fire small and let the chimney slowly warm up. Never use a metal poker, it can damage the clay and cause cracks. When burning a fire, use a hard wood or pressed log. This will minimize the 'popping' of softer woods, and never burn garbage in the chimney. Finally make sure you keep all combustibles away from the area around your fire. Little Baja will also help you in selecting a metal fire pit or instructions on how to create your own. They even have one that is made out of an old washing machine! Stop by for instructions and tips.
Mirna's Red Cabbage
The spring is the time for fresh vegetables to start showing up in our local stores and markets. One of our favorite stores to shop is World Foods Portland, with their locations on Everett and on Barber. One of the owners is Mirna Attar, who is also the executive chef at Ya Hala Restaurant (503-256-4484). She told us about a great recipe using red cabbage and beets that she was willing to share. We met her at the store on Everett in the Pearl to see how to make it. Her recipe was a red cabbage wedge salad. We started with Red Cabbage. These were cut into quarters, seasoned with salt and olive oil, and placed on a sheet that went in an oven at 450 degrees for at least 20 minutes. The beets that Mirna used were yellow beets. They have a different flavor and don't stain everything they touch when you are cooking with them. These are hard and need to be boiled for at least 2 hours to get them ready for dicing. The diced beets are tossed with quinoa, salt, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, and pomegranate molasses. This is going to be the topping of our wedge salad.
Once the red cabbage wedges came out we put a couple scoops of the beet mixture over the top of them. Then she added some slices of feta cheese and allowed that to melt over the wedge and topped with pea shoots and a dressing. The dressing was made out of the pomegranate molasses, olive oil, lemon zest and a dash of salt. Then it was ready serve! It was delicious!
If you would like to try this you can stop by either location of World Foods Portland. If you would like to have some wonderful Lebanese cuisine, be sure to check out Ya Hala!
TOW - Raised Bed Cat Deterrent
We have a great way to exclude cats from your raised beds. One way is to buy bird netting and stretch it over the bed. However, you have to pay attention to when the plants start to grow, because if they get too big, you will tear them up as you take off the netting. So we have another way that's a little bit easier. You just need some push-pins and some kind of line. Put the pins in at intervals on the wood, and stretch it across in a zigzag. You can also use fishing line, which can be reused year after year. Once the plants are big enough that the cats won't bother them, you can remove the line.