It's summer time and the living is easy. Actually this coming Monday it may not be so easy. The eclipse is finally here and we have a busy and crowded state for the next few days. With all these guests we ask that you be like the flower and 'go with the flow'. Show your best face to others and brighten everyone's day. AND, remember to protect your eyes!
This weekend though you can get out and enjoy some great events. There are fresh peaches to eat, plant sales and design shows to attend. We are covering a few of those in this week's show. Enjoy!
This week we featured...
Jan's August Tips
The late summer and early fall are harvest time in the Northwest. The bounty of the garden is coming at us from all angles. The best way to enjoy that bounty longer is to preserve it. We met with Jan McNeilan for our tips of the month and she was doing just that. With her food dehydrator humming in the background we talked about using something similar to do that at home. Jan had figs and mint on the dehydrator, but with the right attachments you can do a lot more. This time of year you can also can or freeze the produce to save it for later. If you are going to do that we recommend that you check out the OSU Food Preservation hotline if you have questions (800-354-7319), or you can always go to the OSU Extension website. We also talked about strawberries. Now is the time to do a little pruning of the foliage and to give them a good fertilization. They are setting their fruit buds for next year and this will get them to focus on growing those fruit spurs for your future crops.
We then moved into the greenhouse to check out all the plants Jan has in pots. She is having a wedding in her backyard in the next couple of weeks and picked up a few plants to fill in some holes in the garden. A lot of people would be concerned about planting anything in the heat of summer, but it is ok to do so, if you follow a few simple rules. The best way to get plants in the ground in the summer is to 'mud' them in. You dig a hole as deep as the pot, and twice as wide. Then you fill the hole with water. Rough up the root ball of the plant to break up the roots of the plant and get it in the ground. Fill in with soil and make sure the crown of the plant is at soil level. Then make sure it stays well-watered until the fall rains come. Your plant should survive and thrive.
Finally, we talked about all the leaves that look like they have notches taken out of them. This is caused by Root Weevils. These little critters live in the soil and come out at night to eat your tender plants. There is really nothing you can do about them now, but you can treat for them in the early spring. Mark the plants now and deal with the problem in a couple of months.
A few weeks ago we stopped by Garden Gallery Iron Works (800-452-5266) to learn about a project they were going to start involving a new Tiny Home for their employee, Sherry. She is moving from a large home to a 400 square foot tiny house. This week we were at the store to visit with the design team! Sherry told us about how she is dealing with the reduction in space. She is relying on the team to help her pick items that are smaller and have multiple uses to include in her home. Janna from Yellow Prairie Interior Design is helping in that process. She told us that size is not always the issue (though it does come into play), because you don't want a to build a 'dollhouse'. This is a real home and it needs to be designed for that. Sherry also wants that popular 'Farmhouse Style' and Janna is an expert in that. They are looking for those cozy items that fit well with the whole décor. Helping them with that is Carol, the buyer, from Garden Gallery. She is helping them go through all the items that are available on the market that could fit in this new little home. Her example of what to look for was a serving tray. It could 'live' on the wall until needed and then be brought down for serving and then hung back up when you were through with it. Everything should serve a purpose.
The next step is the actually building of the Tiny House. We will be paying a visit to Daystar Tiny Homes in a few weeks to check on the building of this unique house.
This weekend you can also meet Janna at Garden Gallery Iron Works. She will be there to answer all your questions about Farmhouse Style from 10am to noon on Saturday the 19th.
Believe it or not, it is peach season! One of the best places to get peaches is at Bauman's Farm and Garden (503-792-3524). Brian met us out in the store near their drink counter. Here he had a fuzzy wuzzy. A blended frosted peach drink that was delicious. He also had a couple of peach ciders to offer, including one with raspberries!
We then moved to the bakery! He showed us all the peach treats you will find there, including pies, breads, and turnovers that you can buy. He also gave us a little education about picking a ripe peach at your store. Brian told us how most people will squeeze the fruit to see if it is ripe. That is not how to tell if it is ready, and all it does is bruise the fruit. He told us to gently pick up the fruit and turn it over. The top of the peach where you will find the stem is the best gage of ripeness. If that top part is fully 'colored' and not green, then the fruit is ripe. Don't worry if the fruit is still a little green, the peaches will quickly ripen if you leave them on your counter for a day or two. In fact, Brian likes a few of his peaches a little green so they don't ripen all at once!
This year was a bad one for peaches, but they have a bunch coming in this weekend so stop by their place just south of Woodburn on 99E. For complete directions you can always go to their website!
Late Summer Plants
It is late summer and the plants in our garden are looking a little tired. For some plants that thrive in the heat we stopped by Sebright Gardens (503-463-9615) in Brooks. Kirk had a cart of plants in their display gardens to share with us. The first one was a fern, but not just any fern, this one was a lace fern with fine textured foliage. It is a hardy fern that can handle the heat and the cold. The next couple of plants were hostas. The first one was 'Atlantis', a large specimen that has huge thick leaves. It gets a nice yellow edge to the leaf in the summer sun. The second hosta was 'Stained Glass'. This one had a wonderful fragrant bloom that you don't always get with a hosta. It had yellow leaves with a green edge and the leaves just keep coming through the season, so if one gets damaged, you just cut it off! The next plant was a Rose Mallow (in the hibiscus family) called 'Starry Starry Night'. This plant gets those tropical looking blooms, but it also has great burgundy foliage too. The next plant was really different! Roscoea purpurea 'Cinnamon Stick' is a hardy plant that had cool purple and white flowers at the end of long red colored stems. They looked like cinnamon sticks! The final plant we looked at was the Abutilon or Flowering Maple. This variety was called 'Jerry's Red Wax' because the flower are so thick and full they look like red wax. These are great summer performers in the garden and come in a ton of different colors and sizes.
Sebright is also part of the Cascade Nursery Trail sale this Saturday at their nursery. This is a great group of smaller nurseries that grow some wonderful plants! Stop by, enjoy some tasty food and wine, and take home a great plant!
Another thing that they are offering this year is the 'Colors of Fun' Creature contest, where you can create a fruit or vegetable themed creature based on the fair's theme. All the rules and requirements can be found on the links above. You can turn in your entries at the fairgrounds at Columbia Hall on Thursday, August 24th, from 2pm to 8pm. They also have a second show with entries for that show taken on Wednesday, August 30th from 7am to 8:30am. Just look for the signs when you get to the fairgrounds.
This year's fair runs from August 25th through September 4th. Fill out your entry forms on-line and bring your award winning flowers or produce to the fair and you could be a winner!!