This week takes a turn… a clock turn to an extra hour of sleep! This is one of those times when we can actually feel the change of seasons. This change in time, which is totally human, is not felt by our plant friends in the garden. A perfect example of how we can change our perceptions of time, but the garden just keeps moving on to a different calendar!
Just a quick note. Last week an unfortunate soul posted the wrong show to the station in Portland and we ended up with a repeat show for our viewers in Portland. When things like this happen, don’t get mad, just go to the www.GardenTime.tv website and you will be able to see the most current show on our website! Life is short, don’t get mad, just go to the website.
This week we featured...
Lan Su Mum-vember
November is also Mumvember at Lan Su Chinese Garden (503-228-8131). The whole month is dedicated to the chrysanthemum and they are celebrated with a cut flower display, educational talks and even plants for sale. This year they are kicking off the celebration with their annual Ninth Moon Floral Design Showcase. 25 floral designers will be putting together outstanding displays featuring the chrysanthemum. There will be prizes for the top designers including a ‘peoples’ choice’ award where visitors get to vote for their favorite. Chuck Schomaker, from Old Town Florist, joined William at the garden to show us how you can use mums in your floral decorations. This arrangement was spectacular, using some common elements, that you might even have in your own garden, but they are not as elaborate as the professional displays that you will see this opening weekend of the Mum-vember event Some of those displays are over the top and viewing pictures of the entrees from last year… he’s right. If you want to see these great floral designs you have to come this weekend, the judging ends Sunday afternoon.
Mumvember doesn’t end there. One of the slogans for the Lan Su Chinese Garden is ‘never twice the same’ and a walk around the garden in November proves it! There are nearly 600 potted chrysanthemums and 130 different varieties are on display in the garden. During the celebration you will learn about a lot of the lore surrounding mums. For over 2,000 years the Chinese have been growing and hybridizing these wonderful flowers. Did you know that the Chinese thought the chrysanthemum could give you long life. In fact there is one story of a lake in China that was surrounded by mums and if you were to drink the water from that lake it was supposed to give you 100 years of a happy and healthy life. That is why the Chinese would brew a tea made from the leaves of the plant and even made a rice wine with the leaves as well. They are also having special chrysanthemum speakers and events throughout the month. There is something planned for every Saturday, so don’t forget to check the schedule on their website for more details. There are also a lot of plants that are showing off in the garden right now so stop by and enjoy the garden as well as Mumvember!
Winter Tree Problems
The wind, rain and possible snow of the coming winter can mean trouble for your large landscape trees. How can you tell if your trees are healthy enough for all that Mother Nature has to offer? We sought out some tips from arborist Logan Collier from Bartlett Tree Experts (503-72ARBOR, 503-722-7267) and asked him for some signs we can look for. Logan took us to an area near West Linn to check out a couple of trees. He told us that you should check your trees from the ground up. Look for damaged roots, trunks and canopies. He showed us a large maple that had lost a few big branches. He said that an arborist should check out this tree to make sure that there wasn’t any decay or disease that could weaken it even more. We then moved to a multiple-trunked tree that could lose one of its trunks due to rot and decay at its base or between the two main leaders. We also saw a tree that had a bunch of dead branches and one that had fungal conks (a sign of possible internal disease). Those are just a few of the 8 signs that you should look for in a dangerous tree. Other signs included weakly attached branches, cracks in the branches near the trunk, pealing bark and signs of decay or rot. These are the most obvious of signs, but if you are unsure of the safety of your trees you can contact Bartlett. Bartlett even has a brochure that can tell you what else to look for. Logan also emphasizes that you insist on a certified arborist. They are trained to look for the damaged spots and are trained (insured and bonded) to remove the weak tree safely.
Fall and Winter Berry Plants
Fall brings color to your garden as your plants put on their fall coats. That fall coat isn’t always leaf color, sometimes your plants will also share colorful berries too! To see some of the plants that have interesting berries we stopped by Tsugawa Nursery (360-225-8750) and talked to Brian Tsugawa about some of his favorites. He had a few plants that will bring seasonal interest to your garden including a couple of viburnums to share, including the large shrub ‘Pink Beauty’ with the pink and blue berries and the ‘Davidii’ with the neon blue berries. The larger of the two was the pink beauty and the shortest was the davidii. The difference was the leaves. The davidii is the evergreen, the pink beauty was deciduous (losing its leaves in the fall). Hollies are known for their berries, but the variety ‘Blue Princess’ that Brian brought out, is also a compact variety so it won’t take over your garden, still you are rewarded with wonderful red berries. Another short evergreen with berries is the Pernettia ‘Rubra’. This is not as well known, but the pink berries turn red, thus the name ‘rubra’ which means red. It has been around for years but is underused. A very well-known berried plant is the Calacarpa ‘Profusion’. This plant is also known as beautyberry. It is a large shrub that has neon bluish-purple berries that hold on through the fall and winter. It can be easily pruned to stay small if you want. A very popular berried plant is the pyracantha. We saw the ‘Red Elf’ with orange berries, but there are lots of varieties in various shades of red and orange that work well in any garden. They can be a shrub or can be trained on a trellis or arbor. Our final plant was also a well-known plant, the Euonymus (burning bush). This plant earns its name because of the bright red fall color, it almost seems on fire! We saw both presentations of the plant, one version on a standard (a trunk) and one version as a shrub. Both were bright red in their foliage and full of berries.
These were just a few of the varieties of berried plants you can find at your independent garden centers. For more choices, stop by Tsugawa’s and check out these ‘berry’ wonderful plants.
Garden Gallery Iron Works Holiday Open House
The holidays are here. The kickoff for most people happens after Halloween (though some start a little sooner!) and that means it is time to start your shopping for everyone in the family, including you! All of our garden center and nursery friends are having their open houses over the next month and we start the fun at Garden Gallery Iron Works (800-452-5266) in Hubbard. Don met us in their huge showroom to talk about the HOT items for the holidays. We started by talking about the 5 different designed wreaths that they have for sale. These are Oregon-made and can be shipped anywhere in the lower 48 states. But if you are looking for doing your own decorating ideas we moved over and joined Judy and Sherry to talk about how you can make your own centerpiece or mantelpiece using just materials from GGIW. It isn’t hard to do if you visit their ‘Farmhouse Style’ area of the store. It is full of vintage and faux antique items. Most of these items are not only good for the holidays, but can be wonderful additions to your home all year long.
Next we moved to another part of the store to see some of the iron and metal displays that GGIW is known for. Don showed us the snowmen, angels and trees that are made from metal and wrapped with lights. These will last for years and all you have to do is push their stakes in the ground! You can pick up these wonderful decorations or order your wreath this Saturday if you stop by the store for their annual Holiday Open House. They are having a big party on Saturday from 9 to 4 with gift ideas, décor items and refreshments. There will be a gift for the first 50 people and discounts off your entire purchase. It’s a great way to kick off your holiday shopping!