Happy Memorial Day weekend. This weekend is considered the start of the summer season by many, though with the weather we have been having recently it seems like summer has been around for the last month or so. It has been great to sit in the garden, especially after the massive amount of pollen, and enjoy the extended days and warm evenings. We hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!
Another event that marks the beginning of the summer is Subaru Garden Dayz! Join us next Saturday, June 2nd, for a great Salem area gardening event. We will have free plants (while they last), free hot dogs and sodas, 10 garden vendors and a planting area for the kids. It is taking place at Capitol Subaru on the Parkway, from 11-3. We will see you there!!
This week we featured...
Conifer Kingdom Maples
We recently found a local grower called Conifer Kingdom (503-874-4123), but little did we know they are also a big grower of Japanese maples, and some of them are really cool and unique. Sam met us in the nursery to show us a few that they carry and grow. The first one he had for us was ‘Koto no ito’, which means ‘beautiful harp strings’. This one has a very fine textured green foliage that look like harp strings. It also turns a nice yellow in the fall. The second one was a new variety from the Netherlands called ‘Taylor’. The new growth shows up as hot pink and stays that way for a while. If you give it a little shade or as the summer progresses it will get more green in the leaves. The third tree was a ‘bat wing’ maple called ‘Usugumo’. The reason for the name is the leaves that resemble a bat’s wing with a webbing on the leaves with a dappled variegation throughout the leaves. The next tree was a favorite and one that you may have heard of before called ‘Autumn Moon’. It has a bright orange leaf in the full sun and if you give it some shade it turns a lime green. The fifth tree was one called ‘Rainbow’. This one has a great mix of purple and burgundy in the leaves in full sun. In the shade you get more green in the leaves. This one only gets about 5 feet tall and is great for containers. The final tree was one called ‘Kuro Hime’ which is translated to ‘Black Princess’. This one is a short one that has a globe shape to it. The foliage is green, but when the new growth pops out it is a peachy/orange color, and the fall color is a bright orange/red.
For care of these trees Sam recommends that you give them a shot of slow-release fertilizer right now. Don’t fertilize them in the late summer or fall as that will cause new growth that could get damaged if it freezes early in the fall. They have over 200 varieties of maples that you can order through their website, or you can make an appointment to stop by their growing operation near Silverton and meet with Sam. The maples will blow you away and we dare you not to get one for your home!
Late spring is the time for climbing hydrangeas, and the best place to see them and get one of your own is at Hydrangeas Plus (866-433-7896). Kristen took us on a tour of her display garden and the varieties she had were massive! The white lace-cap type blooms that you find on most of the climbers are just starting to open up, and when they do that they become very fragrant. The first one we saw was called ‘Quelpartensis’, which is a variety that was found in Korea. One thing that Kristen found out about climbers was that when they reach to top of their structure they slow down the upward growth and start to send out more blooming branches from the sides. They love the full sun and that helps with the blooms as well. The second variety was called ‘Brookside Little Leaf’. This one was much smaller and had a woody stem. These stems have lateral roots that attach to the wall or structure that they grow on. That means you should be careful where you place them. If you just train them on your house they will attach to your siding and could cause marks on the wood if you have to remove the plant. The third plant we saw was one that most people know as a climber, the Anomola Petiolaris. This one has the lace-cap blooms that are huge and also fragrant. It LOVES the full sun once established.
We then moved to a small bed to check out a couple smaller plants. These couple of plants that Kristen had were a total contrast to the huge climbers! These were dwarf Serratas. The first one was ‘Kirohime’. It has black stems and lace-cap type blooms that are Ph sensitive. As we mentioned in past stories, that means you can change the color of the flowers to either pink or blue by adding Acid or Alkaline products to the soil.
The last plant we saw was one called ‘Maiko’. This one has a mop-head type of bloom and some really cool coloring to the leaves. Your chance to see these great plants is this weekend during the Cascade Nursery Trail tour. There are 6 nurseries in the mid-valley and they all will be welcoming visitors to the growing operations during their Spring Fever Open House! Stop by this weekend and find a treasure to take home!
Peony Display Contest
If you love peonies you have probably made a stop by Adelman Peony Gardens (503-393-6185) in Brooks! They are right in the middle of their open garden season when the fields are full of blooms and their display garden is looking full! This spring holds another reason for the local peony lover to go crazy, and that is the 2018 American Peony Society Convention. This is only the second time in over 100 years that the society has had their convention here, and while the average person cannot attend a lot of the meetings and gatherings, there is one way we can all celebrate and that is to visit the Floral Showcase at the convention hotel. Peony growers from around the U.S. will be showing the cream of their peony crop. These are the best of the best and awards are handed out every year. Adelman’s has won more than their fair share of ribbons over the years! The exhibition will take place at the University Place Hotel in Portland, Oregon. The flower exhibition hours for the public are, Saturday, May 26th from 1:00pm - 5:00pm and Sunday, May 27th from 9:00am - 4:00pm. Stop by and pick your favorite and see if our local champion, Adelman’s, takes home a prize or two!
Inviting Vines Tour
One of the best collection of plants in the US 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 and sometimes that included a lot of time in the car to get from one garden to another. This year the 4 gardens on the tour are close together sometimes within walking distance! We met with Linda Beutler, the Rogerson Garden curator, at the home of Nancy, a garden designer who has an incredible cottage garden full of roses and clematis. She has a smaller lot in Lake Oswego, but it is full of little garden ‘rooms’ and hideaways which makes it appear much larger. Two of the other gardens are within steps on Nancy’s garden and have completely different designs. The one factor that ties them all together are a use of clematis in their designs. The 4th garden on the tour is in West Linn and is under a 10 minute drive from Luscher Farm. Of course after you have visited the 4 private gardens you can stop by the Clematis collection at Luscher as well. It is a day full of beautiful blooms!
The Tour is happening this Saturday the 26th from 10am to 4pm. You can get your tickets at the display garden at Luscher Farm or from a list of garden centers on their website, including Dennis 7 Dees in Lake Oswego, Al’s Garden and Home in Sherwood and Wilsonville, Kordell’s in West Linn and Garden Fever among others. Check out the Collections website for more information.
Margie’s Strawberry Daiquiri
There is nothing like fresh strawberries and right now a lot of your local growers are featuring these tasty little wonders at their stores. One place where we go is Margie’s Farm and Garden (503-866-6123) in Aurora. Margie had a treat for us when we stopped by to get some berries, a recipe for Strawberry Daiquiris! First she combined 2 cups of granulated sugar a third cup of lime juice and a quarter cup of water in bowl. You then stir to mix, then let stand until sugar is almost completely dissolved, about 15 minutes. In blender or food processor you combine the sugar mixture with 1 quart of fresh berries. Blend that mixture until it is smooth. You pack into half pint or quart size containers and freeze, or you can pour that mixture into ice cube trays and freeze until the cubes are firm, then unmold them and pack them into freezer bags. This mixture will become solid, but will have the consistency of a very firm sherbet, so you will be able to scoop portions out with an ice cream scoop and refreeze.
Then to make the daiquiri: In a blender combine 3 or 4 tablespoons of rum, ¼ cup frozen mix or 3 or so cubes of mix. And about ¾ cups ice cubes. Blend until smooth. For non-alcoholic drinks: Replace rum with unsweetened pineapple juice. Click here for the recipe!
It is a tasty treat for those hot summer days and by creating the mixture, you can enjoy the taste of spring long into the summer! Stop by Margie’s or your local farmers market to get some fresh strawberries and maybe even a few plants too!
Japanese Garden Bonsai
One of the best displays of bonsai in the state of Oregon is right up the hill at Washington Park at the Portland Japanese Garden (503-223-1321). To get a look and to learn about bonsai we met with Andrew Robson, a volunteer at the garden. He had one of his newest specimens with him, a 700 year old tree, and even though this tree is very old, it is still at least 10 years away from being a perfect bonsai. Andrew mentioned that working with bonsai is a ‘long-term’ hobby. This art form takes years to develop and he himself is still studying the technique. The benefit is that you can work with just about any plant to create a bonsai and it is an ever changing hobby as you learn more. The Portland area is also a great place to learn. There is a very active bonsai club here and so there are lots of people who are around to help you with any questions you may have. Another way to get your questions answered is to stop by the Japanese Garden for one of their ‘cultural corner’ talks which happen regularly at the garden, just check the website for times and dates. Even if you don’t want to learn the art of bonsai, you can still enjoy these wonderful plants. The 2 areas of bonsai displays are constantly updated with new plants, so you will almost always see something new! Yet another great reason to visit the Portland Japanese Garden.
Rose Diseases and Blind Shoots
Roses are a favorite of the summer garden. The right varieties will continue to bloom all through the summer and into the fall. As with any rose, there are thorns. For us that means diseases, pests and other problems. We met up with Rachel Burlington, the curator at the International Rose Test Garden at Washington Park, to see what home gardeners should be looking out for.
The first thing we talked about were ‘blind shoots’. These are upright shoots that have no flower buds at the end of the stem. There seems to be a combination of things that cause this including too much shade and sometimes the types of rose you are growing. If you cut this blind shoot off it is just like deadheading a spent bloom, The plant will shoot up a new stem with buds on it!
The rose is the number one flowering plant in the United States and we found 3 problems that most gardeners face in their rose gardens. We first found Black Spot. This is a problem that you will find in most rose gardens. It loves our cool wet climates and attacks the young tissue on your roses. You have to start early in the season to prevent this problem. Now is too late to try and stop it but you can minimize it by taking the diseased material that falls off the plant and putting it in your garbage, not your compost pile. The spores from the diseased plants will stay in your compost and if you spread it around, could affect your other roses. Then we talked about powdery mildew. Powdery mildew likes the warm weather. The fungus really likes these conditions and will thrive with overhead watering and lots of heat.
How do you prevent, or limit, these diseases? Good plant care is one. Prune the plants to allow for airflow through the plant. This will allow the plant to dry quickly and make it difficult for spores and fungus to grow. Clean your pruners when you are working, especially if you are going from one plant to another. Try to minimize your overhead watering. Use a soaker hose instead. This will get the water to the plants and keep the foliage dry, preventing those disease problems. You can also look to replace your disease prone flowers with newer disease resistant varieties.
The final problem we talked about was aphids. These little suckers are drawing the juice from your plant and could cause some damage. You can either leave them alone and let the beneficial bugs in your garden get them or you can spray them off with a hose. Once on the ground they are poor crawlers and the ground dwelling bugs will get them. There are also organic solutions and chemical solutions for aphids, but some of the solutions may be worse than the problem.
Finally we want to emphasize that you can just do nothing as well. Most of these problems will not kill your plant, and if you love the blooms, it might just be a minor inconvenience. You can check out the wonderful display of roses at the rose garden in Washington Park all summer long. Of course, they will hit their peak during the month of June. Stop by if you can!
With Memorial Day here you may be looking for a way to memorialize a loved one. William and Judy paid a visit to Portland Nursery (503-231-5050) to learn how you can create a memorial garden. There are various meanings for different plants and we covered just a couple. We talked about the various ways you can choose a memorial plant like by fragrance or color. You may also choose a plant that held a special meaning to the person you are memorializing. Other things you can do would be to use a statue in your garden or by attaching a ribbon, flag or banner to a plant or container to mark it. Remember, you must have permission to bring a plant into a cemetery or on public property. Also, you don’t have to lose a loved one to plant a memorial garden; you can mark any big occasion by planting a special plant.
Moles, Voles and Gophers
These 3 are the big names in large garden pests. Everyone will blame one of these 3 if they have damaged plants or bulbs in their garden! Sometimes we don’t even know they are around until we see a mound in our lawn. We met with Dana Sanchez from OSU on the campus in Corvallis to learn more about Moles, Voles and Gophers; and to see if what we had heard was true. Dana first told us how to identify these different animals. The pocket gopher is typically the largest of the 3. It has a mound of dirt that sometimes looks like a horseshoe shape with one end open. The mole is generally just a mound of dirt, sometimes with a small crater or hole in the center. The vole is the smallest and is more likely to have trails above ground right at the soil line. People sometimes confuse the different diets that these animals have as well. The gopher is most likely a vegetarian. He will eat your bulbs and plant roots. The mole is going after grubs (though, if you have a large mole they can eat bulbs and roots as well), so if you have them in your lawn it is a sign that you have critters in your lawn. Now the next question is do you need to get rid of them. If they are in an area where there isn’t a lot of activity or a part of your yard that isn’t important, then it might be better to leave them alone. They do good things with the soil by rotating it, moving nutrients around and breaking up the clay. If you do need to move them or get rid of them, the best methods are poisons and traps. The poisons can be placed in the ground and so there is not as much exposure to other animals in your garden (it is always good to keep these baits away from pets and children). The other effective method is with a gripping trap like the Cinch Trap. The things that don’t work so well are the vibrating methods, which are supposed to scare them away and things like chewing gum. There has not been a lot of studies to prove that they are effective. If you would like to find out more you can check out the OSU Extension site, http://extension.oregonstate.edu. They have an ‘Ask an Expert’ link where you can send in your questions and get a good science based answer.
Finished Fiberon Deck
For the past month we have been featuring the replacement of the Garden Time producer’s deck with the wonderful Fiberon composite decking material. Well, the job is finished and we get to unveil it this week on the show. First we met with Josh from NW Outdoor Living and Renovation (503-995-0174). He was the contractor who installed the new deck. Judy asked him about the install and how easy it was, and it was easy. Once the sub-structure was installed the decking went in like a breeze. There were a few little issues with siding and installing the recessed lighting, but that is why we recommend a licensed and bonded contractor. Josh and his crew were able to take care of the minor problems with no effort. He also recommended that you get a contractor if you are doing a deck with any height at all.
We then moved over to visit with Derek from Fiberon about the product and how to maintain it. The Fiberon product is incredible, and it is meant to last. The decking itself is guaranteed for 25 years and is so easy to care for. You just wash it with soapy water twice a year. We also talked about the lighting packages that you can get. This deck came with recessed step lighting and small decorative lights around the top ‘picture frame’ board. They also have rails and other packages that you can get for any installation. The Fiberon product is a top quality product and the producers will be enjoying it for decades! If you are interested in working up your own design or would like to find a retailer near you, you can check out the Fiberon website. We got our Fiberon at Conrad Lumber (503-625-7535) on Tualatin-Sherwood Road in Sherwood.