Happy Father’s Day Weekend! This is a weekend that marks a change for me, and not just because I’m a dad. It is my start to the summer season. Spring is wrapping up and life is slowing down. Time to get the hammock out and start enjoying the warmer weather. You can let your dad enjoy this warmer weather as well! There are a couple of great brew events happening at the Oregon Garden and French Prairie Gardens. Plus there is a pollinator fest near Monmouth. Plenty to do and see!
Next week is our last hour long program for the 2018 season. I know that a lot of people will be disappointed by this news, but it has to be done. We love the fact that we can expand the show to an hour for 13 weeks, and we thank the advertisers that allow us to do that! If you see a sponsor of the Garden Time show, be sure to thank them for the support.
This week we featured...
Annuals are great and perennials are wonderful, but a flowering shrub is really something special in the garden. To see some of the best in the garden center, we stopped by Portland Nursery on Division (503-788-9000), to talk to Sara. She had pulled quite a few different plants for us to look at. We started with one of William’s favorites, the Escallonia ‘Fradesi’. This one is an evergreen shrub with great pink colored blooms and looks great all year long. The next was a Buddlia or butterfly bush, variety ‘Miss Ruby’. Some people may have heard that Buddlias were a restricted, invasive plant in our area, but these new varieties are sterile and can be sold in Oregon. This one is a little shorter than the older varieties and it still has that distinctive ‘honey’ scent and wonderful flowers. The next selection was a great one for a hot and dry area in your garden. This is a shorter shrub that gets covered in yellow blooms and is a bright addition to any garden. Another great addition to the dry and hot garden is the cistus. This one was called ‘Sunset’ for its cool red/pink prolific blooms. Another plant with prolific blooms is the Crape Myrtle. We saw one called ‘Pecos’ and it was getting ready to pop with colorful reddish flowers. Most Crape Myrtles bloom in late summer but this one had a head start because it was in the greenhouse. These plants really LOVE the heat and they are known to thrive in the south, but there are lots of varieties that will do well in our climate too. If you are looking for flowers and texture then the next couple of plants are for you. The ‘Black Lace’ elderberry can be the tall, dark and handsome plant in your summer garden, as it gets to over 10 feet tall. The fine lacy foliage is dark, but the wide, dainty flowers are a bright creamy white. Another tall, dark and handsome bush is the Cotinus or Smoke Bush. This one also has fine lacy foliage, and the flowers appear as large ‘puffs’ in mid to late spring, which makes for a very distinctive show in the garden. Sara loves the plant but not the flowers so she gives hers a hair cut in late winter to cut off all those new shoots so she gets the foliage and not the flowers! Our next plant was the Itea called ‘Henry’s Garnet’. Even though it’s called Garnet the fragrant flowers are white on long stems, which is why it is also called Sweet Spire. The garnet name comes from the reddish stems on the plant. We were near the end of her selections when we saw the Weigelas. She had ‘Sonic Bloom Pink’ and ‘Crimson Kisses’. Both of these are great in the garden and Weigelas are known for their long bloom time. Plus these newer varieties are shorter than the older varieties and they are all still very deer resistant too! Finally, we saw a couple of Hebes on her cart. The ‘Boxleaf’ and the ‘Caledonia’. These were two different sizes of plants to just show you how you can find one to fit any space. The one thing that will stay the same is the wonderful bloom spikes that you can enjoy.
If you would like to add height, color and fragrance to your summer garden, don’t forget shrubs. You can find most of these at your local independent garden center or at either location of Portland Nursery.
Portland’s Best Rose
The Rose Festival for 2017 has wrapped up but we took some time to celebrate the namesake of the festival recently. Garden Time was invited to the International Rose Test Gardens at Washington Park to help judge some of the newer varieties of roses and help vote for Portland’s Best Roses for 2018. The Portland Rose Society (503-777-4311) is the host for this event, but they are involved in so much more! We met with society member Rich Baer after the voting was done to learn more about that process and to get some information about the society. First we talked about the competition. The roses are judged based on how they look on judging day. The roses that are rated the highest are the winners and are billed as the most beautiful roses in the garden for that day. 30 new varieties are considered during the judging and rated on a scale of 1 to 10. There are winners in the following classes of roses: shrubs, floribundas, grandifloras, hybrid teas and fragrance, with the overall winner being designated as Portland’s Best Rose for 2018. This year that overall winning rose was ‘Pretty Lady Rose’!
This event was put on for Rose Society guests but the general public also had a chance to get involved. Every year after the Grand Floral Parade, the public can wander that garden and they get to vote on the best rose and most fragrant rose. The people’s choice this year for best rose was ‘Honey Nectar’ and their pick for fragrance was ‘Violet’s Pride’!
After all the buzz of awarding the honors to the rose winners, Judy asked Rich about the Society. The Rose Society was started in 1888 by Mrs. Henry Pittock to celebrate the glory of the rose. The Society is very inclusive, in fact they have members that don’t even grow roses. All you need to have is a love of roses! The Society is very involved in the community at events that happen all year long. If you are interested in joining this fun and educational group you can go to their website or drop by one of their monthly meetings at Oaks Park. Dues start at $15 for one year. If you ever find yourself up at Washington Park see if you can do your own judging and find your own ‘best rose’!
Gossler Farms Nursery (541-746-3922) is known for growing and shipping outstanding plants all over the country, but if you have never been to see their display garden, you are really missing out! We met up with Roger Gossler in their gardens to look at some cool, mature Stewartia. These plants become landscape trees in most gardens, but do more than just give you shade in the summer. We saw three different varieties of Stewartia and they all were magnificent. The Stewartia that we saw all have flowers in the spring or early summer, interesting seed pods, great fall color and then they have very unique bark during the winter months. Roger started us in the garden near the Stewartia ‘Rostrata’, a very endangered variety in the wild. It has tons of blooms right now and the small residual ‘after’ bloom had a rosy color to it too. The next one was a ‘monadelpha’ with a smaller flower that came earlier this spring. These trees are seedlings and they all have different fall colors from oranges and yellows to even purples. It has one of the more distinctive bark patterns with the standard trait of a ‘peeling’ look or even an ‘orange peel’ look. If you are looking for some really dramatic ‘peeling’ you need to get the ‘Ballet’ variety. This one looks like it has 6 different colored layers peeling at different times and different levels. All of these Stewartias are relatively disease and pest free. If you would like to add any of these to your garden, check out the Gossler website to order one.
Early summer has arrived and that means the strawberries are looking ripe and ready for picking. You may enjoy strawberry shortcake and slicing strawberries over ice cream, but there are so many more ways to enjoy them. William and Judy thought up some interesting combinations for dipping sauces for you to enjoy. We featured ‘night and day’ which had strawberries in half white chocolate and half dark chocolate. We also had ‘Coco-berry’ which was a dip into frosting with coconut flakes. All of them were delicious! We also enjoyed the filled berries! For this we hollowed out a berry with a small melon baller and then filled it with cream cheese frosting, then topped that with ground graham crackers for a mini-cheese cake berry. If you are looking for more ideas, check out the Garden Time On-line magazine from June of 2009. The Garden Time Magazine is free and it comes to you in your e-mail box each month. Just go to the Garden Time home page and click on the link to sign up.
Plant Pick – Beesia
One of the best plants in the shade garden is a little one that could go unnoticed! It is the Beesia. We learned about this one from our friends at Little Prince of Oregon. Mark joined William in the greenhouse to take a look at the great selection of plants they had. It is a wonderful evergreen groundcover and though this plant may not have a flower that will knock your socks off, it has a glossy foliage that looks fake, it is so shiny. There are small white spikes of flowers, but the foliage is the winner here. In the winter the foliage stays around, but it gets a burgundy edge around the leaves. If you would like to find this plant, check out the Little Prince website for a nursery near you.
Dancing Oaks Pollinator Fest
We all want more pollinators in our garden, but we need to know which plants will work the best for them and us. To get a primer on some plants you can use, we stopped by Dancing Oaks Nursery (503-838-6058) near Monmouth. Leonard had a bunch of plants that would work to bring a bunch of different pollinators to your garden like, butterflies, mason bees, honey bees, bumble bees, and even hummingbirds. We started with a yarrow. This plant works great for honey bees and mason bees, and also serves as a landing pad and resting area for butterflies. Solidago was next, which is also called Goldenrod. This plant is a late blooming source of nectar when a lot of other plants have dried up for the summer. The next plant was clumping clover called Trifolium Rubens. It is even popular with the hummingbirds in addition to the bee populations. Another great plant is the blanket flower (Gaillardia). This native plant is a long blooming flower and a prolific bloomer well into the late season. It is also great for the drought tolerant garden. The common name for the next flower doesn’t sound too attractive to us, tickseed, but to the pollinators it must sound like heaven. This plant, which is also called coreopsis, is also very drought tolerant and a long lived perennial. A very colorful plant that should be in every garden was next on Leonard’s list, the Agastache. This fragrant plant is a hit with the hummingbirds. It has other great qualities as well. It is deer resistant and you can use the flowers to make a refreshing drink! The last plant that we saw was a clumping grass. Leonard told us that these are great because they provide cover and protected areas for small beneficial insects, even though the winter.
If you come to the nursery next weekend you can enjoy a lot more pollinator information during their Pollinator Festival. On June 23rd from 10 to 5pm. There are speakers, demonstrations and activities for the whole family, including a mason bee house that you can build and take home while supplies last. Groups include the OSU Master Gardeners, The Oregon Bee Project and OregonFlora. They even have food and beverages available including hard ciders. Make plans for next weekend and stop by, the pollinators in your garden will thank you.
Making Leaf Print Cards
Father’s Day is almost here and we found a great project for those that are under the gun and running out of time! Leaf print cards are easy to make and are fun for any age group. Dean joined us to show the adults how it’s done! You just need leaves, paper and paint. Fold the paper in half for a large card and in half again for a smaller card. Then paint the top side of your leaf with any kind of paint that you have around, we had acrylic and tempra paints on our table. Make sure you use a very light coating of paint on the leaf. A large amount of paint will just squirt out when you press the leaf. Then press the leaf down on the center of the paper. Cover it with a sheet of wax paper (or another sheet of paper will do) and either press down with your hands or use a rolling pin. Then lift up the leaf to see you pattern. We did a few practice runs to get a feel for how much paint we needed.
After the paint dries you can write a little message on the inside of the card and you are done! This is a wonderful project for any type of celebration or any time of year!
Burl’s Bromeliad Landscape
Burl Mostel of Rare Plant Research loves bromeliads! He loves the tropical feel of the plant and the unique structures they provide. In fact, he uses them in his regular garden instead of regular annuals! We had to stop by his winery, Villa Catalana Cellars, to see how he used them in a rock garden near the entrance to the winery. He stores the plants in protected areas and his greenhouse over the winter and then moves them back to the landscape in pots for the summer. The look is striking! The different colors and textures take his garden design up a couple notches! He also uses these same plants in container around the garden which makes them easier to move back indoors at the end of the season.
Your chance to see these lovely vignettes and to buy these plants is this Saturday, June 16th from 11am to 4pm at his wholesale nursery. This is their last open garden/nursery event of the year and he will have all his unique tropical and succulents on sale. There will also a chef with a lunch buffet and wine tasting in their winery. If you want to try something different in your garden and take it up a couple notches, stop by and check out these great plants!
GreenStalk Vertical Planter
We hear about new garden products all the time. One of the latest products we heard about is a vertical planter from GreenStalk. They sent us one to try out and I have to tell you, it was very easy to put together! This system starts with a ‘mover’ base, which is sold separately. We thought it was a great idea to get this with the system because of the final weight of the entire system when its full of soil. On top of the mover you place the first tier of the vertical system. This layer has 6 pockets for planting. There is a center tray that helps distribute the water. Then the next layer goes on, then the next until you reach the top. Each layer alternates and so our 4 tiers ended up with 24 pockets for plants. The very top has a large reservoir for watering. You just fill the top and the system waters everything below it! It was amazing, you can actually watch the water working its way down!
We will keep you updated on the system through the growing season, but it has been working great for us. One last thing we noticed… that ‘mover’ tray on the bottom has allowed us to also spin the planter so all the plants are getting great sunlight! We are growing basil in ours and we have found that we can just pinch off leaves for cooking and salads since the planter is right on our deck. If you would like to learn more about this planter or want to get one of your own, check out the GreenStalk website at https://greenstalkgarden.com.
Geranium Budworm Products
Towards the end of June or early July, you may notice that your petunias and geraniums are getting chomped on! It can become quite depressing. To learn about solutions to this problem we stopped by Marbott’s Greenhouse and Nursery (503-285-2106) and talked to Larry. Marbott’s is known for the wonderful geraniums that they grow, and they grow thousands! So they know what works and what doesn’t. Larry brought out a few products for us to check out. The first two products were from Monterey and Hi-Yield and contained B.t. (Bacillus thuringiensis), a natural bacteria that kills the budworm. The other product from Ferti-lome contained pyrethrin which is naturally found in chrysanthemum flowers. This also controls budworms and aphids!
Larry also reminded us that you may need to reapply these products since they are all natural and break down quicker in the garden. Use these natural products and you will have wonderful flowers all summer long!
Oregon Garden Yoga
There is something about the feel of the earth. Gardeners know this from getting our hands in the dirt. It calms and grounds you! We found the same thing happens when you exercise in the garden too. We were at the Oregon Garden (1-877-674-2733) in Silverton and found a yoga class in the wedding garden! Kristen Aubert is the instructor and she leads yoga classes in the garden throughout the season. She told us that doing yoga on the ground and feeling the earth, hearing the animals and birds, and breathing the fresh air help people relax more and helps them get more out of the experience! The yoga classes are also great for just about anybody, any age and any exercise level. She even showed us some very easy stretches and exercises that we can use as gardeners to take the kinks out after a day in the garden.
If you would like to try a little yoga in the garden just call the main desk at the Oregon Garden Resort and find out the times and locations for the weekly class. Remember the classes may move indoors due to weather considerations so it is good to check first before heading to the garden.