Wow! It has been hot. We were gone for a couple weeks on vacation and even with someone watering our garden, it is looking pretty beat up. Now, after being out in the garden, I’m feeling kind of beat up too! If you are headed out to the garden remember to stay hydrated and take lots of break. If you can, try to get out in the cooler morning hours, and hope that we get some cooler weather soon!
This week we featured...
Hughes Lotus Bowl
Have you ever heard of having water plants and regular garden plants in one container? We hadn’t either, until we got a call from Eamonn Hughes of Hughes Water Gardens (503-638-1709)! In the past Eamonn has shown us how to build a simple water bowl with a fountain in it. This time we returned to learn about his ‘surf and turf’ special. What we are talking about is combining a water plant, a lotus, and a regular garden planter in one pot. First Eamonn showed us a container that had soil inside of it. In the center there was a space for a bowl that would hold a small lotus plant. Lotus are very hardy for our area, but because of the small amount of water in the bowl, will need protection in extreme cold. The larger container had a hole in the bottom for drainage of the terrestrial plants we would be using. We placed the bowl in the center and then started to add plants around it. These plants don’t have to be water plants because we treat the rest of the container as if it were a regular planter. Once everything is planted he added hazelnut shells as a top dressing. This blended the water bowl into the terrestrial plantings quite nicely. It was done in less than 15 minutes! It is a great way to enjoy the best of both worlds, a planter with a container and water plants. Now, as we mentioned, at the end of the season you will want to move the lotus inside on the coldest of days below freezing, but other than that this planter should be one to enjoy for years. If you are near Hughes you can stop by and pick up all the supplies to build your own Lotus bowl.
Out in the Garden Summer Plants – Wine and Cheese
Out in the Garden is a great place to be! Not just in your own yard, but also the nursery in Molalla. The owner of Out in the Garden Nursery (503-829-4141), Carol Westergreen, has a nursery in a beautiful setting, but she also has a wonderful selection of plants. She pulled out a wide assortment of plants that look good now and will look good for the rest of the summer too.
The first plant she had for us was a Joe Pye Weed called ‘Pink Frost’. Not only does it have great blooms that attract bees and butterflies, but this variety has wonderful variegated foliage too. Speaking of great blooms, she also had a couple different varieties of Caryopteris that were just starting to show off. The 3 she had for us were ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, ‘Longwood Blue’ and ‘Beyond Midnight’ though she has 6 other varieties in her greenhouses as well. The next plant was a dwarf goldenrod. This one stays under 3 feet tall, while others will get 6 feet or taller. It is a drought tolerant plant that adds a bright spot to your garden. Carol also had 3 alliums for us to look at. Even though they are 3 different varieties on display they looked very similar. The big difference was the bloom time. If you had all 3 you could have blooms for multiple weeks and as long as months! Another bright bloomer is the dwarf Rudbeckia called ‘Little Goldsturm’. This one stays shorter and adds another bright spot to the mid-summer garden.
Some of her favorites this time of year are the grasses. They are nearing their full summer growth and some are even blooming. We started with a grass that had a very unique flower. Blue Grama Grass ‘Blonde Ambition’ is a smaller grass but the seed head is bright and angled to the side so you can see it across the garden. It has just started blooming, but will continue to bloom until fall. Carol also had a Molinia. This plant is tough and it looks great. This one was ‘variegata’ and that variegation looks great in the garden. We then looked a striped Miscanthus called ‘Bandwidth’. This grass had green and yellow foliage and looked very unique for a grass! The next plant was a Pennisetum ‘Karley Rose’. Karley Rose is a tall and dark grass, getting to about 3 feet tall, with fluffy seed heads/flowers will last from June until frost. Finally we saw a Panicum called Hot Rod. This plant had green foliage that turned burgundy over time. The leaves are nice and broad so the color really shows up well in the garden. These all would be great additions to any garden.
One way to see most of these plants is to come out and wander the display garden at the nursery and this Sunday, the 29th, is the perfect time. That is when Out in the Garden is hosting their 7th annual Wine and Cheese in the Garden event. This event takes place from noon to 5pm. There are lots of local foods, wines and crafts to enjoy, all under the canopy of the signature white oaks in their display garden. They will also have live music by Timothy James and the Rae Gordon Band! Come out, wander the nursery and have a great time in the summer sun!
Garland Art and Wine in the Garden
There is nothing better on a warm summer day than to wander through a nursery looking at art and plants while sipping some wine! If you are looking for something of interest in your garden that doesn’t require watering, you may be thinking of garden art. The local garden art scene is packed with talented people and you can see many of them this weekend at Garland Nursery (1-800-296-6601) in Corvallis. We stopped by the nursery to chat with Brenda and Lee from the Powell family (the owners of Garlands) to learn about this great event. This year they have over 35 garden artists and vendors on site, who work in metal, glass, fabric, pottery, paint and stone. There will also be 3 different wineries and 2 spirit vendors sampling their best libations. Plus there is live music and food is available for purchase. The event happens from 10-4 on Saturday and Sunday and is free to the public. If you are down in the Albany or Corvallis area, stop and check it out.
10 Minute Gardening
Normally when we meet with Bonnie Cushman it is to talk about the Regional Water Providers Consortium about water and how to use it efficiently in your garden. This time however, we were talking to her about tips for gardening. One of her biggest tips was to have a 10 minute gardening rule. If you are busy, don’t tackle big projects, just get out for 10 minutes and do what you can. This means you still get work done in the garden, but you don’t bite off more than you can chew. No longer are you a ‘weekend warrior’ doing too much in one day, but someone who gets things done in a limited and enjoyable time frame.
One time consuming chore is harvesting. Bonnie and her daughter are doing succession planting to help overcome that and make it more manageable. They planted a small area with veggies and now that they are growing they are planting a new bed of veggies. They can easily harvest the smaller bed and in a few weeks they will be harvesting the new crops. They are spreading out their harvest! What helps them do that is the use of mulch and drip irrigation. The mulch keeps the weeds down and the moisture maintained around the plants, and the drip helps put the water exactly where it is needed.
By doing these simple things Bonnie and her family are ‘enjoying’ their garden and they have more time to enjoy summer too! For more tips on watering and gardening, check out https://www.conserveh2o.org.
TOW – Little Baja Container Tree Watering
Our tip of the week is from our friends at Little Baja (503-236-8834). Little Baja are the experts in containers. They sell terra cotta, concrete and glazed containers for the home gardener. One of the biggest questions they get this time of year is how do I keep my plants from dying. Wayne told us that the problem is water. When a tree or large shrub is in a container they are reliant on you to keep then watered. They cannot pull water from an extensive root system in the ground. Plus, when you water them, they need LOTS of water. A little bit on the top won’t make it to the roots. You have to give a large tree about 1-2 gallons of water every day during the heat of summer. This is especially true if you have a tender tree like a maple. An evergreen tree with needles will dry out slower and can make it by if you miss a day, but a maple if left alone can be damaged permanently.
Also, it does make a difference on the type of container you use in the garden. Concrete and glazed pots help to seal in the moisture, but a terra cotta pot breathes. That is what makes them so great for your plants (they stay healthier in terra cotta), but that also means that they can lose moisture faster too. The key is to pay attention and make sure your plants stay well hydrated. If you have any other questions about pottery, or statuary, stop by and ask our friends at Little Baja.