Time for preparing! We are now past Halloween and it is time to start getting ready for Thanksgiving and then the rush of other holidays, including Christmas! It is time to get the home and the garden ready for the change! I now check the forecasts to see how the weather is going. If we get a dry day or two, I’ll be like a lot of you and making the trek to the roof to hang Christmas lights. It is exciting to see the changes in the garden and the weather. The cold winds have us starting to bundle up and we should be thinking of bundling up the garden too.
Get that mulch on the beds, trim back the roses a little and make sure that those marginally tender plants are protected. Then enjoy a hot tea or cup of cocoa.
This month is also about celebrations! We are going to be airing our 500th episode of Garden Time on the 17th of November and we want to celebrate with you! Join us at Portland Nursery on Stark Street between 10am and 2pm for some cake and conversation. We’ll also be doing some drawings for prizes too! To learn more about Garden Time and how we reached 500, check out this month’s edition of Garden Time magazine. Thank you all for your support of the show and our advertisers all these years!
This week we featured...
Building a Solexx Greenhouse
Having a ‘green’ house in your backyard shouldn’t send you to the ‘poor’ house. We found one by Solexx that is easy to assemble and really inexpensive too. A greenhouse will help to extend your gardening season and it will give you a head start on next year. Bev Perry from The Greenhouse Catalog (800-825-1925) and William assembled one in just a few hours. When you order the kit it arrives in just a couple of boxes. The kit is so well organized, and color coded, that it is really simple to assemble with just a couple of tools. A couple other benefits… it can be sited anywhere and there is no need for expensive site preparation, you can place it directly on your lawn. Plus it is lightweight. You can assemble it in one area and move it to another area with just 2 people. This is great if you want to place it over an existing garden area. Check out their website to see all the different types of greenhouses available and all the tools to extend your growing season.
Terra Casa Holiday Lights
The Christmas season can be merry and bright! You just need to stop by Terra Casa (503-577-8242) in Damascus. We did and talked to Diana about all the great holiday lights they have to offer. She started by showing us the wonderful display of lighted churches and small wooden buildings they have. These low-power lights can be chained together so you can power a small village with just one plug. Then we moved to another part of the store to check out the ‘snow globes’. These are not your ordinary globes that you had to shake to enjoy the sparkles and snow. These are battery powered and lit so they provide endless hours of a winter wonderland. These Snow Globe water lanterns are mesmerizing! Another light that you can use to create a mood is part of the Stoney Creek collection of glass lights. These fixtures have a soft light with different themes and scenes on the front of them. Very warm and inviting. Finally we took another stroll to see some holiday scenes that light up, play music and have motion! These little home and village scenes show ice skaters in the park, Santa in his workshop and goodies in the candy store, all rotating and bright. These scenes instantly create that festive holiday mood! You can also get ‘real’ candles and the special ‘life-time’ candle which uses a clean burning candle lamp oil. For more decorating ideas and other great Christmas gifts, stop by Terra Casa and check out all the cool stuff for indoors or out. Stop by this weekend, the 3rd and 4th, for their annual Holiday Open House. They will have these, and many other ‘must-haves’ for your holiday decorating!
Mumvember – Lan Su Chinese Garden
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 and educational talks. This year they are kicking off the celebration with their annual Ninth Moon Floral Design Showcase. Award winning 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. This year some of the featured designers will also be there for the introduction of the new book, Asian Allure. You can check out the book and see their designs too. Some of those displays are over the top and having viewed 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! We met with Mandi at the Lan Su greenhouses to see where they grow their tons of mums. She told us that there are nearly 750 potted chrysanthemums and 75 different varieties 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!
Garden Time Tour 2019 – Italy and France
This past summer Garden Time took a group of viewers to London, Paris and Belgium on one of our most popular garden tours. We saw some magnificent gardens and had a great time doing it!
Now we are proud to announce our next trip for September of 2019. We are going to Italy and the French Riviera. We start our tour on the 13th of September in Varenna, Italy, on beautiful Lake Como, where we will spend three days visiting stunning gardens and their accompanying gorgeous lakeside villas. On our way to Menton, France, we will visit the Italianate garden at Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore. Menton is our home for three nights as we explore the garden gems on the French Riviera, including the Jardin Exotique of Monaco and Lawrence Johnston's (Hidcote Manor) Jardin Serre de la Madone. Provence is next; via the charming university town of Aix, we make our way to Arles, one of Van Gogh's homes in Provence, our home for the next four nights. From Arles we will explore the surrounding area, visiting the markets and private gardens, including La Louve, a contemporary garden in the Luberon region, created in 1986 by Hermes textile designer, Nicole de Vesian. We will end our tour with a couple nights in Nice, soaking in the sun and enjoying great food! Join Garden Time to savor the beauty these dazzling regions offer: lush gardens, delicious food and wine, colorful villages and Roman architecture. For more information you can check out our tours page on this website. Look for the little airplane. If you book before the start of the new year, you can save up to $250 dollars per person! Hurry, these trips fill up fast!
We always tell you that the fall is a great time for planting, it is also a great time for cooking! This week our trip to Barn Owl Nursery (503-638-0387) gave us an opportunity to satisfy both needs! Chris met William in the garden to talk about evergreen herbs and how to use them in the garden. She had quite a collection of plants that do well in the winter garden and in your kitchen as well. We started with a Bay tree. Bay leaves are a staple of winter soups and stews and they are easy to grow and take care of. They can get tall, so pruning them back will give you a smaller bush and more leaves for cooking. Another great herb is rosemary. This plant will give you fresh rosemary all year round and also is a great plant for bees in the late spring. It is also one of our favorites for fragrance in the fall garden, just brushing up against it releases its fabulous fragrance! Chris also had quite an array of thymes. These can be used in the kitchen, though some are more flavorful than others. The best part about planting multiple colors and varieties is not just the flavor, but they can also be visually stunning in your dishes. Another great culinary plant is the sage. We saw 4 different varieties including a purple sage, which can also brighten up your cooking presentation.
These herbs are all great for the garden or even in a container. Some people find that a container works great because then you can keep the herbs closer to your back door and use them in your everyday cooking. For more information on these and other great herbs you can contact Chris through her website (she’s closed for the season, except by appointment) or you can stop by your local independent garden center.