Welcome to GardenPalooza! Today, Saturday April 6th, we are celebrating our 17th annual GardenPalooza at Fir Point Farms. This is a great event for the whole family. There is free parking and free admission. Over 40 garden vendors are bringing the best plants, tools and garden art to this one-day event. Kids can enjoy the farm by visiting the farm animals and maybe even getting a look at the new baby goats that were born this past week!
This week’s show is loaded with stories that preview some of the great plants and garden art that you can find at GardenPalooza. While you are there you can stop by the Garden Time booth and see Judy and William. When you are at the booth, grab a ticket for a chance to win a Dramm Watering tool, a Timber Press book or a gift card to either Al’s Garden and Home, or Portland Nursery. Garden Gallery Iron Works is also giving away a metal arbor worth nearly $600! All you have to do to win it is stop by the ‘Garden Time’ booth to sign up!
Even if the weather is a little wet and breezy, our vendors will be there from 8am to 3:30pm. We hope to see you there!
This week we featured...
Sedum Chicks – GardenPalooza
One of our great GardenPalooza vendors is Sedum Chicks (503-508-7727). Becky grows around 60 varieties on sedums and succulents for sale. At GardenPalooza around 40 of those will make an appearance. Becky pulled out a few of her most popular varieties to share. The first was Sedum confusum, which has numerous color changes throughout the season. Starting with a coral color and switching to a lime green later in the season. The next one was sedum carnea and it had very dark foliage and a tight structure. The foliage has a dark base and is a lighter green on top. The third plant was one with a bloom, the Ice Plant. This one has fleshy leaves and striking purple blooms. The Ice Plant loves the heat, and because of that heat, you will want to soak this plant in the heat of summer to continue to get those great blooms. The final one was a sempervivum that is incredibly popular, the Chick Charms ‘Gold Nugget’. This one is a bright gold with a red base and will continue to get brighter as the season progresses.
Not only does Sedum Chicks have individual plants, they also have finished containers. These wonderful planters are full of great sedums and are ready to display in your home or out in the garden. To see more great sedums, stop by GardenPalooza and talk to Becky!
Egan Gardens – GardenPalooza
Another great vendor at GardenPalooza is Egan Gardens (503-393-2131). Ellen always has a booth packed with colorful plants and this year is no exception! We stopped by her nursery in Brooks to see what she will have at this year’s event. She started with her ‘tide me over plants’ or as she called them ‘porch hardy plants’. These plants are designed to give you a boost of color while you wait to plant your favorite annuals later this spring. Ellen brought out a couple of Martha Washington geraniums. These are incredible plants covered in blooms and even more buds for later this spring. Ellen grows them long and slow so they set more blooms. Her plants are also large and will bloom all summer long! She also grows the regular geraniums which are great and don’t get as big. She also showed us some of the newer ones she will have including the Geum ‘Fireball’, the Columbine ‘kirigami Blue & white’ and the Hebe ‘Amy’. She will also have gerbera daisies and colorful Senetti for sale too. Ellen also has a great selection of perennials that she grows.
You will be able to get most of these plants at GardenPalooza, but if Ellen runs out you can probably find them at her nursery. Stop by either location to see what she has.
Fertilizing & Slug Bait Your Iris
It is tulip time, one of the first flowers of spring, but if you are an iris lover now is the time to think about those too! Our friends at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens (1-800-525-2367) shared a tip that helps their iris plants thrive and look beautiful too. Right now is the time to fertilize your iris. They package and use a low nitrogen fertilizer in the garden, that you can get through their website, or you can use a low nitrogen product from your garden center. They also apply a little slug bait now too. As those tender leaves start to emerge, they are a tasty treat for the slugs. Slug bait now and you will have healthier plants with no chew marks on the leaves! For a selection of iris and more iris information, you can check out their website.
GardenPalooza Happenings & Prizes
This year at GardenPalooza we have a bunch of giveaways. We have already told you about the metal arbor from Garden Gallery Iron Works, but that is just the beginning. If you are wandering the event you can stop by the Garden Time booth and see William and Judy for even more chances to win stuff. Every half hour we will be drawing tickets for $25 gift cards for Al’s Garden and Home, or Portland Nursery. We will also be giving away watering tools from Dramm, and an assortment of gardening books from Timber Press. So even if you don’t pick up any plants you can still go home a winner. All you have to do is enter!
Garden Gallery Iron Works – GardenPalooza
If you are looking for garden art and functional garden pieces, then you need to stop by and see Garden Gallery Iron Works (800-452-5266) at GardenPalooza. Don Sprague and his crew are always coming up with wonderful pieces for any type or size of garden. We met him at his store in Hubbard, just down the road from GardenPalooza. He had just a few of the things he plans on bringing to GardenPalooza to show us. He always brings a bunch of stuff and it was hard to feature just a few things. First we looked at his wobbling and balancing bird sculptures. These little birds dance in every little breeze and even nod their heads as they spin. This year they have added owls! Birds are always hot in the garden and so he even had plant stakes with birds on them. We were also able to check out some functional garden pieces like his peony/dahlia cages and some other great rusted metal art. Don’t forget the custom arbors that they make at his shop in Hubbard.
Finally we looked at the metal arbor that they will be giving away this weekend. This arbor is valued at $600 and comes with latticed sides for those climbing plants you grow. Another reason to stop by their booth… they are giving away discount coupons for their store in Hubbard. To sign up to win all you have to do is stop by the Garden Time booth and look for William and Judy to enter. If you want to see more of his great items, stop by the Garden Gallery Iron Works store in Hubbard!
If you are a new visitor, or even a repeat visitor, it can be confusing to find your way around the farm at Fir Point during GardenPalooza. To help you we have these tips. When you first enter drive down the one way road to your right. The area along this road is for handicapped parking. There is plenty of parking in the field just past this road. Just follow the directions of the parking attendants to find a spot. The exit for the event is towards the back of the property, on the east side of the field. If you have bought plants and have them in the ‘plant holding’ area, you will head to the west (left) around the back of the greenhouses to that plant area. If you don’t have plants in the plant holding area you want to go to that back gate to avoid getting stuck in traffic.
A couple more tips. Since the farm has pretty tight quarters we ask that you don’t bring a cart or wagon. We have the free plant holding area so there is no need for a cart. Just leave your plants there and then pull around to pick them up. Also, Fir Point Farms does welcome well-behaved pets on a leash, but since crowds tend to be large it may be upsetting to them. It might be a good idea to leave them at home for this event.
One of the most popular nurseries at GardenPalooza is N&M Herb Nursery (503-981-9060) near Hubbard. We recently stopped by to see what Rosie, the owner, was going to bring to the event this year. She told us that the big interest is in attracting hummingbirds to the garden. Luckily, she has a huge selection of plants that will do the trick. The first plant that she showed us was the Abutilon (flowering maple) ‘Red Tiger’. This one has wonderful yellow blooms with deep red veins and makes a great large bush. They trim theirs back and let them grow out so you get a beautiful bush that is covered in blooms. Rosie also had a large selection of salvias. Salvias are always a hummingbird favorite. She had 3 of the newest and hardiest varieties on the market including the Skyscraper series of pink, orange, and purple. She also had the chiapensis variety with tons of spears of purple blooms. Another favorite of hummingbirds is the Cuphia or Cigar Plant. The name comes from the cigar shaped flowers that are the perfect shape for the little bird beaks on hummingbirds. Another plant with blooms made for hummingbirds is the Iochroma ‘Royal Purple’. This plant has little tubular flowers as well in a rich purple color and the plant will get huge at 3-4 feet tall at maturity.
Of course, as the name implies, Rosie has tons of herbs for your garden too. She will have individual plants and containers full of thyme, sage, rosemary, parsley and chives, to name a few. Finally we talked about a plant that will satisfy the pollinators in your garden, your nose and your taste buds. Prostanthera ‘Australian Mint Bush’ is loaded with blooms that bees love. It also can be used as a flavoring and it smells like fragrant mint, even though it is not in the mint family.
For more great plants to add to your garden, stop by and see Rosie and her crew at GardenPalooza, or at her nursery near Hubbard!
Dramm Tools – GardenPalooza
We are happy and proud to have Dramm be our Presenting sponsor of the GardenPalooza event again this spring. They are a well-respected company that makes a great product! They are always looking for ways of improving and introducing products to help the gardener. We had a chance to tour their facility a few years ago on a trip to Wisconsin. They have built machines that try to simulate the abuse we give our garden tools so they make sure theirs last. We saw machines that worked the shutoff valves, dragged the watering wands on the ground and even one that slammed the tools into concrete just so they could manufacture a more durable tool. The newest feature is a one finger, easy to use, shutoff switch. It is great! Plus they have introduced a new lawn sprinkler that can be adjusted to any lawn shape or size! If you would like to try and win one of these tools, stop by and see William and Judy to sign up for a chance. If you can’t make it to GardenPalooza, just look for the colorful Dramm display at your local garden center.
French Prairie Perennials – GardenPalooza
You can add great color and interest to your garden year-round with conifers, and one of the best selections of unique conifers can be found at French Prairie Perennials (503-679-2871) in Aurora and at their booth at GardenPalooza. We stopped by their store in Aurora to check out some of Rick Naylor’s favorites. The first plant was a Lawson False Cypress called ‘Golden showers’. This one had bright gold foliage on the new growth and would make a great foundation plant. That means it is one that you would build your garden around. Next was a dwarf Western Red Cedar called ‘Grune Kugel’. Unlike its larger cousins, this one will stay short, growing only to about 3 feet tall and wide. Another great thing is the winter color. It gets a plum color and then becomes greener in the spring and summer. Another bright foliage plant is the Scots Pine ‘Moseri’ with tufts of golden foliage. This slow grower has bright new needles that just grow out to longer golden needles. If you like a little more silver or light foliage you can go for the Oriental spruce ‘Silver Seedling’. This one can be a ground cover if you don’t stake it, but you can also make it a taller specimen by promoting a center leader in the middle of the plant. The next plant was a Hinoki Cypress called ‘Filicoides’. This one is a little taller, but it has an open habit to it. Because of the open habit, more sunlight can get to the center and so you don’t end up with dead spots in the middle. The final plant was a non-conifer but striking none the less! The Japanese Maple ‘Kawahara Rose’ which starts in the spring with a salmon color leaf which becomes a pinky red in the summer and then an incredible orange-pink-red in the fall.
Of course plants are just part of what French Prairie Perennials has to offer. We stepped inside the gift shop to talk to Kerry Naylor about home and garden décor. She told use that metal birds are HOT. They have some for inside and out. Metal flowers are also popular, just as a decoration or even as a bird feeder. Garden chimes and rain chains can not only look good, but can also add a melody to your garden, rain or shine. Located in Aurora, their shop is centrally located so you can enjoy some of the great restaurants, the Aurora Colony museum, cool antique dealers and various artists. Check out the Aurora Colony website for more info, http://auroracolony.com/wp/.
TOW – 2 Season Seeds
Our tip of the week involves seeds. You can pick up a cool season crop seed right now and start your garden early. Cool season crops include vegetables like lettuce, radishes, peas, kale and cabbage. Then in August you can plant these same crops again and enjoy a second harvest because they can handle the cooler temperatures of late fall.
Lake Oswego – Adopt a Plot
Are you a gardener and wondered how you can put your skills to good use, or maybe a beginning gardener and looking for a way to learn stuff without risking ‘dead plant syndrome’? In Lake Oswego at Luscher Farm you can do both if you ‘Adopt a Plot’. To learn about this program we stopped and talked to Dawn Grunwald (firstname.lastname@example.org, 503-675-2549), the program coordinator. She told us how, if you sign up and get trained, you can learn how to grow vegetables organically for camps, cooking classes, and to donate fresh produce to the Adult Community Center's Meals on Wheels Program. Gardeners can also take home samples for their personal use. The best part is that you are not on your own! You can get support and all the materials and instruction to grow veggies and flowers in a 4' x 20' plot. They do require that you are able to attend 3 of the 8 work parties offered the third Saturday of each month between March and October. If you would like to get involved the next opportunity is next week, April 13th at Luscher Farm, 125 Rosemont Road, from 10am to noon. Call Dawn at 503-675-2549 for more details and to register.
Winter Container Damage
This past winter was hard! A lot of gardeners have noticed that some of their plants have not returned for an encore performance. They have also noticed that some of their containers have suffered a similar fate. We went to Little Baja (503-236-8834) on Burnside to ask Jared how this happens. The main reason? Pots holding water. When a pot holds a lot of water it will freeze when temperatures drop and the water expands. Then when it thaws out the ice contracts, breaking the clay or concrete. This means your pot will fall apart. The best way of preventing this is to make sure your containers get good drainage. Lift the container up by using pot lifters, either clay feet or a plastic ring, and let the water drain freely. You can also move your containers near your home when the temperatures drop to help them stay a little warmer. Some people also ask about ‘sealing’ their containers. This means applying a sealer to their container to prevent water from entering the pot. This will work but it also eliminates one of the benefits of a terra cotta container. Terra cotta clay ’breathes’. The clay allows water and air to transfer through the clay creating healthier plants and roots. Sealing the pot will stop that healthy transfer. Jared recommends that you come in and ask them when would be the right conditions to seal you containers.
Of course if your containers are broken, like ours, you are not worried about preventing damage, you are looking to replace them. Little Baja just got in a new shipment of pottery, including pots, containers and decorative items. Stop by and look at everything they have to offer and then take home a quality pot for your plants!
Yes, it’s Blue IPA
I think that everyone is familiar with the common botanicals that you can find in your favorite beer. Hops and barley are a couple that come to mind. However, for the trend-setting brewer, you are always looking for something new in your beers. To talk about botanicals in beer we stopped by Ancestry Brewing in Tualatin and met with Brian the head brewer and Jeremy the general manager. Brian told us that he has used peppercorns, hibiscus and even elderflowers in his beers. Some add a color to the beer and others add flavors, and he is always on the lookout for something new. That led us over to Jeremy to tell us about the newest beer they are brewing, a blue beer! This beer is made with a ‘Butterfly Pea Blossom’. This bright blue flower transfers that color to a new beer that they now have on tap. The surprising thing is that it also added a fruitiness to the beer, Almost like a blueberry taste, which is good when you are brewing a blue beer.
Why a blue beer? To answer that questions we moved to the pub to talk to Brian Shafer and his son Nicholas. Brian told us that blue is the color of Autism Awareness and Autism Awareness month. Nicholas has autism and this is a way to raise funds for the Autism Society of Oregon. Nicholas helped in the making of the beer and a portion of the proceeds will go to the ASO. You can find this beer at both locations of Ancestry Brewing and at the following participating pubs and restaurants:
When we stopped by French Prairie Perennials, Rick Naylor, started to sing us a song he wrote for GardenPalooza. We think it is a hit! Ask him about it at the event and maybe he’ll sing you a few bars…