Happy summer! It seems like we have already celebrated the beginning of summer for the last few weeks. Those 90 degree days sure felt like summer to me! Even though we have had a nice breather this week with the cooler temperatures, we know that hot weather will be returning soon.
Another thing that is returning is our half hour program. This week marks our last hour long program for the spring. We have enjoyed 13 weeks of hour long programs and now we will return to our normal length of shows until the end of November. We have to do this because a lot of advertisers only have money to invest in the spring. Then as customers head off for summer vacations they can no longer afford to support the show. We are so grateful for their support and we understand the need to cut back. We hope that you go to our advertisers and thank them for supporting the show. Without them, there would be no Garden Time!
This week we featured...
Alpha Scents – Yellow Jackets and Fruit Flies
We have a lot of pests in our homes and gardens, but before we go off and spray for bugs we might not have, we should try to figure out which pests are visiting our gardens. To do that you need a good trap, or should I say, a GREAT trap. To find a company to help us out we didn’t have to go far. Alpha Scents (503-342-8611) is a local company that supplies pheromone traps and lures to homeowners and businesses around the world. We met with the owner, Darek Czokajlo, to talk about his traps and about two in particular, the yellow jacket and fruit fly traps. We first started talking about how the traps work. These traps have a pheromone that mimics the scent of the female of a certain insect. This wafts through the air and males follow the scent back to the trap. How they do that is fascinating. They weave back and forth finding the limits of the scent ‘plume’ until they narrow down the scent to the source. It is incredible that they can find the source over huge distances. As gardeners and homeowners we can use these traps to see if we have a bug problem in our garden and in the case of the Yellow Jacket trap we can limit their numbers in areas we want to enjoy. We don’t have to worry about spraying for pests we don’t have, just the ones that are creating problems in our garden. To see an entire list of products that they carry, and ones that are specific to our area, check out their website.
Summer is a time for celebration! Whether it is a birthday party, wedding or even the company picnic, you can make the celebration even more special with confetti. And, now you don’t have to worry about the environment! We found a way to make confetti with leaves from your garden. Just use a hole punch and select some leaves from your favorite plants, almost any leaf will work, and start punching holes! You can speed up the process with a 3-hole punch if you have one. Some people even have used a heart shaped punch to make it even more special. It’s a great kids project too. So get out your hole punch and celebrate!
Dancing Oaks Pollinator Festival
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 couple alstroemeria. These make great cut flowers from your garden, but they are also loved by many different pollinators. Judy said that we should plant extra so we can have the cut flowers in our home and still have some to share with the pollinators. The next plant was the milkweed. It doesn’t have the greatest of names, but it is one of the most popular plants for Monarch Butterflies. They use the flowers for the nectar, but the larvae also eat the leaves. It is a great plant if you want to attract butterflies to the garden. The next plant was clumping clover called Trifolium Rubens. It is even popular with the hummingbirds in addition to the bee populations. A wonderful plant for any garden is the crocosmia and the variety Lucifer adds a bright red splash to your pollinator garden and is a hummingbird magnet. The plant in front of Lucifer was an echinops or Globe Thistle. This plant has a tall stem with a large ball of blue blooms for the bees in your garden. It is so popular that bumble bees will hang out on it for minutes at a time. Lupine was next and it is also a very popular flower in the garden for homeowners. This full sun plant will be visited by lots of bees and other native pollinators. Tall plants are not the only bug attractors. We focused on a ground cover next. The Scarlet Monardella ‘Marian Sampson’ had bunches of long tubular red flowers on mint scented branches, perfect for hummingbirds. The next plant was also a shorter one, the epilobium or California Fuchsia. This one also has bright red tubular blossoms and is very drought tolerant too. The final one we looked at was the philadelphus or Mock Orange ‘Minnesota Snowflake’. This plant has a shrubby habit and is covered in white fragrant double blooms. Leonard told us that these are good plants, but a lot of pollinators have to work real hard to get any pollen or nectar from the blooms. When choosing a pollinator plant, sometimes a single bloom is easier for them to use.
If you come to the nursery today (June 22nd) you can enjoy a lot more pollinator information during their Pollinator Festival. From 10 to 4pm, 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. They also have a ‘Pollinate-the-flower bee toss, a photo contest and a pollinator photo opp! Groups include the OSU Master Gardeners, The Oregon Bee Project and the Audubon Society. 10% of all proceeds from the festival will go to the OregonFlora Project. They even have food and beverages available including hard ciders. Make plans to take a scenic drive and stop by, the pollinators in your garden will thank you.
Blooming Junction Perennial Container and Summer Solstice
The summer is starting and it all begins with the summer solstice. There is a big celebration to mark the day at Blooming Junction (503-681-4646) in Cornelius. They will start the celebration at noon and go until 4pm with live music, food vendors, wines from Blooming Vineyard and great deals on produce and plants.
To show us how to use those plants, we met with Ron to plant up a perennial container. Ron likes a perennial container because, just like the name says, it will come back year after year with just a little maintenance and pruning. We started with a nice sized pot and then picked out plants that would go well with the container color. Following the rules of Thriller (tall focal plant), Filler (nice filler plants around the inside of the container), and Spiller (plants that will grow over the edge of the container, softening the edges), we started with a climber for the mini trellis, a Star Jasmine called ‘Golden Memories’. This one, while small now, will grow into a nice centerpiece in the middle of the container. Around this ‘Thriller’ we added the ‘Fillers’ of a Heuchera ‘Forever Purple’, a Dianthus ‘Firewitch’ and a Diascia ‘Ruby Fields’. Our final plants were our spillers. These included Tradescantia ‘Godzilla’, Viola ‘Etain’ and Lamium ‘White Nancy’. Once planted, watered, and established you can just trim the plants back to keep them in line. If you don’t want to build a pot, you can pick up a premade one from their wide selection at the nursery. A good time to do that is during the big Solstice celebration. Stop by and enjoy!
Plant Pick – Abutilon
Since we are talking a lot about pollinators we stopped by our sponsor of the Plant Pick, Little Prince of Oregon. They are a great grower of plants specifically adapted to the Northwest! Ryan took us to one of their greenhouses to show us the wonderful selection of abutilons they grow. Abutilons are also known as Flowering Maples due to the maple-like shape of their leaves. They are a beautiful plant that blooms all summer long and is loved by bees and hummingbirds. They are a marginal plant for our area, meaning that you can grow them if they have protection from the severe cold during our winters. We’ve seen them survive in the ground with lots of mulch, in containers if they are moved into a protected area, and even inside as a houseplant. Little Prince grows a lot of different varieties including a group of smaller ones called their ‘Patio series’. These shorter ones can be kept at a foot tall or can grow to about 3 feet tall.
Some of the others that they grow include the ‘Thompsonii’ with spotted variegation, the cool spotted blooms of the ‘Red Tiger’ and the stronger variegation of the ‘Savitzii’. They even have one that can be used as a trailing vine type for hanging baskets called ‘Megapotamicum’. They like the full sun and because they are heavy bloomers, they do like to get an extra dose of fertilizer every once in a while. If you would like to see some of these you can check their website for a retailer near you, or even just order one directly from Little Prince.
The Wall – 10 Year Garden
We have done many stories with The Wall (503-735-9255). Rick McCutcheon, the owner, has been a friend of the show for decades and each time we see him, he is sharing another great garden project they have completed. This time we met him at a garden that was not a new project, but one that was over 10 years old! The homeowner, Vicki, told us that when they started they had a unmanageable slope of lawn and not a lot of garden space. The Wall came in and working with Vicki and her husband, built retaining walls, new safer stairs and pathways. They also worked with other contractors to include outdoor lighting and irrigation. Their partnerships with other, quality contractors made all the difference. Over the years they went on to add a new driveway, and a new back patio.
Rick told us that this project included concrete work, recycled concrete (one of their specialties) and even a fabricated capstone that looked like real Columbia Gorge Basalt! The Wall also does it right the first time with complete work that takes into consideration the soil type and the grade of the slope so it looks great, the day after the job and even 10 years later.
If you have a hardscape job the need an extra touch, and will last for decades, contact The Wall!
ANLD Tour 2019
If you are looking for garden ideas there is a tour that you have to attend, the annual Association of Northwest Landscape Contractors (ANLD) Tour. The ANLD tour is a virtual showcase of different styles and designs. Not just of large showcase gardens, but also of smaller gardens too. In the past we have visited the larger gardens, this year one of the 7 featured gardens was a smaller one. We toured this wonderful garden with Claudia Evers the homeowner and Barbara Hilty the designer. They have been working together on this landscape off and on since 2006. When the house was built, Claudia and her husband were looking for a little seclusion and privacy. There were a couple of raised beds with Crape Myrtles in them and lots of grass. The Crape Myrtles were damaged in a storm and that opened the door to a complete makeover. The raised beds remain, but now they are part of a grouping of small private spaces and garden rooms. Long winding paths lead you through hundreds of blooms and to seating areas and bubbling fountains. In a neighborhood of taller homes, this garden offers plenty of seclusion!
If you would like to see this garden or any of the other 6 featured garden, you can do that today (June 22nd) from 9am to 5pm. Information on tickets and where to pick them up is on the ANLD website at https://anld.com/annual-garden-tour/.
Out in the Garden Drama Queens
The heat is here early this year and that means some of the plants are starting to get a little stressed. Some of these plants can be a little ‘over dramatic’ when they wilt. To learn more about these ‘garden wimps’ we stopped by Out in The Garden Nursery (503-829-4141) and talked with Carol. She had pulled some of her favorite plants to share with us. She told us that even though these plants lean towards the melodramatic, they are great plants for the garden. The first one she talked about were the family of Ligularias. These early summer bloomers are well known for drooping in the heat. If you give them a little water they perk back up. They give you wonderful blooms, but the foliage is what you get to enjoy for the whole summer and into fall. There are a lot of different sizes and textures so you can find one for just about any spot in the garden. Next we looked at the cousin of the Ligularias, the Farfugium family. These have a little thicker leaf and are not quite as hardy as the ‘princess’ cousin, but still remain evergreen, and will thrive with protection in a pot or container. The next pant on the list was the Acanthus. It can get huge in the garden and they make a statement with their unique foliage. Carol’s next choice was one she called her ‘indicator’ plant, an Artemisia. An indicator plant is one that will start to wilt when she starts to get dry. That means you should check your other plants and see if they need water too. The first to wilt, but well worth it for the fine foliage. The next plant is one that most people don’t think about for the summer garden, the Edgeworthia. This is a plant known for its wonderful and fragrant yellow clusters of blooms in late winter, but she will get droopy in the heat and the ‘tropical-like’ leaves will start to wither. Not to worry, she will also bounce back with a good watering. The next plant was an Aralia called ‘Sun King’. It has great golden foliage that will hold its color even in full shade, which is where this plant will be its best. Next to that plant was a Rheum or ornamental rhubarb. The large leaves are a great indication that this plant likes to show off and it will do well with consistent moisture. We were almost done and then Judy saw a Rodgersia called ‘Hercules’. This one is big and strong. The leaves will get over a foot and a half wide, and creates a huge mound in the garden. It even gets pink flowers in the summer. The final plant was a hardy fuchsia, but this one was more of a ground cover. It loves to ramble across the garden. It doesn’t have much of a bloom, but it has some great foliage that can fill in those wide bare spots in the garden.
If you think you would enjoy these drama queens performing in your garden, stop by Out in the Garden Nursery in Molalla. Well worth the trip!
TOW – Raking Needles
The summer means bare feet in the grass, unless you have fir trees in your backyard! Our tip this week will help make your lawn more bare-foot friendly! After you mow your lawn, simply give your lawn a quick rake and then mow again. The quick raking will draw some of those pesky needles to the surface and they will be picked up by the second pass with a mower. Once we get into the middle of summer you will not have to do it quite as often, since the trees will drop fewer needles then.
Peggie the Painter
A picture can say a thousand words, but a painting can speak to your heart. We have found an artist that can speak to the heart through her paintings. Peggie Moje is a familiar face around local public gardens and flower events. Her paintings really capture the vibrancy of the colors in the garden. The way she paints helps to bring a new attention to the details we sometimes miss in the garden. Peggie told us how she starts a painting. She sketches the scene first to figure out her composition and where everything will fit in the frame of her canvas. Then she fills in the spaces with her ‘impressionistic’ style of painting. The scene is real, but with subtle accents that she uses to make the picture better. She also uses the composition to pull the viewers eye through the scene. There is a ‘path’ for your eye to follow. She works quickly but also sometimes uses a photograph of the scene to help her stay true to the image even if the light changes or she has to leave. If you are interested in learning more about her paintings you can get a hold of her through her website. She even has art available through the Portland Art Museum Rental Sales Gallery, where you can rent her painting for your own home.