Ahhhh, the comfortable days of summer. Last year at this time we had been baking in the sun for quite a while. This year; more comfortable temperatures. At least we are not frying like the east coast. Still, with all these mild summer days, remember to check your plants for their overall health. Dig down to the roots and make sure that they are getting moisture all the way down there. A lot of plants won’t show stress until it is too late! Also, check the leaves for damage and stay on top of those pests and diseases, you’ll have happier and healthier plants for the rest of the year.
Meanwhile, enjoy these comfortable days!
This week we featured...
Catching Codling Moth and Stink Bugs
In the summer some of our most destructive pests start to multiply. We notice it with yellow jackets, but other pests take advantage of our bountiful Northwest harvest. To learn how to control them, or at least find out if they are a problem, we stopped by the home of Darek from Alpha Scents (503-342-8611). There we talked about Codling moth and Stink bugs. We started near his apple tree where he had a ‘delta’ trap. This triangle shaped trap had a sticky white sheet inside the trap and attached to that sheet was a pheromone attractant for male codling moth. This pest can devastate an apple crop and by attracting the male it can decrease the number of future moths and worms in and around your apples. If enough traps are placed around your apples, you might not need any more controls.
Then we moved to the back porch to talk about the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. This pest is on the watch list for the state of Oregon because it can wreak havoc on numerous commercial crops. This one is a hard pest to capture since not all pheromone traps work effectively. Darek combined a couple of methods to attract the stink bug. He uses the bugs own attraction to bright lights, a sticky surface and a pheromone to catch as many bugs as possible. The light works in the early evening hours to attract the stink bugs to the light, then the sticky trap grabs them. There is a another way to use the light and that is with a see-through sticky sheet and pheromones. The combination of all 3 methods proves to be the best way to snag this stinky pest.
If you would like to see more products that can help you control pests in your garden, without chemicals, check out the Alpha Scents website.
Out in the Garden Plants and Summer Event
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 were a couple of different alliums. These are more like chives with large globe like flowers covered in purple blooms. The bees love these and for the gardener they are drought tolerant when established. One of the bright bloomers in her nursery is Helenium ‘Marti Gras’. This plant will bloom from now until fall with waves of great orange/yellow flowers. Another bright bloomer is the dwarf Rudbeckia called ‘Goldstar’. This one stays shorter and adds another bright spot to the mid-summer garden. One other bright spot in the garden is the Solidago (goldenrod) ‘Little Lemon’. Bright yellow stalks of yellow blooms can be deadheaded when they are done which will bring new blooms up from the plant for more color.
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. 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 28th, 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 Portland Blues Revival, and the Rae Gordon Band! Come out, wander the nursery and have a great time in the summer sun!
Little Prince Indoor Plants
During the summer months, outdoor plants really draw our attention, but indoor plants are great all year long! Little Prince of Oregon is known for their wonderful and unusual, high quality outdoor plants, but they are now getting into more indoor plants as well. These may not survive our winter weather but they can add great interest inside our homes either in containers or even in terrariums.
Joan took us to one of their greenhouses to see some of their cool plants. The first was a Rex Begonia called festive Celebration. The foliage color of this one was incredible, with swirls of green and burgundy colors. Joan also had pulled out some great ferns too! She had a Heart Leaf Fern with its signature heart leaves, the birds nest fern with broad, bright leaves, the variegated Brake Fern and the Antenna Fern, which looked like 2 different plants in the same container. Two plants that would work well in a terrarium are the 2 selaginellas ‘Gold Tips’ and ‘Brownii’. These are low growing, ground cover types of plants. Easily dividable, as Joan showed us by ripping them apart, and very attractive when paired with the other plants. We ended with a texture plant, the Strawberry Geranium. This is another great foliage plant with deeply veined leaves. It also send out shoots that produce smaller plants so you can make more and share with friends!
If you are looking for great Little Prince plants, you can check at your local garden center retailer. If you can’t find them there, you can check out their website. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram too.
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.
Visualscaping Salem Garden – Part 2
Last year we joined Rick Naylor from French Prairie Perennials (971-533-5637) and Visualscaping to visit a garden in Salem. He had put in a new part of a garden that incorporated a lot of existing plant material with some new seating areas and more low maintenance plant material. This year he invited us back to see a few more changes that he had made.
We met near the seating area he revamped last year to look at the new water feature. Last year we saw a much smaller and quieter water feature. Now there is a longer stream with more decorative waterfall and a nicer soothing sound. Another area that was improved was a path up a steep part of the hill. This path was a switch-back path that zigzags up the hill making it easier to climb and easier to maintain.
We then moved to a new seating area in the back corner of the property. This area used to be walled off from the rest of the garden, but Rick moved the wall and opened this area up so you can now enjoy the view of the rest of the garden. The entire backyard now has a seamless flow to it and yet still retains the little private areas where people can sit and enjoy the garden.
Next up… the front yard! We look forward to seeing that! If you would like to have Rick and his crew turn your garden into something special, give him a call at their retail location in Aurora.