Brrrr! It’s cold here! The Garden Time crew just returned from our tour of Italy and France, to find the weather more than a few degrees cooler than when we left. Vegetable plants that were thriving when we left are struggling to stay warm and productive. There is still time though to harvest some crops and flowers yet to enjoy. Plus, you still have a few more days to get those garden chores done before the really cold weather hits.
Speaking of garden tours. We are in the planning stages of our tour for 2020. We will be headed to Spain and Portugal next fall. Keep checking our website, and watching the show, for updates. It will be a blast!
This week we featured...
Al’s Pumpkin Decorating
Fall is here and that means fall decorating. The pumpkin is a traditional decoration for Halloween and Thanksgiving, however once the skin of the pumpkin is cut, they can end up rotting on your porch. One way to avoid that is to not carve them up! To show us what that means we stopped by the Al’s Garden & Home (503-726-1162) in Sherwood and talked to Eve. She showed us how to decorate a pumpkin by just gluing decorations and plant material to your pumpkin. This is an activity that came from an Al’s class that they had at one of the locations called ‘Wine and Workshop Wednesday’. Eve showed us how you can just use a hot glue gun to attach garden material and sedums to the top of a pumpkin. In just 10 minutes she transformed a pumpkin into a wonderful little decoration. The best part? This one won’t rot on your patio, it will last a couple of months if you keep it dry. Once the fall is over you can just pull off the sedums and plant them in your garden. Very cool!
To learn more about all the Al’s Garden & Home classes you can check out their website.
Portland Nursery 32nd Apple Tasting
Be prepared for a celebration!!! A is for apple and you will find a ton of apples (and pears) at Portland Nursery’s (503-231-5050) 32nd Annual Apple tasting at the Stark Street location. This landmark celebration features over 50 different varieties of apples and pears available to taste. This is an event for the whole family. There is a kid’s area with face painting, a scavenger hunt and pumpkin painting. There are demonstrations, fresh baked apple strudel and live music are also on the list of activities. Another reason for stopping by is to get a chance to vote for the best scarecrow. Fellow shoppers have entered their best scarecrows for the chance to win prizes. You can also shop from a variety of local vendors that will be offering local honey, mustard, jams and a whole lot more. You can also help out your community too. While the event is free, you can bring a non-perishable food item for the Oregon Food Bank! And don’t forget the fresh pressed cider! Speaking of cider, you can sample hard ciders! Now is the time to also take advantage of all the wonderful fall perennials available at both locations of Portland Nursery. Come see these and a bunch more at the tasting!
TOW – Frost Cloth
The cold winds of fall and winter are arriving and if you are trying to squeeze out the last of your summer harvest we have a tip for you, frost cloth. It is a light white material that you can use to cover your plants and protect them from a light frost. The fabric is permeable and can allow rain and water to get to your plants, but protect them from the elements. This cloth will protect your tomatoes and other tender veggies so you can get a few more days of harvest out of them.
The other benefit of the frost cloth is that you can reuse it in the spring. If you get your spring vegetables in early, the cloth will keep them a little warmer, so you can get an earlier start to your growing season. So you can extend your growing season in the spring and the fall!
Garden Author Kelly Norris
One of the funniest and most prolific writers in the garden industry is Kelly Norris. He is also a Timber Press author, our favorite publisher! Recently he was in town for an event and we had a chance to sit down and chat with him about a couple of the books he has written for Timber Press. We first talked about his book ‘A Guide to Breaded Iris’. Kelly wrote this one from personal experience. Years ago he talked his family into buying an iris farm. His love of irises is evident in this wonderful book about iris and how to grow them.
Then we moved on to his new book ‘Plants with Style’. This new book is about more than just planting something nice in your garden. This one is about adapting your garden to your style. That includes recognizing what your style is and then building your dream garden around that. No two people have the same style when it comes to gardening. This idea is expanded in the book and covers types of plants and seasons when they shine. This ‘style’ coach book will help any gardener get started on the path to creating a meaningful garden for them, which will make the entire gardening experience more rewarding.
Fall is the time for planting. It is also the time to dig and divide your favorite perennials. This week William visited the experts at Adelman Peony Gardens (503-393-6185) to learn how to dig and divide peonies. Carol Adelman showed us how easy it is to do. She even told us that you don’t need to divide your plants as you would with other perennials. These plants don’t get overgrown or choke themselves if they get too large. Still you can use this technique to get extra plants for your friends and neighbors. The keys to success are to make sure you dig a large root, make sure your divisions include an ‘eye’ and to build a good planting area for your new root with a quality bulb fertilizer and a little lime. Carol even showed us how the rules remain the same for different styles of peonies. If you have questions about peonies or you are interested in purchasing one, you can contact them at the gardens.