Times, they are a changin’. Yup! It is time to change your clock and fall back an hour this weekend. I know that a lot of people thought these days were long gone because of the passing of a recent law. The Oregon and Washington Legislatures recently voted to keep Daylight Saving time permanently year round, but until we get the OK from the federal government we will continue to move the time back and forth. So enjoy the extra hour of sleep this weekend.
One thing that is not changing is our annual Garden Time tour (except for the locations)! We are putting the finishing plans on our 2020 trip to Spain and Portugal! This trip looks like it will be our best yet! If you are interested in getting your name added to our list of interested travelers drop us a line at GardenTime@comcast.net. We will notify you when the details and costs are firmed up!
This week we featured...
Clematis Seed Starting
Clematis are called the queen of the climbing plants, and they can be a wonderful addition if you are looking to add some height to your plantings. If you have one you know what I mean! Even their seed heads can look spectacular after the blooms have gone, but did you know that you can start your own new clematis from those seeds? It isn’t always easy though. To learn more about growing clematis from seed we stopped by the Rogerson Clematis Garden (971-777-4394) at Luscher Farm to talk with curator Linda Beutler. Linda and the crew at the garden work hard every year at preserving, saving and growing clematis seed from the garden and from around the world, and she is happy to share what she knows. We met her just outside of the greenhouse at the garden where she was standing by a large clematis which was covered in tiny mesh bags. These bags were saving and protecting the seed heads of pollinated clematis blooms. Once a flower is ready to bloom (or right after they are pollinated) the flowers are protected so there is no other cross pollination with any other flowers. Once these seed heads mature they are cut and taken into the greenhouse where the seed is harvested. Some of the seed is easy to harvest, and other seeds are a little tougher. In fact, one seed has to be soaked to soften it up so it can be harvested and saved. Once it is harvested, it can be saved into their seed bank, or they can use it at a later date to grow more clematis. These may be the plants that you purchase when you come to the garden for their wonderful plant sales!
If you were interested in learning more about how to save seed and grow your own new clematis there is a class coming up next weekend. You can learn how to do all the steps needed to get started and you can take some seed home too. Fees start at $25 for non-members of the garden and could be as cheap as $10 for members (or even free for patron level members!) You will leave with seeds already started and extra seeds to grow your own!
Al’s Evening of Lights
Believe it or not, it is time for Christmas. Holiday decorations are starting to make their appearance at local garden centers and other stores. Poinsettias are also starting to show up as well. Did you know that colors of poinsettias and holiday décor change every year? Buyers and designers at your local stores know this and try to bring in the new and ‘trending’ decorations every year. We met with Mark Bigej at the Al’s Garden and Home in Wilsonville (503-855-3527), to see how they used these new décor in their decorating of the Wilsonville store. The store looked great and had a huge amount of decorated trees to give you a starting point in getting your home ready for the season.
Trees and poinsettias are the signature plants for the holidays and poinsettias will soon fill every shop! The big push will be in a couple of weeks but you can get some nice plants in the next few days. Mark showed us three that they will be featuring. He had ‘Christmas Cheer’, ‘Ice Crystals’ and ‘Candy Wintergreen’. The big question that we hear is ‘how do I pick a good one’ and ‘how can I make it last’. If you are looking for a good plant; first look for good branching. A single branched plant will not give you the bunches of blooms that you want. And speaking of blooms, the bright colors you see are not the flowers of the poinsettia. The flower is the small center buds that are usually yellow. The bright colors are modified leaves (bracts). As for the blooms you will want small tight buds that are not yellow yet, that means they are early in their bloom cycle. Also look for good healthy green leaves under the brightly colored ones.
Now that you have picked out a good one, how can you make it last? Al’s recommends that you treat your plant with tender loving care. Make sure that is doesn’t get placed in too hot of a spot, that it doesn’t get in too many drafts and keep it in bright non-direct sunlight. You will also want to water it regularly without over watering or having it set in water. Remember to remove the decorative foil sleeve when you are watering it. If you follow these tips it will be around for a couple of months if not longer! You can find a sheet of ‘care tips’ at all Al’s Garden Center locations or on their website.
Also, you can find some of the nearly 40 different varieties of poinsettias and lots of Christmas decorating ideas at the up-coming Al’s Evening of Lights event. The event takes place at the Sherwood location on November 7th from 4-9pm, the Woodburn location on November 9th from 3-7pm, the Wilsonville location on November 14th from 4-9pm and the Gresham location on November 16th from 3-7pm!
Plant Pick – Haworthia
We found a great plant pick recently at Little Prince of Oregon, the Haworthia! This plant used to be overlooked a lot in the houseplant section of your local garden center, but with all the new introductions and varieties, it is now a great little plant to bring some interesting foliage into your home. Ryan met William in the greenhouse to show him a small collection of the 14 different varieties of Haworthia they grow. These plants are not hardy outside in the winter and love full sun if you can give it to them. The old ones were a simple spiky green plant, but now you can get a variety of spots, stripes, and even crocodile skin patterns on the leaves. They also have a bunch of new colors too, from dark green to burgundy! They can even take a little abuse. If you forget to water them for a week or two, they can bounce back with a little drink of water.
If you would like to add this plant pick to your indoor garden, you can check with your local garden center or buy them directly from Little Prince! They have a store locator and a list of plants you can buy from them on their website. Check it out! You can also follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/littleprinceoforegon/.
Growing Show Mums – Fall Show
A lot of gardeners have the common chrysanthemums in their garden, but one of the overlooked types of mum is the ‘show’ mum. We visited the grower of some of these beautiful flowers, Tamara of Oregon City, who is a member of the Portland Chrysanthemum Society. She has been growing Chrysanthemums for over a decade. Tamara talked about these ‘show’ flowers and how they are different than those that you find in your local garden center. She showed us the show mum that is grown for contests; these mums are protected from the sun and rain, pinched back to just a few blooms and cultivated carefully. There are tons of different styles of blooms and most make great container flowers for your deck or patio.
Then we moved across the garden and talked with Conrad, current president of the Portland Chrysanthemum Society, to learn more about that organization. He told us that if you are interested in seeing these blooms up close you can check out the annual Chrysanthemum Society Show at the Portland Nursery location on 90th and Division this weekend, November 2nd and 3rd. The event is free and open to the public. There will be a class on how to grow them from 1-2pm on Saturday and they will even have some plants for sale so you can get started on having these plants in your garden. If you love cool blooms, don’t miss it!
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 ‘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 ‘paintings’ that literally sparkle! These scenes have tiny LED lights embedded in the painting so you can have a holiday scene that twinkles all holiday long! 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 2nd and 3rd, for their annual Holiday Open House. They will have these, and many other ‘must-haves’ for your holiday decorating! Plus there will be discounts throughout the store to get you in the holiday shopping mood!