The clock is ticking! We have just one more show in this, our 14th season, but I’m talking about the clock ticking on the upcoming holidays! This year there is less time between Thanksgiving and Christmas (and other holidays too) and that means everything gets compacted in between those dates. We are now looking at getting those decorations up and having less time for shopping than in years past. We will try to help you out this week with some tips for gifts and decorating, and even some tips on getting a living Christmas tree.
We have a great gift for those who are REALLY tough to shop for… We are now ready to announce our final itinerary for the Garden Time tour to Portugal and Spain. You can find a detailed schedule on our website on the ‘Tours’ page. We hope to have airfare pricing soon. Come join us in Europe next fall!
This week we featured...
A&R Living Christmas Trees
Sometimes we hear that people want a real Christmas tree and one that is not cut. Even though the cut trees are grown to be a harvested crop (think tomatoes or corn), some people feel better with a ‘living’ Christmas tree. One place where you find a huge selection of living trees is at A&R Nursery (360-263-4700) in Woodland. Where other garden centers bring in cut trees for the holidays; A&R Nursery has a selection of over a dozen different varieties of these ‘non-traditional’ trees. Owner, Ron Van Meter, joined Judy to chat about how to take care of this unique holiday decoration.
Living trees are great. You can use them to commemorate a baby’s first Christmas or the first Christmas in a new home. Still there are a few rules you need to remember. If you are thinking of getting a tree you need to remember that it is a ‘living’ tree. That means it needs water and sun. It is also an outdoor tree. That means you need to acclimate the tree to the warmer indoor temps. Start by placing your tree in a sheltered area outside (under a carport would be great) or in your garage for 3-5 days. Then you can move it indoors. Once it is inside your home, you can only have it inside for 8 days. First, you need to keep it well watered (ice cubes are a good idea) and away from heating vents, sunny windows, woodstoves and fireplaces. Preferably in a cool area of your home.
Once the holidays are done (8 days) then you need to get it ready to move back outside. Place it in your unheated garage or a protected area on your patio for at least 7 days, then you can move it out in the yard or plant it. You don’t have to rush to plant the tree right away. Your tree can live in its container for at least a year if you keep it watered and maintained. When you do plant it in the ground, remember that old saying ‘right plant, right place’. You don’t want to plant a giant redwood right next to your house! Place your tree in an area where it can grow and thrive. Then you can enjoy it for years to come!
If you have any questions you can stop by A&R Nursery this coming week. On Black Friday they are having a big holiday event. You can stop by and pick up your living tree, a wreath or even the greens to build something yourself. They will have a ‘smores’ station and hotdogs to enjoy. It will be a great family event to kick off your holiday season! If you would like directions and more info about the nursery, Click Here!
Gifts for the Gardener
Every year, friends and family members of gardeners are in need of some ideas for gifts for those with a green thumb, and at Garden Time we would like to make you the hero with a few suggestions! This year we visited Portland Nursery (503-231-5050) on Stark Street and chatted with Sara about what you can find for gardeners of any age. First, for the space limited gardener we found a wide selection of different terrariums. These small enclosed gardens are great for the indoors during those cold winter months. And who doesn’t love birds in the garden? For those people there are numerous feeders and houses for all types of birds. We saw a very inexpensive hummingbird feeder that would be a perfect gift. Of course the gloves and pruners are a must have for any gardener. Those are the tools that every gardener needs and uses the most during the gardening season. You will also find a great selection of watering tools, from watering cans to those cool and colorful watering tools from Dramm! If you have a ‘future’ gardener you will find a huge amount of kid sized tools and kits. We found a wonderful Butterfly Growing Kit based on the ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ story by Eric Carle. It was just one of many kid centric tools and toys that can get those gardening tykes excited. For the DIY gardener you will find all the supplies for them to get their spring garden going a little sooner than most. We had a ‘Germination Station’ for them to ‘get growing’ indoors for a jump start on the outdoors this spring.
Let’s not forget plants! You can get a wonderful indoor plant or even an ‘air’ plant that would require little or no care. They also have a wonderful assortment of planters for those who have too many plants (can anyone have too many plants?) and not enough containers. Portland Nursery also has a nice assortment of ‘bee friendly’ supplies including a cool looking ‘mason bee/native bee’ house. If you are still running out of ideas, why not a gift card. Most local garden centers offer them and it shows you are thoughtful without getting them something they already have! These and many other great gift ideas are available at your local independent garden center.
A Holiday Vintage Flea
The current decorating trends are pushing antiques as a hot item, but they can also make great gifts for that hard to satisfy person on your holiday shopping list! Flea markets have always been known as the place to be for some of these valuable, ‘buried’ treasures that you can use in your home or your yard. Today, November 23rd, there is one place where you can get your holiday shopping and flea market fix at one time. Margie’s Farm and Garden is hosting ‘A Holiday Vintage Flea’. A Vintage Flea is a vintage/flea/antique market with anything from antiques and mid-century vintage to crafts and castoffs. Kathy joined us to tell us about this holiday event which is the biggest they have ever had, with over 80 vendors! At the event you can find cool furniture that had been repurposed, homemade crafts, and one-of-a-kind items, in addition to the antiques. You will also find a lot of holiday décor items to get your home ready for the holidays. There will be food and other holiday treats as well. This is a great event for the one-stop shopper! This is a wonderful FREE event to kick off your holidays. Check out their website or Facebook page for all the details!
Terra Casa Bowls & Lanterns
Terra Casa in Damascus (503-577-8242) is one of our favorite stores. Think I’m kidding? We have some of their furniture and even picked up a snow globe while we were shooting there. This time we talked with Diana about decorating. We know that everyone is dressing up their homes for the holidays and we were impressed by the number of unique decorating ideas that she had in the store. Diana and her staff build beautiful displays and special accents for your holidays, but she told us that they don’t stop there. They can make these holiday displays transition into showcase items that you can use year-round. We started with their signature ‘bowls’. These lovely bowls were filled with Christmas balls, angels and trees. Some even had a string of sparkling lights woven through the holiday items. Diana told us that people love these readymade centerpieces, but also that a lot of customers bring them back after the holidays to change them out with sedums and other pieces to make them shine in the home for the rest of the year. The store was also loaded with decorative lanterns which can also be dressed for the holidays, in fact some even had battery powered candles so you can ‘burn’ them and fill your home with a warm holiday glow. One other thing that Diana was excited to share with us was the works from a new painter she found, Darren Gygi. His rustic style and pictures of fruit, animals and rustic scenes are wonderful and can fit into any existing décor. If you are looking to take your holiday decorating up a notch, stop by and check out all that Terra Casa has to offer.
Olio Nuovo – Olive Oil Festival
The taste of fresh olive oil can’t be beat. Whether it is in a salad dressing or cooking, the flavor is intoxicating. And the freshest olive oil is right here in the Willamette Valley at Red Ridge Farms. The Oregon Olive Mill at Red Ridge (503-864-2200) is in the process of harvesting and milling fresh olive oil just outside of Dundee. We paid a visit and received a personalized tour of the production facilities from one of the owners, Paul Durant. We visited one of the fields where we saw how they are growing the Arbequina variety of olives. Once they are harvested the local olives are combined with selected high quality olives from California. The olives are then milled for their oil. Most people think that the olives are pressed, but they are actually ground up whole, heated and the oil is spun off using a centrifuge. The new oil is called ‘Olio Nuovo’ and appears cloudy. After a few months the sediments settle to the bottom of the storage container and the oil is clear.
Your chance to see this process in action is happening this weekend at Red Ridge Farms (503-864-8502) during their Olio Nuovo Festival. You’ll also get a chance to sample this flavorful oil and taste the difference between it and commercially produced types of oil. This festival also features some of the great wines that Red Ridge produces as well. Stop by for a chance to step back into Italy this weekend. Check out their website for the times of all the events!