COVID-19 AWARENESS: Please note that we are taking all necessary precautions to keep our on-air personalities, interviewees and crew safe during this challenging time. However, we do run repeat stories and segments that were shot earlier this year, before social distancing practices were recommended by health officials. If you see our hosts standing close to someone, please be assured that the segment was shot before March of 2020. We thank you for your concern and your interest in Garden Time!
Happy 4th of July! We know that this year will be quite different from celebrations of the past. A lot of the large displays and gatherings have been cancelled and that means more action on the home front. If you are planning on celebrating with your close friends and neighbors, we ask that you stay safe and healthy. Also, we have a couple tips in the show this week to help your home and landscape stay safe too.
You will also notice this week that we are back down to a half hour program. This is a something we have to do every year around this time. We are blessed to have such wonderful commercial partners that we can afford to go to an hour long program every spring for around three months. Once summer comes and families are busy, the sponsors can’t afford to support the show as sales take a dip. We want to thank them for their support and you, the viewer, for understanding. Not to worry, we will still have our half hour program until the end of November.
This week we featured...
Deer Resistant Plants
Bambi is cute, except when he is munching on your tasty garden plants. We stopped by Garland Nursery (1-800-296-6601) between Corvallis and Albany on Hwy 20 and talked to Lee to learn about deer resistant plants and other ways for thwarting Bambi’s advances. First of all, when we say ‘deer resistant’ we are not talking about ‘deer proof’. For the most part, if a deer is hungry he will eat anything, even plants that taste terrible to him. Lee talked about some of the plants that are considered deer resistant. The plants were grouped into 3 categories. Some were texture plants, some were taste plants and some were fragrance plants. The texture plants were ones with rough leaves, spikes or thorns. They are tough to chew and so the deer avoid them. The taste plants are awful or are poisonous and so they stay away from those too. The fragrance plants are ones that the deer can’t stand the smell.
Lee had a huge selection of all 3 types. We started with the Salvia ‘Black and Bloom’. This is an update on the Black and Blue with more flower stalks. It is also a great perennial plant if you are trying to attract hummingbirds to your garden. We moved to another one that has tons of colorful blooms on long spikes, the Agastache Kudos ‘Mandarin Orange’, also known as hyssop. It gets a couple feet high and will rebloom with those spectacular orange blooms all summer if you cut off the spent blooms. A favorite of bees and hummingbirds. Keeping with the bee and hummingbird theme we went to the caryopteria (bluebeard) ‘Blue Balloon’. It will lose its leaves in the winter but will return with clusters of blue blooms, a favorite for bumblebees. It is also drought resistant so you can put it in a drier place in your garden. The final tall plant was the cypress ‘Wilma Goldcrest’. This little guy can get quite tall, topping out at 15 feet tall. The foliage has a lemony, citrus smell when you brush up against it, and that is what the deer hate.
The next group of plants were a little closer to the ground. These were not all ground covers but stay of the lower side. The Rock Rose – Cistus ‘Sunset’ had beautiful pink blooms and is another drought tolerant plant that pollinators love and deer hate. The next plant was one of the spiky kind that deer won’t munch. Barberry ‘Admiration’ has little thorny branches, but the foliage is a winner with small orangy/red leaves ringed in cream coloring. Like the Cistus it will stay around 2 feet or lower in your landscape, but the variegated foliage is a winner. Another one with great variegated foliage is the lavender ‘Platinum Blonde’. The striking foliage is the backdrop to the traditional blue lavender blooms. It is also another drought tolerant pick for the garden. The final one was a winner in the garden, whether you have a deer problem or not. The Daphne ‘Eternal Fragrance’ blooms all summer long, has a great fragrance especially at night and also doesn’t get too tall either.
There are also products that you can buy to keep deer away. Most of them are a deterrent spray, and Garland has 3 products to choose from. These sprays usually have a combination of natural ingredients like cloves, garlic and pepper to make even tasty plants yucky. You should look for ‘putrescent (rotten) eggs’ or wolf urine on the label. Both of those odors are known to chase the deer away. You can also try the Scarecrow sprinkler. This is a sprinkler that turns on when it senses something in your garden and gives it a squirt of water to scare it away. For more deer resistant plants and other ideas you can stop by Garland Nursery or check out their website for a handout.
Good Garden Lavenders
Late spring and early summer brings us the blooms of the fragrant lavender! This plant is the shining star of the garden right now. It is a magnet for bees, shows off some wonderful blooms and is fragrant as well! People also use it for cooking and medicinal uses as well. Unfortunately a lot of gardeners grow tired of these plants as they get older because they can get woody and flop in the garden. To learn some tips to prevent that we stopped by Barn Owl Nursery (503-638-0387) in Wilsonville and talked to local expert Chris Mulder. She said that the main way to control your lavender is through pruning. The problem is that people should be pruning now or shortly after the blooms fade. She recommends that you cut back your plant now so you can enjoy the blooms and fragrance indoors or even dry them for culinary use or for display. By cutting back your plants in the mid-summer you ensure that they will set blooms for next year. The cuts you make should be just above the woody old growth leaving a short stem with a few leaves. This will give the plant enough ‘green’ material to recover and survive another year. She had a field of ‘French Fields’ that she was cutting for use in her store.
We then moved over to another part of her fields to see a few varieties that she recommends for our area. The first one was ‘Pacific Blue’ which has a nice deep color and is great as a culinary lavender. The second one was similar, ‘Rebecca Kay’. It too, has a nice dark color and dries nicely on the stem and is also great in the kitchen. The best part of this variety is that it blooms twice. The third one we looked at was ‘Folgate’ this one was a good one for culinary use. Chris showed us how she starts to harvest the flowers when they first start to bloom. Then she ties them in small bunches and hangs them to dry. The final variety that we looked at was ‘Royal Velvet’. This one was propagated in Oregon and is a later bloomer then some of the other lavenders. It also has a longer stem which is good for making lavender wands and other crafting. It is also good fresh, dried and for culinary uses. If you are looking for a lavender for your garden or for cooking, check out Chris’s list of plants and their characteristics (insert list here).
If you would like to check out Chris’s fields you will need to call for an appointment. When you do you can see the fields and some of these great varieties for yourself. You can also pick up some of these great lavenders and other lavender products for your home or garden. Check out their website for all the details.
Ryan Garden Makeover #1
Shade is tough! Especially if you are a plant lover. A nice grove of trees can look great until you try to get plants that work well under those canopies. Ryan had a chance to work with a shade area under some tall fir trees and incorporate some great plants too when he recently helped landscape a local garden. Earlier this year Ryan and his family were involved in an auction for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This is a cause near and dear to the Seely family. Ryan’s daughter Anna is a cancer survivor. Ryan donated his services and the plants to do a garden makeover at the auction. The plants were donated by Little Prince of Oregon and other plant growers. Two families put in a winning bid and we were at the first location to see the transformation!
Amy the homeowner joined us to talk about her garden and what it was like before. The before pictures we saw were of a nice garden under the trees, but it was a little bare. It is hard to pick shade plants and so Ryan stepped in to help. He and his family tackled 3 areas and the result was amazing! Some of the plants that he used were Heuchera ‘Autumn Glow’, Dryopteris affinis ‘Crispa’, Oxalis ‘Klamath Ruby, Beesia deltophylla, Carex oshimensis ‘Everillo’. These plants worked in well with the nice collection of hostas, bleeding hearts and other plants in her garden, including daphnes and other beauties! If you would like to see more great shade plants you can check out the Little Prince website. They even have a group of plants listed under ‘Made in the Shade’ that love the dappled light found under trees and eaves.
Stay tuned, Ryan’s ‘Makeover #2’ coming up soon!
Managing Water Supplies – 3 Tips
The summer is the time for being outdoors and if you are a gardener, that means keeping a thriving and beautiful garden. That also means, for most gardeners, using more water than just about any other time during the year. This puts a strain on the water system, but do you even know where your water comes from? We met with Chris who was representing the Regional Water Providers Consortium at the edge of the Clackamas River outside of Oregon City. We were at one of the intake facilities where water was drawn from the river to take care of the needs of over 350,000. That water is filtered and treated so we can enjoy some of the best water in the country. Still, it makes sense to watch our water usage when we can. Chris gave us 3 tips to help us make the best use of our water during those dry months of summer.
The first tip is about getting your system ready for the summer. Turn it on and watch it as it is operating. Are all the sprinkler working the best they can? Did some get buried? Do you need to re-aim them? If your sprinklers are not all working, if there are leaks, are plants blocking the sprinklers, or even if they are watering the street or sidewalk instead of your plants, then you are wasting water (and money). The second tip is to hold off on mid-summer fertilizing. Summer fertilizing requires water so your plants can access the fertilizer. Wait until fall and use a fertilizer that feeds the roots so you can have a stronger lawn next year, and a stronger lawn means less water. The third tip is to do less ‘light’ watering and more deep watering spread out over time. If your lawn need an inch of water a week, don’t do little bits of watering every day, do 2 deep soaks of a half inch each, every week. The roots of the grass will grow deeper looking for water and you will have stronger plants.
How much water do you put down also depends on the weather and conditions for your area, and that is easy to find out with the weekly watering number. Simply go to the www.Regionalh2o.org website and enter your zip code for a number to help you figure out your watering needs based on plant transpiration, temperatures and seasonal changes, so you don’t over use this great resource. You can also use the Regional Water Providers Consortium website to find out who your water provider is. Just enter your address and it will direct you to your local provider. On their websites you can find more information about where your water comes from, and even links to resources and educational information to help you manage your water inside and out.
Summer is here, don’t be left high and dry when it comes to using your water wisely.
TOW – 4th of July Prep
Our tip of the week is about getting your home and garden ready for the fireworks of the 4th of July. The days leading up to the event you should clean all the dried leaves and debris from your roof and gutters so there is nothing to catch on fire if a stray firework makes it up to your roof. The afternoon of the 4th you should water your yard and garden for the same reason. The additional moisture will help prevent fires from flaring up. If you have acreage or a larger lot, make sure that you create a ‘defensible’ area around your home in case of wildfire. Check out the FEMA website for more helpful information.