December 2, 2006
Our Plant Pick this week is the Christmas Cactus (Zygocactus). These little wonders bloom because of the amount of light they receive. Try not to keep them in a room with too much artificial light, it may limit the blooms. You can slow down the blooming by moving them into a cooler room and limiting their exposure to heat. Like all cacti, they like it a little dry too. These little plants can reward you with great blooms year after year if you just give them a little care.
November 11, 2006
that cool crisp smell (and taste) of wintergreen?
Then you are looking at our plant pick of the week,
Gaultheria procumbens, also known as wintergreen.
This low growing evergreen shrub is very hardy and a
great ground cover for our area. It gets it name from
the wintergreen smell you get when you crush the
leaves and fruit. It puts on a show during the winter
and is a must-have plant for your garden.
November 4, 2006
plant pick this week is the Cryptomeria japonica
‘Elegans compacta’. This graceful conifer has
wonderful green summer foliage that changes to a rich
coppery red or purple in the winter. The new variety,
shown to us by Michael from
Portland Nursery (503-788-9000), stays short so
you can even use it in a deck planter or container.
It is a great year-round plant that loves full sun
and average watering. It also has a soft texture that
is smooth to the touch!
October 28, 2006
Plant Pick of the week was the Callicarpa bodinieri
also known as Beautyberry. The variety was
‘Profusion’. This is a wonderful shrub that has
beautiful neon purple berries in the winter, but it
also looks great in the summertime. This variety is a
native of China and can get 6 feet high or more, so
you may want to keep it cut back. This graceful shrub
is deciduous and is just starting to change color and
lose its leaves. Once the berries are gone remove
about one-third of the branches to make room for new
growth. We found this one at
Tsugawa’s Nursery (360-225-8750)
in Woodland, but they are available at most local
October 14, 2006
you are looking for spectacular ‘hot’ fall color then
look no further than our plant pick for this week,
Burning Bush. With the Latin name Euonymus alata it
is easier to remember the common name of ‘Burning
Bush’ due to the intense red fall color. This plant
is also called the ‘winged euonymus’ due to its
squared limbs and in the middle of winter those
squared branches are a real eye catcher! It is shade
tolerant but you will notice that it performs better
with more sun exposure. It can handle a variety of
soil conditions but prefers moderate watering.
WEIGELA 'MY MONET'
October 7, 2006
found a new favorite! We have always loved weigelas,
but most varieties get a little too tall for our
garden. Proven Winners recently came out with one
that stays small. Weigela ‘My Monet’ is a more
compact variety that stays shorter than 2 feet tall.
The other benefit to this variety is the color. The
leaves appear with a pink tint and change to a green
with cream colored edge. It looks great. The other
benefit is the flower color. In late spring and early
summer you will enjoy a soft pink bloom. It likes
full sun to partial shade, rarely needs pruning and is
hardy to -20°. Weigela ‘My Monet’ is a great plant
for our northwest winters and you will find it at your
local garden center.
plant pick for this week is a common one. The garden
mum is sometimes overlooked because you can find it
everywhere. But there is a reason why it is so
popular; it performs well in the Pacific Northwest.
These perennials like full sun and good drainage. If
you want that full look you have to pinch the first
buds off when they start to bloom. It is hard to do
but you will be rewarded with that full, colorful look
in late summer/early fall. They also are considered a
heavy feeder, that means they like lots of
fertilizer. If they are in a very exposed location
you may want to mulch them a little before the really
cold winds blow. We found some great plants in lots
of colors at
Willow Lake Nursery (503-390-3032) in Keizer.
Stop by next time you are in the neighborhood!
Arrrrr… Our plant pick is a real pirate! It is
Bluebeard, the common name for Caryopteris. It will
steal your heart! We found our plant pick at
You Produce and Garden Center (503-769-9682).
Nancy Hendricks and her husband have been bringing the
freshest produce and plants to the Stayton area for
years! She brought out 2 different varieties for us
to see. They were ‘Sunshine Blue’, which has golden
foliage and ‘Petit Blue’, which stays short and is
perfect for today’s smaller gardens. They love
moderate watering, full sun and are hardy for our
area. Fresh to You is also part of Le Tour de
Plants. Nancy told us about the great specials they
have including 50% off pottery and 50% off flowering
trees. If you are east of Salem, stop by, pick-up
some fresh produce and a plant or two!
summer color. It is sometimes hard to get good color
from your perennials that have been performing all
summer long. Our plant pick of the week is a great
pick for giving you color at a time when other plants
seem to be fading. The Japanese Anemone is a great
perennial that can handle just about anything. It is
long-lived and likes a little shade during the hottest
times of the year, but once established it sends up
long graceful stems of flowers that reach 2-4 feet
tall. After a couple of years it will slowly spread
across your garden beds. That is the time to dig and
divide the plant to keep it manageable. The anemone
is a great plant for borders or an area between your
taller plants and those short groundcovers near the
edge of your flower beds. We found this wonderful
Portland Nursery (503-231-5050) on Stark Street,
but they are available at all your local garden
ROSE OF SHARON
Looking for a tropical look for your late summer
garden? We found it with the Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus
syriacus). This cousin of the Hibiscus is a great
plant for our area. It can handle our cool winters
and hot summers and still put out a great flower that
looks fantastic. It likes the late summer heat and
can even be a little drought tolerant. It can get to
12 feet tall depending on the variety but you can keep
it lower with selective pruning. Our plant pick of
the week comes to us from Kale Farms (503-393-8857) in
North Salem. It is a great garden store with a
wonderful little gift shop.
August 26, 2006
overlooked shrub in the garden is the cotoneaster, our
plant pick of the week. The cotoneaster is a great
perennial shrub that can take full sun and also moderate
watering. That makes it a good drought tolerant plant
for just about any area in your garden. It mainly stays
low and can be a good ground cover alternative in a
border. It also has yellow to red-ish berries that
create great fall and winter interest.
August 12, 2006
of the most exciting perennials of the past few years
is Echinacea, also known as coneflower. These
perennials are the tall pink-ish late summer bloomers,
but recent varieties are shorter and come in a variety
of colors. We found some cool ones at
Larsen Farm Nursery (503-638-8600) in
Wilsonville. They love full sun and can handle
moderate watering once they are established. This
makes them an excellent plant for those beds that
don’t get a lot of attention during the summer. If
you take care of them they will continue blooming
until frost. They even make a good cut flower to
August 5, 2006
If you are looking for
a ‘tropical’ feel for your garden you can’t pass up our
plant pick for this week, the Canna. The Canna is one
of those plants that puts on a show. Whether it is the
striped foliage or the outstanding flowers, it really
has an exotic look to it. Cannas come in all different
colors from yellow to pink, white and red. Like their
tropical cousins, they love full sun and a good watering
when it is hot. They are equally at home in your garden
or in a container. Most of the varieties available in
the northwest are hardy for our area, but there are some
that could be tender so be sure to read the tag when you
purchase one. We found our plant pick at Garden Fever
(503-287-3200) in Northwest Portland, but they are
available at all your local garden centers.
PEE GEE HYDRANGEAS
plant pick of the week is ‘Unique’. It is the Pee Gee
Hydrangea ‘Unique’. These hydrangeas are just coming
into bloom right now. They can take full sun but like
a little shade on the hottest days and will grow to
around 10-15 feet high. A favorite of the florist
industry, they make a good cut flower. The flowers are
very different with a cone shaped cluster that has
flowers of various shapes and sizes. It will make a
good plant for the back of a bed or border. They don’t
have any fragrance but they really put on a flower show!
Find a place for one in your garden.
deciduous shrubs are a great for the northwest garden
because they are tough and easy to care for. They like
well drained soil but can handle most soils and
conditions once established, including heat and moderate
watering. They can grow to as high as 3 feet tall and
will produce blooms from late spring till early fall.
We saw 3 varieties at
Farmington Gardens (503-649-4568) including ‘McKay’s
White’, ‘Gold Star’ and the salmon colored ‘Red Ace’,
but you will find them at all your local independent
Plant Pick of the week may look familiar to you.
Alstroemeria’s are very common as a cut flower in
floral arraignments. Those varieties are preferred
by florists because of their long stems, but they also
tend to flop in the garden. We found a new series
of these flowers that look great in your garden and will
bloom for weeks to come. Deby from
Farm (503-292-9895) showed us the new ‘Princess
Lilies’ that are now available. These get 18-to-24
inches tall, take full sun, and like well drained soil.
The key to getting them to rebloom is don’t prune
them. Instead, pull
the spent flower stems out of the ground and they will
grow new ones. When you do, they will bloom until
plant pick of the week is a 2-for-1 holiday bonus!
We found two plants that share a common trait:
fragrance. Danielle Ferguson from
Fragrant Nursery (503-633-4585)
pulled out two of her favorite plants. The first is the
Daphne. This plant is a favorite of many gardeners
in the Pacific Northwest. It grows into a nice
deciduous shrub with small white flowers. It also
has great foliage with green leaves that are edged in a
cream color. The second plant is the star jasmine.
This plant is a vine and, as the name implies, the
flowers are a star shape about an inch wide. They
too have a fragrance that will knock your socks off.
Both of these plants love full sun and good drainage.
They also share bloom times, starting in late spring and
running until fall. If you are looking for a
couple of plants to bring sweet scents to your garden,
you can’t go wrong with these two.
plant pick of the week is an old favorite with a new
twist. Brian Tsugawa of
Nursery (360-225-8750) showed us two varieties
of the Crape Myrtle. The old favorite was Crape
Myrtle ‘Tonto’ and the new twist was Crape Myrtle
‘White Chocolate,’ a new introduction this year.
Crape myrtles love full sun and moderate watering.
They can be kept as a shrub or pruned into a tree shape.
Most varieties grow between 12 and 20 ft. The main
features are the spectacular clusters of flowers, which
can be reddish pink like the variety “Tonto” or
white found in the variety ‘White Chocolate’.
Crape myrtles can be found at most of your independent
garden centers, but new varieties like ‘White
Chocolate’ may require a little bit of a search.
June 17, 2006
Nothing rings in the summer like our Plant Pick of the
Week, the Japanese Snowbell, also know by its Latin name
Styrax japonica. The Snowbell is really putting on a
show right now. These low growing trees have a
horizontal branching habit which makes them perfect for
the home gardener. The wonderful white or pink flowers
in late spring give way to a berry in late summer/ early
fall. The fall color is not spectacular but the bare
winter branches add a wonderful accent to your winter
garden. Jon DeBoer from
Farmington Gardens (503-649-4568) in Aloha showed us
some beautiful varieties, including a pink one called
June 10, 2006
Our plant pick is one hot number from the
tropics! The Bougainvillea is known for the great color
it has. That color is not from flowers but from the
bracts/leaves that surround the small white/yellow
flowers. This plant is a touchy tropical. It doesn’t
like to be disturbed and it will not survive the winters
here without a lot of protection, but it is worth it for
the continual floor show it puts on through the summer.
Most varieties are full sun and like regular watering,
keep an eye on them during the hottest days since they
might need extra watering. Once again, remember they
are a tropical, so put them in a place you can see them
May 27, 2006
Our plant pick of the week is the
Heuchera, also known as Coral Bells. This evergreen plant is a winner
in the foliage department. It is known for the variety of textures and
colors in its stems and leaves. It can handle full sun, but prefers
partial shade. It can be used in beds or containers and makes an
excellent accent plant because it remains somewhat short, with most
varieties staying around 3 feet tall or shorter. We found an excellent
Guentner’s Gardens (503-585-7133) in South Salem, but you can find
them at any local independent garden center.
THE IMPRESSIONIST ROSE
May 20, 2006
We traveled to
Heirloom Roses (503-538-1576)
for our plant pick of the week. This one leaves a great impression --
in fact, it is called the Impressionist! This vigorous climber will
stand up and shine in the garden. At various times you may see
lavender, scarlet crimson, buff and orange, tan to brown, yellow, pink,
white, cream, apricot, salmon, creamy pink, peach, coral, several shades
of pink, orange, red and gold! All these colors can appear in its bloom
lifecycle. If you think that is great, check out the fragrance! If you
are at Heirloom, check out this winner! It is located near the gift
May 13, 2006
Our plant pick of the
week combines color and fragrance. We traveled to
Fragrant Nursery(503-633-4585) where we found the Abelia ‘Bridal
Bouquet’. This sun loving shrub has an arching form and can reach up to
6 feet. Clusters of small fragrant flowers during the summer gives way
to wonderful bronzy fall color. This plant makes a spectacular visual
barrier with its showy flowers and is a great addition to any garden.
May 6, 2006
Our plant pick this
week comes to us from Fir Point Farms, home of Gardenpalooza. We found
a plant that is outstanding for its combination of foliage color and
blooms. The variegated weigela we found was in a small container, but
it can grow to be a large plant. If you need something that can fill a
6 foot space in your beds than this might be the plant for you. It is
fairly hardy for our area and can handle full sun. it puts on its best
show in the spring and can be pruned back pretty hard after it blooms.
If you prune it back it will reward you with more blooms next year!
Our plant pick doesn’t know what to be
called! Some people call it a Seascape Daisy or an African Daisy, but
it is really an Osteospermum. These sun loving plants are great for the
northwest garden. They can handle moderate watering and colder
temperatures. If it doesn’t freeze in the winter they will return year
after year. They bloom for quite awhile and seem to bloom better in the
cooler spring weather. They can even handle poor soil conditions, but
they will perform better if you put them in nice soil and keep them
watered. We found a great selection at Max & Hildy’s (503-645-5486) in
The plant pick of the week comes to us from
Center (503-491-0771) in Gresham. The barberry is a great plant
that has something to offer all year long. In the spring it has
wonderful foliage and cute small blooms. During the fall, the color of
its leaves will take your breath away and in the winter it has the
berries in its branches. Most varieties will stay in the 4-to-8 foot
range and can handle just about any soil condition. They can handle
very little water and no extra care except occasional pruning. They
have a spiny stem and that makes them a good plant to keep unwanted
guests out of your garden. The two varieties we saw today were the
‘Rose Glow’ and ‘Golden’. Check them out at your local garden center.
really showing off right now and with all those beautiful blooms it is
hard to pick a favorite, so we went to see Tim Clarke at
(503-982-2380) to get some help! You can find magnolias in many
different heights and styles, and for the most part they love full sun
and good early fertilization. Tim picked out a couple that he really
likes. We saw Magnolia ‘Leonard Messel’, Magnolia ‘Pinky’, Magnolia
‘Golden Gift’, and Magnolia ‘Susan’. All of them are so nice we
challenge you to choose!
April 8, 2006
plant pick of the week comes to us from
(503-292-9895). Deby Barnhart told us about these wonderful drought
tolerant perennials. They can take full sun and they are evergreen. These
cousins of the poinsettia also produce a milky sap that can be a skin
irritant so be careful of getting it on your hands. You can find them in
bloom right now at your local garden center.
PLANTS OF THE WEEK