November 20, 2010

The holidays are here and there are lots of plants that are linked to the Christmas season, but we found one that could be the namesake of this time of year, the Yuletide camellia. The Yuletide is a Sasanqua camellia. This variety blooms from fall into winter. Like most plants these plants like a well drained soil, but it will do well in full sun or shade. They are drought tolerant too. The Yuletide is striking for its bloom color, a deep red petal with a bright yellow center. Camellia 'yuletide' is a great plant for the holiday season. We found a great selection at Cornell Farm (503-292-9895)!

October 30, 2010

Azaleas are generally known as being a spring blooming plant. We found some new ones on the market that will give you tons of bloom and they will keep coming back all through the growing season. Encore Azaleas were hybridized to bloom in the spring, followed by a mid-summer flush and again in the fall. They take the same care requirements as your other azaleas and rhododendrons. They like a full sun or light shade exposure, good watering and little bit of acid in their soil. They also stay relatively small, reaching only 3 feet by 3 feet when full grown. Check them out at your local garden center.

October 16, 2010

Our plant pick of the week is a true stunner! The Leonotus leourus also known as Loin’s Mane (some call it ‘lion’s tail’) is really unique in the fall garden. There are clusters of flowers on stalks that are 2-3 feet long. The bright reddish-orange flowers are hummingbird magnets. The one drawback to this flower is that it is tender in our area. Once the thermometer drops to freezing this plant will struggle. Protect it and you may have it return for another showing next year. This plant is also great for containers on your deck and it may be easier to protect in a pot. If you are looking for a great full sun plant for your late summer/early fall garden try the Lion’s Mane! We found a great selection at Portland Nursery (503-231- 5050) on Stark. Check it out while visiting the final weekend of the Apple Tasting.

August 21, 2010

Late 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 plant at Portland Nursery (503-231-5050) on Stark Street , but they are available at all your local garden centers.

August 7, 2010

Our plant pick this week is a real stunner in the summer sun! Abutilon or Flowering Maple is in full bloom right now and your local independent garden center is full of many different varieties. These plants a somewhat hardy in our area with some varieties surviving down to 10 degrees. Still, you will want to protect them from severe frost in your winter garden. Be careful when you pick your plant. Some varieties will get up to 12 feet tall, while other will stay compact and never get more than 2 feet tall. They come in an array of different colors including red, pink, orange, yellow, white or even a bluish lavender. They like sun if they are well watered, but they also like shade as well. We found a great selection at Drakes 7 Dees, but they can be found at most garden centers.

June 12, 2010

Want a plant that will give you tons of color for the whole summer? Try our plant pick of the week, Non-stop Begonias. Non-stop is a perfect name for these great bloomers. They will give you tons of color in your outside containers or flower beds. They like partial shade, usually morning sun, and are heavy feeders. That means they like frequent fertilizing, either a slow release once a month or a liquid fertilizer once a week or so. The unique characteristic about this plant is that they have 2 different kinds of flowers. The big showy bloom is the male and the small single bloom is the female. If you are willing to give it a little extra care, this plant can become a show stopper in your summer garden. You can find these at most of your local garden centers but we found a nice selection at French Prairie Gardens (503-633-8445). French Prairie is having their Berries, Brews and Bar-B-Ques event this weekend. Stop by for the festivities and take home one of these colorful plants.

June 5, 2010

Our plant pick of the week comes from Larsen Farm Nursery in Wilsonville. Ryan Seely from Larsen Farm suggested that we feature the Mountain Laurel. It was an excellent choice. Mountain Laurel, also known as Kalmia (kalmia latifolia), is a great plant for our climate. It can handle full sun to full shade and they can handle our wet winters. They are a great plant that some people use as a replacement for rhododendrons and azaleas. They have a great bloom that starts as a color tight bud and then peaks as a group of colorful flowers bunched together. Some varieties have a colorful pattern in the center of the bloom too. Plus the bloom time lasts for 6 to 8 weeks, a lot longer than a rhody or azalea. If you are looking for a beautiful medium sized shrub for you garden, try the Mountain Laurel.

May 22, 2010

I jokingly said that our plant pick this week has Mr. T jealous! The Golden Chain Tree (Laburnum) is in full bloom right now and is loaded with long dangling chains of golden flowers. The Golden chain is not a huge stand out tree for most of the year, but right now it is really showing why people say this is a 'must-have' tree. It likes well drained soil and prefers to be slightly protected from strong winds. If you have children or pets, be aware that the seeds (after it flowers) are poisonous. It is very hardy for our area, surviving down to -20 and stays relatively short, topping out at 30 feet.

May 15, 2010

This week's plant pick takes us to the dark side! Actually, we are focusing on the dark leafed Sambucus, also known as Elderberry. The two that we featured were the 'Black Lace' and the 'Black Beauty'. The Black Lace is known for its lacy fine cut leaves. They can give you a nice soft look in the garden when with paired with other foliage. It blooms in late spring and early summer with creamy pink colored flowers. The Black Beauty has thicker leaves and bigger stems. It too blooms in the late spring and early summer with soft pink blossoms. Both varieties are very hardy and can handle temperatures below 0. These can get up to 10 feet tall or more, but once established you can cut them back each year to maintain their shape. We found some great ones at the Portland Nursery (503-788-9000) on Division, but they are available at most of your local independent garden centers.

May 8, 2010

Our plant pick of the week is a bunch of plants, but really just one. We have featured Dicentra before on the show. Dicentra, also known as 'bleeding heart', is a great, hardy, shade loving perennial. This plant has many different forms (the spectabilis, White 'alba', and 'Gold Heart' varieties), but we really wanted to focus on the newest one, 'Burning Hearts'. This new variety is an EXTREMELY hardy plant that can survive temperatures down to -40. It will also stay low to the ground and only spreads to about a foot wide. It has great blue/green foliage with delicate cut leaves. It also has some incredible flowers that are deep red with white edges. It is a true show stopper for something so small. We found a great selection at Cornell Farm (503-292-9895) in Beaverton, but you can find it at most of your local independent garden centers.

May 1, 2010

We found our plant pick at Tsugawa's Nursery (360-225-8750) in Woodland Washington. Brian pulled out a bunch of plants for us to look at and they were all spirea. Spirea are easy to grow and they come in a ton of foliage and bloom colors that you can mix and match to any other plant in your garden. It is also known as meadowsweet and comes in over 100 different varieties. The plant has been around for a long time and even has some medicinal uses. The newer varieties are stunning. The varieties we saw were 'Firegold', 'Golden Elf', 'Double Play', 'Limemound', and the two-toned 'Magic Carpet'. If you would like to try one of these low maintenance plants in your garden, check them out at Tsugawa's or one of your other local garden centers.

April 10, 2010

This is a true showcase plant for your garden. The contorted filbert known as 'Harry Lauder's Walking Stick' is one of those plants that make people stop in their tracks, event the experienced gardens like its strange characteristics. It is a hardy plant for our area; it is slow growing and can stay compact with minimal pruning. That makes it a great plant for containers. The spring brings out 'catkins' which dangle off the twisted branches. In the summer, the plant shows off small leaves with 'cut' edges. The fall color is nice but the real show is the twisted trunks and branches of the late fall and winter. Like most plants it likes well drained soil and can handle full to mostly sunny areas in your garden. If you are at your local garden center check one out. You may just find that you need one in your garden! We found a nice selection of these great plants at Fir Point Farms (503-678-2455) in Aurora.

March 13, 2010

St. Patrick’s Day is close at hand and the traditional plant for the day is the shamrock. For most gardeners the shamrock is a nasty reminder of the clover in their lawn, but the plant you will find in your garden center right now is slightly different than that garden visitor.   The plant you find now is Oxalis regnelli, also known as Wood Sorrel.  This small bulb loves the full sun and is in bloom right now.  Don’t be alarmed that you see it die back in the next couple of months.  It goes dormant and ‘sleeps’ through the late summer.  Just leave it alone and set it in a cool, dry place.  When fall returns you can pull the plant out and start to water it again.  For right now, enjoy this early spring bloomer and hope it brings luck to your garden this season.

March 6, 2010

Are you looking for early spring color in your garden? Well don’t just look down at your bulbs and shrubs. The magnolia can offer spectacular color for your garden too! We stopped by Larsen Farm Nursery (503-638-8600) in Wilsonville to check out 3 different types of flowering magnolias. The first one was the Star Magnolia. This one was called ‘Waterlily’ and it has larger petals than the normal star magnolia. Another great variety is the ‘Black Tulip’. This one has the biggest bloom we have ever seen. Finally we saw the pink and white ‘Athene’. These tree/small shrubs love good drainage, full sun and need very little attention once established. You can find them at Larsen Farm or most of your local independent garden centers.

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