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Al’s Garden Center - Poinsettias

Your local garden center is packed full of Christmas cheer!  Al’s Garden Center (503-981-1245) is one of the best at sharing that cheer with the gardener.  We paid a visit to Al’s to see some of the many poinsettias they have for sale.  Al’s is growing over 50 different varieties this year and we saw a couple new varieties including ‘Visions of Grandeur’, Christmas Time Pink’, ‘Pinot Noir’, ‘804 Pink’, and ‘White Glitter’.  Here are some tips you should remember about poinsettia care: Keep them out of drafts; keep them watered, but not over-watered; and don’t fertilize them.  You can get more care tips at your local Al’s location.  If you are looking to decorate for the holidays or are trying to find a great gift for a gardener, check out Al’s.   
(Original air date: 12/02/06)

Christmas Tree Varieties

We were out at Lee Farms (503-638-1869) in Tualatin to visit with Craig Lee about the most popular types of cut Christmas trees.  The varieties that Oregonians are buying include Douglas Fir, Grand Fir, Noble Fir and the Frasier Fir.  The most popular tree is the Noble Fir, but the Frasier Fir is gaining ground, because it is very fragrant.  Lee’s also carries the wonderful Davis Tree Stand.  Pick one up and you will never need another stand again!  Stop by Lee’s for your Christmas tree.  They are open 9:00am until dusk through the holidays.
(Original air date: 12/02/06)

Kindergarden – Dried Fruit Ornament

It is the holiday time, and why not share the spirit with your local bird population?  Myra Lukens from the Backyard Bird Shop (503-635-2044) brought some of her friends to the store and gave us a quick lesson on building dried fruit ornaments.  These decorations can be used indoors, but they are really designed to feed those flyers that are trying to survive the cold.  All you need is a weather resistant yarn or string, a needle (embroidery needles works great) and a variety of dried fruits and unsalted peanuts.  We used cranberries, raisins, prunes, and apricots.  String them together and place them on your trees outside.  Hang them close to your house so you can watch the birds feed and enjoy sharing the holiday spirit. 
  (Original air date: 12/02/06)

Monnier Orchids

If someone has a problem with a plant, it is hard to get them to try growing that plant again.  Orchids are a plant that many people have problems growing.   Ron Monnier from Monnier’s Country Gardens (503-981-3384) is known for his fuchsias, but he also is crazy about orchids.  His are just coming into bloom right now.  He gets great blooms by starting in the summer.  He moves his plants outdoors to expose them to the light and temperature.  Just before the first frost he moves them indoors.  The change in temperature sets the flower spikes and ensures a great winter bloom!  Orchids also like a well drained bark mix.  They are not a ‘soil’ type of plant.  If you are looking to grow orchids, you can check at your local garden center or give Ron a call.  (Original air date: 12/02/06)

Drake's Holiday Citrus

What kind of plant delivers great fragrance and beautiful blooms in the winter, and is delicious as well?  It is citrus!  We stopped by Drake's 7 Dees (503-256-2223) on SE Stark in Portland to see all the wonderful varieties they have in the store right now.  Lynn Snodgrass pointed out a couple of plants of interest including the Meyers Improved Lemon.  Citrus also has a lot of significance at this time of year.  It is one of the featured fruits of the Chinese New Year, citrus and anything in the red range symbolizes good luck. That includes oranges and tangerines which are piled in a pyramid shape. "Piling the oranges brings you closer to heaven." Families offer the pile of citrus fruits to ancestors as a sign of respect.  Also, fruit gifts convey the wish for health and happiness for the season and the new year to come.  A lemon type (citron) fruit is also used by the Jewish faith to celebrate one of their fall festivals (Sukkot).   Stop by Drake's or any other local garden center and try a citrus plant. (Original air date: 11/25/06)

Kindergarden – Milk Jug Feeder

It is easy to teach your kids about backyard birds and recycling, with this easy craft project that’s for the birds!  You can recycle a milk jug and make it into a bird feeder.  Myra Lukens from the Backyard Bird Shop (503-635-2044) brought some of her friends to the store and gave us a quick lesson on building one.  All you need is an empty clean milk jug, a dowel for a perch, some wire for a hanger and some seed.  Hang it from a tree branch, and the birds will soon find the new feeder.  You can find instructions at your local Backyard Bird Shop or print them here. (Original air date: 11/25/06)

Fall Equipment Maintenance

It is the time of year that we are putting away our power tools for the season and to keep them in the best condition for the next year is to give them a tune-up for the winter.  Scott Ashby from Stark Street Lawn and Garden (503-255-5393) in Portland showed us how to prepare your mower, blower, chain saw and generator for the cold months ahead!  The benefit of doing it now keeps your tools in the best condition so you have less maintenance in the future.  A couple of pointers: Use all your gas now.  Old gas becomes weak gas and can foul your engine.  Check air filters and spark plugs.  Sharpen blades/chains and clean all surfaces.  If it sounds like too much to tackle, you can always take it to your local Stark Street dealership.  They have three locations in the Portland area.(Original air date: 11/25/06)

Christmas Tree Care

Thanksgiving weekend is the first big weekend for people to start getting their Christmas trees.  Before you decorate your tree there are a few rules you need to follow to make sure it lasts through the season and into the new year.   Craig Lee from Lee Farms (503-638-1869) told us to always make a fresh cut on any tree you purchase from a tree lot.  If you cut your own tree make sure you get it into some water as quickly as possible.  Some other tips; use lukewarm water the first time you water your tree, and add an aspirin and a couple drops of bleach to the water.  Remember, if it runs out of water once, it will seal up and then it doesn’t matter how much water you add.  Don’t let the tree run out of water and you will have a longer lasting green tree for your holidays.(Original air date: 11/25/06)

Ferguson’s Fall Fragrant Plants

You may think that all the plants are done showing off for the season but we found some at Ferguson’s Fragrant Nursery that are just starting to attract attention.  Danielle Ferguson pulled a bunch of plants that could become the highlight of your garden.  She started with the Pink Dawn Viburnum.  This plant is just starting to bloom and the scent is getting stronger every day.  Other plants she pulled from her nursery included Abelia mosanensis, Wintersweet ‘Chimonanthus praecox’, Sweetbox ‘Sarcococca humilis’, Euphorbia ‘Tasmanian Tiger’, Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’, Poncirus ‘Flying Dragon’, Fothergilla gardenia, and the Chinese Paper Bush also known as Edgeworthia papyrifera.  Some of these were just budding up and will soon be in bloom while others were already showing flowers.  To find the best plant for your garden check out the selection at Ferguson’s or your local garden center. (Original air date: 11/18/06)

Gartner’s Holiday Grilling

If you think it is tight in your garden, try a kitchen during the holidays!  William and Judy dropped by the home of Deb and Jerry Yost for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.  Jerry, from Gartner’s Meats, was in charge of cooking the main course.  The problem: No room!  Actually it was no problem; Jerry showed William how easy it is to use your grill to warm up a pre-cooked, pre-sliced, boneless, sugar-cured ham.  This ham was a masterpiece and extremely easy to cook.  Jerry also told us how to figure out the size, too.  If you figure about 8 ounces per adult you will have plenty to go around!  Why not take the stress out of this holiday and pick up something special from Gartner’s.  Plus, while you are cooking, you can enjoy that wonderful winter garden!  (Original air date: 11/18/06)

Gartner's Labor Day Grilling

The best part of a big holiday weekend is the food.  We all look forward to that unique ‘taste of summer’ that we get when we fire up the grill.  To get another grilling idea on what to prepare we dropped by to visit Jerry Yost from Gartner’s Meats (503-252-7801).  Jerry pulled out a flat-iron griller.   This is a great piece of meat.  We heard how easy it is to grill.  Jerry put it on the grill and turned it every 5-7 minutes.  In 20 minutes it was done.  What made this taste so good was the marinade.  Gartner’s makes their own special sauce that just knocked our socks off.  If you get a chance, stop by and see them at 7450 N.E. Killingsworth and make a huge impression at your next barbeque.  (Original air date: 9/2/06)

Gartner's 4th of July Bar-b-que

It is time to relax.  And the best way to do that is to have a nice grilled meal on your deck or patio.  Jerry Yost, from Gartner’s Meats (503-252-7801) has the perfect meal for this holiday weekend.  He grilled up a bunch of chicken and beef ka-bobs from the store.  Gartner’s has been in business for decades and they can really liven up your grill with some of the meats they offer.  Jerry's choice of ka-bobs was great for two reasons.  First, they are cheap.  And second, they are easy!  He paired them with a salad, watermelon, and chips.  If you have 15 minutes, you have a great meal!  (Original air date: 7/1/06)

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