Judy Alleruzzo


 Episode 79
March 29, 2008



William McClenathan

Spring break is here and it is a busy time for families.  This could be the one week where you won’t be able to find a moment to be in your garden.  The weather is also creating a problem with getting outdoors; it is just too cold and wet.  Still, there are lots of things you can do, inside or out, to get ready for the spring.  In this week's show we have a bunch of ideas for you.

Also, we would like to thank you for tuning in every week.  For an independently produced show to be one of the top shows on Saturday mornings is a great accomplishment.  From Portland to Roseburg, Astoria to La Grande, thank you for helping Garden Time become the number one garden show in the Northwest. 

This week we featured...

Garland Spring Plants

Everyday there are more and more plants that start showing off.  We found some more early spring bloomers at Garland Nursery (1-800-296-6601).  Lee Powell brought out a couple of his favorites to show us what is available in your local garden center.  His first plant was a bright one!  The Japanese Rose is showing off bright yellow blooms, this is a Kerria ‘Golden Guinea’ and has bare green branches with those fantastic blooms.  Then we saw a vibernum ‘Korean Spice’ which has the bronze colored buds that open to a creamy white flower with a spicy fragrance.  Next, the daphne ‘Summer Ice’ is a real winner.  It has a beautiful bloom, but the flowers are only part of the attraction.  The fragrance is overpowering and long-lasting.  We moved to the ceanothus ‘Dark Star’.  It has evergreen small waxy leaves and great dark blue blooms.  Then it was time to feel sorry for the male of the plant world.  The male skimmia japonica is often overlooked because the female has great red berries, but it has great bunches of white blooms.  Finally, we moved to a camellia.  Camellias are very popular this time of year, but the ‘Taylor’s Perfection’ camellia is an old favorite that really shines.  It has great foliage and vibrant blooms that really stand out this time of year.

Dividing Hostas

One of the easiest perennials to divide is the hosta.  We paid a visit to Sebright Gardens (503-463-9615) to learn how to do it from Thomas Johnson.   Sebright grows over 300 different varieties of hostas so they know what they are doing.  Thomas told us that you should see the points of the new growth poking out of the ground before you dig them up.  If you are seeing the new leaves starting to unfold you should wait a couple of weeks so you don’t damage the new growth, but that is the only warning he gave.  He washed a clump and then just tore it by hand.  So easy that you can chop up a clump of roots with a shovel and still not kill the plant!  You can see some of Thomas’s hostas at Gardenpalooza on April 5th at Fir Point Farms.

Garden Sketching

You can capture your garden to remember for years and find a new hobby if you learn to sketch or paint scenes from your garden.  René Eisenbart, botanical artist for The Oregonian, teaches a series of botanic drawing classes in the Portland Classical Chinese Garden (503-228-8131) and at her own studio, Rene-Art.  We caught up with her to learn about her art and to get some pointers on how aspiring garden artists can get started.  Using William as a guinea pig she shared some of her tips with us.  Tip 1: Get the right tools.  She uses an ever sharp pencil and a kneaded eraser. Tip 2: Keep it simple.  Don’t try to sketch a whole plant.  Work on one leaf and then add more as you feel comfortable.  Tip 3: Use your own perspective.  Draw what you see and don’t try to be ‘picture perfect’.  You are capturing how it looks to you!  Tip 4: Add shading to create depth.  This can take your drawing to the next level and that leads us to tip 5: Add color.  Colors will make your drawing pop!  Tip 6: Practice, practice, practice!  Don’t be disappointed; Rene always sees areas where she can make a drawing better, but she always finds a point where she can call it ‘done’.  Rene’s signing people up for new classes now, so contact her now.   

Spring Equipment Maintenance

Now is the time to take care of those lawn equipment service problems so you can head into spring with ‘working’ equipment.  Scott from Stark Street Lawn and Garden (503-255-5393) walked us through some of the issues you may be dealing with and how to fix them.  If your mower is acting up you can take care of the problem by changing the fuel and oil filters, changing the oil, spark plug and sharpening the blade.  The same is true for all your lawn and garden equipment.  If you have a job you don’t think you can handle, give the guys at Stark Street a call or find a reputable repair shop.  Always remember to have your model number and brand written down for the technician when you call so they can have the parts you need available.   Stark Street is also starting to carry a full line of electric powered lawn and garden equipment so you can cut down the amount of exhaust you create in the garden.  Check out the new equipment soon!  


Getting a jump start on your summer vegetables is hard this time of year.  You can get your plants in the ground, but a quick frost could wipe them out pretty quickly.  We found a tool that will help your tender plants make it to the warmer days of spring.  The Mini-hooper is an instant mini hoop house and it is just right to protect your smaller garden plants.  You can use it with the shade cloth and insect screen to get your plants off to a good start.  It is also great in the fall to extend your growing season.  Sue Berg of New Dimension Seeds carries this product on her website, or you can pick one up at either location of Portland Nursery.  Sue will also have some available at Gardenpalooza.  Stop by at Fir Point Farms on April 5th and pick one up.

Fuchsia Rejuvenation

Fuchsias are one of the most beautiful plants in the summer garden.  They are also one of the easiest to winter over on your deck or patio.  We found one that was a little tight in its pot and decided to clean it up a little bit.  For the older plants you want to cut back the branches to the strong new growth.  Look for healthy canes and new leaves.  Cut above the new leaves to promote new branching.  You will also want to break up the roots and shake off the old soil.  Use a new potting soil to replant them.  We use the Black Gold product because it has Multicoat fertilizer so we don’t have to worry about fertilizing for awhile.  If you are planting new plants remember to break up the roots a little bit to stimulate new growth.  If you are scared about planting new plants you can stop by any Fred Meyer store on Saturday March 29th from 9:00am-4:00pm to have them plant up your plants for you.  Just buy the plants and the pot at Freddy’s and they will plant it with free Black Gold for you.

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