Ahhh… the sun feels good. We are seeing more days with the sun popping out and the garden has really responded. I swear I can see the plants actually growing! The Garden Time crew has been dodging showers for so long, it is good to be having fun in the sun again.
This week we featured...
William and Judy paid a visit to Portland Nursery on Division (503-788-9000) this week and found an old garden favorite, dicentra. This plant is also called ‘Bleeding Heart’ due to the appearance of the bloom. It looks like a little heart with a drop of blood dripping from the bottom. There are 2 different families of dicentra, the Formosa and the Spectabilis. William started by showing us the taller versions of the spectabilis. The variety that he had was the ‘Golden Heart’, but there are many more varieties available. Most of the spectabilis will die back in the heat of summer, but return with a wonderful show of blooms during the spring each year. Judy then moved to the shorter versions of Formosa. These are closer to the native varieties. She started with the ‘pacific’ then ‘King of Hearts’, ‘Eximia’ and finally, ‘Luxuriant’. All of these will stay low and will give you a choice of different blooms for you to choose from. It may be an oldie but it is definitely a goodie!
If you are working up a hunger pulling weeds in the garden, you may not have to look very far to get a snack! We met with Dr. John Kallas from Wild Food Adventures (503-775-3828) and took a stroll through his garden and built a salad with the ‘weeds’ we had found there. John likes to mix different plants based on the flavor and texture they have. He uses greens that he calls ‘foundation greens’ these are ones that have a good overall flavor and texture. Then he adds ‘pungent’ greens. These have a little more ‘bite’ or flavor to them. The pungent greens should be no more than 1/3 of the salad. The greens he chose for this salad included Eastern Blue Violet, Miner’s Lettuce, Wild Mustard, Sheep Sorrel, Ox-eye Daisy and Dandelion. If you are looking for more information you can contact Dr. Kallas at Wild Food Adventures. He also conducts many workshops and tours (including the ‘Native Shores Rendezvous’ next weekend). And to think, all that work pulling weeds in the garden and I could have been eating!
One Weekend Wonder – Patio Fountain
We bring you another of our One Weekend Wonders, projects that you can tackle in a weekend and are easily done by the time Monday rolls around. This week we went to Tsugawa Nursery (360-225-8750) in Woodland, Wash. to learn how to build a patio fountain. Brian Tsugawa walked Judy through the steps and William put in the labor to build this outstanding feature. The hardest part was waiting for the sealant to dry on the pot. This project requires a container that holds water, a decorative container, piping, a pump and a couple of bricks. Check out the instructions here.
Drake's Sprinkler Care
It is spring and even though the rain showers will be with us for awhile it won’t be too long and we will need to fire up the lawn and garden sprinklers again. Drake Snodgrass from Drake's 7 Dees (503-256-2223) helped explain some quick fixes to Judy to stop the leaks and help save you some water. Plus he talked about how to use a timer to help regulate your water usage and help your plants get the right amount of water that they need. This is the time of year to also assess the plants in your garden and their water needs. If your plants have grown they may need more water or watering at different times. Take a look at your garden watering system and if you feel it is too much to handle you can contact Drake's for help.
Oregon Garden Spring Flowers
The spring has been wet and cold but the flowers at The Oregon Garden (1-877-674-2733) don’t know that. Richard walked us through a small part of the garden to show us all the color that is popping up. We saw a couple of plants including the Pasque Flower – Pulsatilla vulgaris, a viburnum, a couple of azaleas and the Mahonia, the state flower. The garden is now open with its summer hours (until 6pm) and now the tram is also included in the price of admission. The garden is really starting to pop and now that it has had a couple of years of growth; the plants are really looking good! Also, the new resort hotel is starting to take shape. You can book rooms now for the grand opening in September. So if you are looking for a great place to check out the colors of spring, you should stop by the Oregon Garden.