Happy Memorial Day! We hope that you have a great weekend and enjoy the warmer weather. It has been a long cold and wet spring, but now that we have had the first wave of hot weather we can start thinking about the summer ahead and enjoying time in our garden.
This week we featured...
Adelman Peony Blooms
The cold weather has pushed the bloom back on most of the spring flowers, which includes the peony. Carol Adelman of Adelman Peony Gardens was quick to show us that the peonies have caught up big time! We paid a visit to see all the blooms and colors that are popping right now. Carol explained that there are many different styles of blooms and flowers. There are singles, doubles, bomb-type, Japanese-type and full doubles in all different colors. A couple varieties that we saw were ‘Salmon Dream’, ‘Red Charm’, ‘Carnation Bouquet’, and ‘Hillary’. If you are interested in seeing all the different types you can stop by and view the fields while they are in full bloom. There are plants you can take home, cut flowers for your vases and order forms for planting in the fall.
One Weekend Wonder - 4 Simple Trellises
If you are looking to add height to your garden you can buy something, or you can build a simple trellis yourself! William and Judy walked us through the steps of building a couple of different ones. The first one was easy. William used a tomato cage to help his climbing peas. Judy then showed us the second trellis, which was a simple teepee of bamboo sticks. She tied them at the top and they made a quick and simple structure. The third structure was a folding trellis made from PVC pipe. We cut the pipe into various lengths to fit our garden size. This one had 3, ¾ inch pipes that were 3 feet long. These are for the two base pieces and the top. Then we cut 4 longer pieces (6 foot) these are for the sides. 6 elbows create the square and then we also had 2 tees. The top of the tee was a bigger size than the rest of the pipe. This will allow the folding of the trellis when the season is done. The finishing touch was the string. Last year we used a hemp string for the plants to climb on. This quickly broke down and that meant it didn’t work as well as we had hoped. This year we are using a cotton fiber string, which will give our trellis the strength to give our beans and other climbing plants a good strong base to grow on. The final one was a simple set-up of eyehooks that were screwed into the post on an arbor that we built a couple of weeks ago. Then we ran fishing wire through the hooks to make a structure for the plants to climb on. The fishing wire was invisible to the naked eye and if you are looking for more support you could use a wire, or if you wanted something more ‘earth-friendly’ a hemp string would be good. Give one (or all of them) a try and see if you can get your gardening ‘off the ground’.
We found a way you can be a junior reporter and scientist at the same time. By noticing and recording when plants bud, flower and leaf out, volunteers can help scientists track climate change as part of a nationally organized online effort called "Project BudBurst." Gail Langellotto, urban and community horticulturist at Oregon State University, is encouraging all interested home gardeners and nature lovers in Oregon to learn about and take part in this national effort. By entering their observations into an online database over time, participants will give researchers a more detailed picture of global climate change. Check out the special ‘BudBurst’ page on the OSU extension website.
Garland Tropical Entertaining
With the cost of gas getting higher everyday you may want to escape to a tropical get-away to forget it all! The good news is that you can build your tropical paradise in your own backyard. Lee Powell from Garland Nursery showed us how he was able to assemble a garden retreat with materials he had at the nursery. First he set the stage with plants. He had some tropical and some hardy plants that will add that exotic look to your garden. The ones we saw included the Red Leaved Banana, Gardenia ‘White Gem’, Hibiscus ‘Brilliant’, the Sago Palm, Bougainvillea ‘Orange King’, Plumbago ‘Royal Cape’, and Paraguay Nightshade ‘Sunny Daze’. He also talked about adding accents to the setting with wine and new place settings. Lee also mentioned that people can receive help with design if they feel like they are in over their head.
Jan’s May Tips
Jan McNeilan our retired OSU extension agent has been given a new name by Judy; she is now the ‘Garden Guru’! Jan is great at giving us tips and pointers on achieving success in the garden. This month we talked about some of the things that you should be looking for. First we talked about the recent heat and how to recognize the heat damage and the burnt leafs of a stressed plant. It is best to cut off the burned parts of the plant. The new growth will soon follow and if the damage is not too bad you will have healthy plant again. If it is a recurring problem then you may need to look at a new plant for that location or move the plant to someplace cooler. We then talked about transplanting plants that have been in their containers too long and planting the starts from some of your other plants. If you have a root-bound plant, try to get it out of the container without too much damage, maybe do a little root pruning and then spread the roots out and move it to a larger pot in another location. Finally, we talked about insect damage and what to look for. If you are not seeing insect damage, then don’t treat for insect damage. Remember that if you treat for bad insects you may also be removing those good insects from your garden. If you ever have any questions you can check with your local extension office or the help desk at your local garden center.
Garden Primer Author
Getting good information about organic gardening is tough. There are so many different sources of information out there. We found one of the most comprehensive sources for garden information to help with that problem. The ‘Garden Primer’ by Barbara Damrosch has been one of the most used garden books for over 20 years and now she has made everything organic in the book so people can get good information from the start. She joined William to show him how to plant a wonderful organic garden in containers so you can have your veggies at your fingertips later this summer. If you are looking for a great garden book that you can add to your collection and one that you can use every time you work in your garden, the ‘Garden Primer’ from Workman Publishing is fo you.