We thought summer was here! The Memorial Day weekend is the kick-off to the summer season, but the weather has not cooperated. On our visits to the garden centers we have seen that there are a lot of plants that are looking great! One grower told us that the plants are healthier and bigger than normal, because they have been just growing in the greenhouses, waiting for a home! In fact, one of the stories this week is about vegetable starts and we show you how it is not too late to get your veggies in the ground for this season. Stop by your local garden center and take home one of these lonely, orphaned plants!
This week we featured...
Schreiner’s Iris Gardens
In one of the flukes of the season, the Keizer Iris festival is over, but the iris blooms are just hitting their peak. We stopped by Schreiner’s Iris Gardens (1-800-525-2367) and found that the blooms are just starting to pop. Steve Schreiner took us out to the display garden and showed us how some of the blooms have been slowed down by the cold spring weather. We also saw the latest edition of the Martha Stewart magazine that is featuring the iris fields in the current edition. We then headed indoors to see the fabulous cut flower display. The scent in the room was intoxicating. People forget that most iris have a wonderful smell. Schreiner’s even has a fragrant collection that you can order for your own garden. The cut flowers are also wonderful because they are all labeled and are easy to see even if you have limited mobility. Iris also make great cut flowers and Steve showed us how you can make them last longer in your house. If you want to see the fields or the display garden you have more time to do so. Schreiner’s has extended their show until the 8th of June. Stop by and check out all the colors!
Are you ‘space challenged’ when it comes to your patio or deck? Instead of spreading out your planters, consider going up! Donna Wright of Black Gold showed us how to stack your pots to add height to your plantings. We used smaller pots on top of larger pot and built layers of 3. We showed you how to build one with color, but you can also make one filled with herbs to keep outside on your deck to use whenever you are cooking. We also used the Black Gold Coco Blend potting soil. The Coco Blend contains coconut fiber that helps retain water so you water less often. You can also use the All Organic blend if you are doing the herb pot or just the regular All Purpose, which contains and slow release fertilizer. If you are looking for a great selection of containers you can check out the huge inventory at Little Baja (503-432-8959). We found a ton to choose from!
Garland New and Notable
It is spring and that means there are a ton of plants that are fighting for our attention. Lee Powell from Garland Nursery (1-800-296-6601) in Corvallis went through the nursery and found some new and some notable plants for our consideration. These plants are either new varieties or variations of old favorites. Some are short and some are tall, but all are beautiful! The ones he found included Ceanothus ‘Italian Skies’, Cistus ‘Major’, Box Honeysuckle ‘Twiggy’, Heuchera ‘Frosted Violet’, Potentilla ‘Pink Beauty’ and ‘Red Ace’, Salvia ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, Azalea ‘Cannon’s Double’, and Smoke Bush ‘Royal Velvet’. Some of these are reaching the end of their bloom cycle but will provide great structure or wonderful fall color too. If you are looking to add some beauty to your garden that will return year after year you can check out most of these plants at your local independent garden center, or at Garland Nursery!
In the quest to be ‘all natural’ or to find the best non-chemical treatments for our garden problems we may be overlooking some of the best remedies in our own kitchen! Jeff Gillman recently wrote a book for Timber Press (1-800-327-5680) entitled ‘The Truth about Garden Remedies’. He joined us to talk about what research has found about the most common folk remedies. First eggs! Jeff found that the egg is good for deterring deer and also for adding calcium to the soil, but that it is terrible for slug control. Next we got a remedy that wasn’t in the book. If you add 1 part milk to 2 parts water and spray your roses once a week with it you can prevent ‘black spot’ on your roses. We also heard that baking soda will treat powdery mildew (but not black spot), that vinegar and salt are good for weed control and that garlic and hot peppers can be used to fight insects. Check out the book to learn more about what works and what doesn’t!
Cornell Farmers Market
The cold and wet spring has many people thinking that planting a vegetable garden may be in vain this season, but the truth is that you can still plant an entire garden and have plenty of time to harvest and enjoy it. In fact why not try a new variety of fruit of vegetable? Rachel from Cornell joined Judy to show us the new Farmers Market at Cornell Farm (503-292-9895). This area of the nursery has everything that is edible. Rachel also showed us some of the newer plants they have to offer. One of her favorites is the Pineapple Guava which has a spectacular bloom and if it is kept in a heated area can produce great fruit. They also have 2 types of kiwi, peaches and a great selection of blueberries. We also talked about the Honeyberry and its interesting fruit. If you are into vegetables you can try the artichoke, Lemon Verbena, Stevia (sweetleaf) or Purple Basil. If you haven’t planted your garden yet or are looking to try something new, check with Cornell for all that you need for a bountiful harvest.