My, oh my, will this cold weather ever go away? The weather is playing a game of ‘freeze tag’ with the garden. The plants grow a little and then stop, then grow again when the weather warms up. In Oregon and SW Washington we have been cold and wet for quite a long time. All spring the plants have been 10 days to 2 weeks behind in their bloom cycles. At Garden Time we try to bring you the festivals and flower celebrations as they happen, but this year we have been reporting on the bloom delays… oh well! We will be returning to warmth soon (I hope) and when we do you can bet we be bringing you the latest blooming plants on Garden Time!
This week we featured...
Heirloom Rose Days
We paid a visit to Heirloom Roses (503-538-1576) for their Rose Days event. Heirloom not only grows roses, they also hybridize new varieties and this weekend you can get a sneak peak at some of the thousands they have growing for the future. In addition to the roses, you can catch seminars from local gardening experts, enjoy the gift shop and stroll the huge display gardens. One of the seminars this weekend will cover rose pests and how to control them. Chris showed William a couple of pests and told us whether we should worry about them or not. The biggest damage to their roses was from the local deer. Deer love to munch on roses and Heirloom has a recipe that you can spray on your roses to deter the deer from snacking. If you want to learn more about pests or need the recipe give them a call. Or better yet, stop by, see and smell the best roses in the state!
Growing your own vegetables and herbs are very popular right now. So to learn how to make an herb pot we went to one of the local experts, Rosie Sullivan from N & M Nursery (503-981-9060). Rosie, and her husband Sean, grow herb and perennials that they sell at the Beaverton Farmers Market and to local garden centers around the area. She showed us how to plant up 2 different kinds of planters, one for cooking herbs, and one for salads and teas. First, Judy tried to help by handing her cilantro. Rosie recommends that you keep the cilantro separate. It is such a short lived annual that you should cut it and use it 4-5 times and then just compost the plant. In the culinary herb pot you can include African Blue Basil, chives, sweet basil, Rosemary, Oregano, thyme and sage. In the salad and tea pot she included saliva, mint (keep it in a pot, it spreads), Stevia (natures sugar) and lavender. Try building your own herb pot this spring and enjoy fresh herbs all summer long.
Tuesdays by Twilight
One of the most beautiful public gardens in the state is the Portland Classical Chinese Garden (503-228-8131). It is constantly changing year-round. But there is one time of year where you can see the garden in a different light and that is at night. The garden looks totally different at twilight and the best way to see it is during the ‘Tuesdays by Twilight’ concert series. Gloria Lee told Judy about some of the great groups that will be appearing, including the Vancouver Music Ensemble, which plays music on traditional Chinese instruments, and Darrell Grant and the One-O’clock Jump. There will be food and drinks available for sale during the concert. The Garden Time crew has enjoyed the garden at twilight many times and it is really something to see. For more information about the concerts and how to buy tickets you can check out the Portland Classical Chinese Garden website.
If you are looking for plants to bring height, color and texture to your garden the clematis is the one most gardeners look to. Raymond Evison is one of the top hybridizers of this beautiful plant and he was in town recently to promote his new book by Timber Press (1-800-327-5680), ‘Clematis for Small Spaces’. As the name implies he is introducing newer varieties for smaller garden and patios. He met with Judy at the Al’s Garden Center in Sherwood to talk about how gardeners can achieve success in growing clematis. Al’s is carrying some of his newer introductions this spring, but you can find beautiful clematis at any local garden center. Raymond talked about the newer varieties that deliver lots of flowers over the longest period of time in your garden. He also talked about his tips for planting clematis. First he recommended that you dig an 18 x 18 inch hole, and then amend the soil with old potting mix or compost. If you are using a container, pick one that has thick wall and good drainage. Don’t use a plastic pot, they get too hot and will damage or kill your plant. Next soak the plant in the container for 20 minutes before you plant it. This will make sure it has a good long drink before it goes in the ground and will help it survive transplant shock. Finally, plant your clematis 2-3 inches deeper than the crown. Most plants don’t like being planted this deep, but the clematis will thrive if you do. If you have more questions you can find the answers in his book.
To create a backyard entertainment area most people focus on the plants. But adding a hardscape, a patio, wall or other features, will really help to focus your decorating ideas into one space. Ryan at Larsen Farm Nursery (503-638-8600) showed us how to you can create a finished hardscape by addressing 3 things. First, the patio area. The patio becomes the focal point of entertaining if you have a nice solid surface to stand on. Larsen Farm has a great display area that showcases a bunch of different brick and paver styles so you can get some ideas for a patio area. Next we talked about water features. Adding the sound of water to your garden creates a nice background ambient noise that is gentle and soothing. It can be easy to do with a simple fountain or water feature. Finally, the finishing touches included some iron railings. Larsen Farm works with a company that creates railings in panels. You just set the posts and the rails just bolt right in. You could be done in a couple of hours. Of course, if you don’t want to tackle these projects yourself they have contractors that can do the job for you. If you have questions be sure to check out the free hardscaping seminar today (June 7th) at the Sherwood store at 11:30.