Could the warm weather be returning? It has been cold and wet for quite awhile and it sure feels good to see the sun every once in a while. The plants in the garden have really responded to the warmth. It seems like they are just wanting for the sun (just as we were). In walking through the garden, we haven’t missed much; the blooms were waiting for us. The cold meant that everything slowed down; most of the festivals have been about 2 weeks behind schedule. We even found the peony blooms at Adelman’s Peony Gardens (503-393-6185) in Brooks and the iris blooms at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens (1-800-525-2367) are still looking great! Get out and enjoy these warm days of late spring.
This week we featured...
Tsugawa Strawberry Festival
It is that time of year when the local strawberries are starting to show up in your local market. That means it is also time to visit Tsugawa Nursery (360-225-8750) for their annual Strawberry Festival. Tsugawa’s has a farm that also grows strawberries and raspberries. This weekend they show their appreciation to their customers by sharing some strawberry shortcake. Saturday from 1-3 you can get free strawberry shortcake when you stop by. They are also offering seminars all weekend long. If you are looking to learn more about Koi, Bonsai or Japanese maples they are your source! Also once again Tsugawa is offering a selection of 4 CASA roses. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates; they represent children in the legal system so they have someone looking out for their interests. Tsugawa’s has these special CASA rose and all proceeds from their sale will help the Clark and Cowlitz county programs. Each plant also has the story of a local child and how CASA has made a different in their life.
Hughes Water Bowl
Adding a water feature to your garden, deck or patio may not be as expensive or time consuming as you think. We went to Hughes Water Gardens
(503-638-1709) to learn how easy and inexpensive it is to assemble a small water bowl. Eamonn Hughes showed us how easy it is to create a beautiful water feature with a small list of ingredients including a bowl, pump, rocks and a few plants. The plants he used included Canna “Watermelon”, Columbia Sedge, water lettuce and fairy moss. In less than 15 minutes you can create a simple water feature that can live indoors or outdoors and provide unending joy.
Some of the hottest design plants right now are succulents and sedums because they are so easy. All they take is a little bit of water and a little bit of sun and they thrive. But most people don’t think they are hardy for this area. We went to Cornell Farm (503-292-9895) to check with Deby to learn about using these plants in containers for both indoor and outdoor uses. Because they are such a large family of plants there are some for every taste and climate. The temperature will play a small part in how well they do but there are some things you can do too. Planting them in a thick walled container, giving them a cactus mix or some other quick draining soil, will help ensure that they survive in most conditions. Deby also warned us to be careful when choosing plants to make sure we didn’t get any that were too tender. Finally, don’t be afraid to mix and match your plants no matter the condition. If you try a plant and it doesn’t survive, than you have a reason to try something new!
Bring your fruit and vegetable garden to your deck or patio is fun and it really takes the effort out of harvesting and one of the neatest ways of doing that is to use a strawberry pot for growing your berries and other vegetables. Wayne from Little Baja (503-432-8959) showed Judy how easy it is to plant and water one of these containers. He used a 9 hole pot and showed us how you start from the bottom and plant in layers until your reach the top. Once you get to the top you leave a space of 2-3 inches at the top to create a reservoir for watering. People think that watering these pots is tough and they come up with all sorts of ideas for watering including putting a PVC pipe with holes down the center of the pot. Wayne showed us how planting the pot correctly can make all the difference. You can even use these types of container for flowers! Stop by either location to see the wide selection of pots and get tips to make you a successful gardener.
Tool Shed - Big Daddy Driver
We found the best gift for the golfer and gardener in your family. It is called the Big Daddy Driver (480-284-5956) and it looks like a real golf club. But when you flip it over and press a button it opens the bottom to reveal a battery operated weed eater! When we shot this story near Portland Nursery on Division it really attracted a crowd! Everyone had to touch it and try it out. Check out the Big Daddy website for more information and an order form.
Perfect Perennial Garden
If you are looking for a garden of year round color, try perennials. But since they bloom at different times of the year how can you choose the right ones for your garden. Try our ‘Perfect Perennial Garden’ chart on the ‘How To’ page of this website. This simple chart will get you started on picking perennials of various shapes and sizes, which will provide you with all season color. It is divided into seasons and heights so you will never be short on blooms. Remember, this is a starting point. There are so many more choices at your local garden center. Take the chart in and ask them for even more colorful options.