Wow, be careful what you wish for…. All spring we have been trying to stay warm and dry and now we have this incredible heat. Remember to keep your plants well watered, and keep yourself well- hydrated as well if you venture out into the garden during the day. This weather will also push people into the garden during the evening hours. That is a perfect time to enjoy your garden in a different light (or twilight). Enjoy those evening jaunts into the garden and don’t forget the bug spray!
This week we featured...
2nd Annual Clackamas County Lavender Festival
Ever wonder where they get the flower scents for your favorite soaps and perfumes? We returned to the Oregon Lavender Farm to see the lavender fields and to chat about the upcoming festival where you can visit a flower distillery to see how they steam the essential oils out of flowers to bring fragrance to your favorite toiletries. Jim Dierking from Liberty Natural Products (800-289-8427) told us about how you can come out and help harvest the first crop for distillation. Then you can get your chance to see the machinery in action at the 2nd annual Clackamas County Lavender Festival at the Oregon Lavender Farm near Oregon City. They will have demonstrations of the equipment plus a full slate of other events. You can taste Oregon beers and wine, listen to bluegrass music, and enjoy lavender theme treats like the lavender chicken and ice cream that we were able to enjoy! This is a one day event; happening Saturday only, so don’t miss it.
Drake Pond First Aid
The summer heat has returned and that means that your algae has returned to your pond too. Lynn from Drake's 7 Dees (503-256-2223) put together a ‘first aid’ kit for the homeowner so they can tackle and get rid of that algae problem. First she recommended Algae Fix, this will kill your algae and not hurt your fish or animals. Next, Algae Clear will grab that floating dead algae and sink it to the bottom of the pond. MicroLift will then help the sludge at the bottom of the pond decompose. If you are looking for a completely organic solution you can try one of the many ‘barley’ products that are available. Also, don’t forget the Mosquito Dunks to keep the mosquito population in check.
Then we turned our attention to the plants and pond designs that you can use in your garden. We saw a couple of kid friendly water features they have on display. These don’t have standing water and so there is no way to fall into them. We also looked at a simple water bowl and how that can bring the joy of water gardening right to your doorstep. Some of the plants she recommended included Colocasia elepio ‘Variegated Elephant Ear’ or ‘Milky Way’, Lobelia – Cardinal Flower, Society Garlic, Canna and Marsh Marigold. We also saw how easy it is to set a lotus bowl up. If you have questions they have a seminar on Saturday, June 28th at 10:00am, or you can stop by anytime to have your questions answered.
Gartner’s Summer Sizzle
It is finally summer and that means time to head outside and enjoy some of this wonderful weather at the grill. First we have to set the table, so to speak, with a cute and festive centerpiece. Deb Yost walked Judy through the simple and easy steps to create one. Deb found everything we needed at a local dollar store. Deb found a decorative hat, some flags, a couple of reflective tassels and a couple of pinwheels. She punched a hole in the top of the hat and then arranged the festive parts into a grouping and put them in the center of the hat. She also added a couple of fresh tulips for effect. The hat covered a small vase which held water for the flowers.
Then we headed to the grill where Jerry from Gartner’s Meats (503-252-7801) gave us some grilling tips. The big question this time was how do you get different meats to finish grilling at the same time. Jerry recommended that you start your thicker meats like chicken and steaks about 20 minutes before your put on your ribs, burgers or thin cuts of meat. The hotdogs and sausages should go on last. Since they are already cooked they can hit the grill for the last 5 minutes, just enough to heat them up and give them some grill marks. If you are looking for some great meats to impress your guests on the 4th, stop by Gartner’s and check out their fine selection.
6th Annual Berry Festival
The cold weather has made everything late this season. The flowers have been blooming later and the fruits are also delayed. But the hot weather has arrived just in time. We previewed the 6th Annual Berry Festival at Smith Berry Barn (503-628-2172) and found out that there will be plenty of berries for the festival. Joelle showed William the star of the show so far, the Hood strawberry. This is one of the first berries available from the farm and it is delicious. She also had some Cascade Dawn raspberries and some Tayberries. The Tayberry is a cross between the raspberry and the blackberry. The festival is a one-day event that takes place on the 4th of July and offers live music, face painting, a petting zoo and sampling of some gourmet foods. If you are looking for fresh berries for canning, they have what you need. You can check out the website each day to see what they have available and you can also find recipes for canning and preserving those delicious fruits.
Jan’s June Tips
This month we found Jan in the veggie garden. She was doing some late planting to show us that there is still time to get your vegetable garden planted. As a retired OSU extension agent she knows that this cold spring has only delayed her garden. She was planting radishes which are a quick grower and will be up soon. She also brought in some plants, like tomatoes, peppers and basil, which were started in a greenhouse so she can get a running start to her garden. We then moved into the greenhouse to look at her flower seeds and how she was taking cuttings from some of her other garden plants. If you are looking for additional tips for your veggie garden check out the OSU website or call your local extension office.