Happy Fourth of July! For some people this is the REAL beginning of summer in Oregon and Washington. It is time to enjoy friends and family in your garden. On Garden Time we try to give you ideas about everything outdoors, including plants, garden products, entertaining ideas and thoughts about garden design. Enjoy the Season!
This week we featured...
One Weekend Wonder - Easy Garden Retaining Wall
One of the easiest ways to build a raised bed for your garden is to use Stack Stones from Mutual Materials (
888-688-8250). They are easy to find, come in different colors and styles, and they look good when you are finished. We met with Ron to get some tips on building a simple retaining wall. First you measure out the area where you want your wall. Then you dig a trench for the base of the wall, this will make the first row of bricks more stable. Next you pour a layer of crushed rock in the trench and tamp it down so it creates a solid base. Starting at the lowest part of the wall, you set your first row of stones in the trench making sure they are level to the ground and to each other. The first base is the most important because it is the basis for the rest of the wall. Once you have that first row done, you can stack the rest of the stones on top. The tongue and grove of the bricks helps hold them in place. If you are looking for a larger wall or you are in need of holding back a large volume of soil you should check out some of the other types of bricks and stones that Mutual Materials has to offer. For ideas and simple how-to instructions you can give them a call or check out their website.
Most people think that orchids are a hard plant to grow indoors and even harder to grow outdoors. But here in the northwest we even have native orchids that are very easy to grow and are very forgiving. Sean from Hana Farms (
503-638-0985) in West Linn walked through a couple of the more interesting orchids he has at the nursery. The first one was the very unique ‘Northern Marsh Orchid’ or Dactylorhiza purpurella with a tight grouping of blooms at the top of the stem. We then saw to other natives called Stream Orchids or Epipactis gigantean. These looked more like the orchid blooms we are familiar with except one had green foliage and the other had purple foliage. Of course Sean also has a bunch of the Japanese hybrid, bietilla. If you ever have any questions you can contact Sean and he will be more than happy to help you!
$250 Patio Makeover
With the high cost of gas more people are deciding to stay at home and vacation in their backyard. If you have decided to do that we had some ideas for refreshing the look of your deck or patio for $250 or less. Ross Manning from Tuesday Morning (
503-699-8954) joined William to share his ideas for changing your outdoor entertaining area. Tuesday Morning is a chain of discount stores that buy high quality over-stocked items from other stores. Ross brought his recipe for a successful re-design, FAAST. The F stands for Flooring. Look at the type of flooring you want based on wear and tear and style. The 1st A stands for Accessories. With your established base (flooring) you want to build on that look or feeling that you want to achieve. The 2nd A stands for Accents. Look to add accents that help with mood or comfort. Candles, plants, and lighting are all good accents for achieving mood. The S stands for Seating. What type of chairs do you want, maybe benches would work better. Which type of table works with it all? And finally, the T stands for Topical and Timely. What are the hot trends in the garden right now? What is your style? Don’t be afraid to experiment. Ross set up 2 different vignettes to demonstrate these points for us. If you are looking to make a splash this summer, look at your patio and stop by Tuesday Morning for ideas.
Monnier New Varieties
For a plant person the most exciting thing is to see the introduction of a new variety of plant. Ron Monnier of Monnier’s Country Gardens (503-981-3384) is a leading grower of fuchsias and he invited us out to take a look at some of the new varieties that he has developed. A hybridizer crosses different plants looking to develop new plants with combined the best characteristics of the parent plants. Most times you end up with a lot of losers and only a few winners. Ron looked at plants that had good blossom color and shape. Once he had some of those, he then looked at growth habit. Does the plant perform well in the garden or in a container? After all that work he shared his newest selections with us. These selections are all named Debron, short for Debbie and Ron Monnier. These selections included ‘Madison Mae’, Tonii Nichole’, ‘Kaite Belle’, ‘Austin Allan’, ‘Beau Dean Richard’, ‘Hokey Pokey’ and ‘Party Girls’ (named for Debbie and her friends). Right now these varieties are only available at Monnier’s and are being tested for hardiness in their garden, but you can still take one home. If you have any questions or would like to tour their gardens give them a call and set up a time to go out there and see them, they have tours most days.
Enhanced Shade Woodland Garden
Some gardeners think that you are limited in the amount of materials you can choose from for a shady spot in your garden. To find out the truth we traveled to Extra Perennial Nursery (503-628-1492) in Scholls to learn more. Sharon Korpowski talked to William about enhanced shade woodland gardens and what that means. An enhanced shade garden is one where you combine plant material that has similar growing requirements into a landscape, working with nature instead of against it. She talked about pulling your eye from the woodland canopy to the forest floor and how you can use plantings to draw the eye around your garden. You can also use structure in your garden to create small vignettes to look at. If it sounds confusing, it is really simple. If you need help for your woodland area, stop by and see Sharon or Ken at Extra Perennial Nursery.