Judy Alleruzzo


 Episode 98
August 9, 2008



William McClenathan
The cooler weather returns this week and it actually feels good. There is probably more hot weather coming in the next few weeks, so now is a good time to head out to your garden and see which plants are stressed by this summer heat. Mark them and consider moving them this fall, during the cooler weather, to a location that is better suited to their needs.

This week we featured...

Berry Botanic Garden

One of the jewels of the Portland public garden scene is the Berry Botanic Garden (503-636-4112) in southwest Portland. The garden exists with 3 main goals in mind: Conservation, horticulture and education. We took a tour of the Alpine Garden with Andrea Raven. She described the differences between their alpine garden, a scree garden and a rock garden. Berry has a wonderful assortment of alpine plants and a tremendous collection of garden rhododendrons, including the Rhododendron tsusiophyllum. They also have a wonderful trough garden and have classes that can show you how to build your own trough garden at home. Berry is also known for being the largest seed bank for rare and endangered native plants of the Pacific Northwest. If you would like to pay a visit you have to call and make an appointment. The Garden is located in a residential neighborhood and they want to make sure they don’t overwhelm the neighbors. Admission is $5 for non-member.

Summer Tree Problems

Summer time brings a variety of pest and disease problems to your landscape trees and shrubs. We met up with Terrill Collier from Collier Arbor Care (503-72ARBOR) to talk about some of the problems he has been finding around town. First we stopped by the Willamette River in downtown Portland to check out the heavy pruning job that was done by a local critter. A beaver had cut down some trees and even started working on others along the esplanade. If you live near water you can see this type of damage in your yard. The best way to protect your trees is to wrap a mesh around the trees to protect the bark. Next we saw a bad case of sun scald. This happens when you put the wrong tree in the wrong place. This one suffered the effects of thin bark, hot sun and reflective pavement. Next we moved to a neighborhood. Various oaks and maples have seen selective limbs dying. We saw that a non-native species of squirrel had stripped the bark off the smaller limbs and that caused the limb to die. Our final stop put us at a park where we saw trees with rows of holes in their bark. This is damage caused by a bird, the Sap Sucker Woodpecker. It drills holes for sap and then comes back to feed on the bugs that get caught in the sap. We also saw a big glob of dried sap and that turned out to be the Sequoia Pitch Moth. If you are having problems with your trees you can check out the Collier Arbor Care website for more tips and information.

Larsen Tropicals

Bring the look of the tropics to your garden. It is not too late to bring the vibrant color of flowers and foliage to your summer garden with some plants we found at Larsen Farm Nursery (503-638-8600). Ryan Seely has filled the demonstration patio at the nursery in Wilsonville with tons of exotic and not so exotic plants for people to look at. He showed Judy some of the best of the best. These favorites included the Lily of the Nile/Agapanthus ‘Elaine’, Mandevilla ‘Red Riding Hood’, Canna ‘Tropicana’, Bougainvillea ‘Purple Queen’, Hibiscus ‘Cherie’ and the Colocasia or Taro. There is still a lot of summer left and you can dress up your deck or patio with great tropical color for months to come.

Garden Pot Recycling

If you are a gardener you probably have a stack of those black nursery pots hanging out in your potting shed or garage. Instead of throwing those in the garbage can we found a business in Brooks Oregon that recycles all types of agricultural plastics. Agri-plas (503-390-2381) collects plastics from various garden retailers and growers and recycles the plastic for other uses. Some of the plastic ends up in other products like bender board and some is re-used in the manufacturing of new garden pots and containers. They even deal in milk jugs, soft drink bottles and plastic sheeting. If you would like to clean out your garage and help the environment at the same time check out this list of garden centers where you can drop off your old pots.  LIST

Hewlett Packard Gardens

Large businesses around the country are looking to go green. In the high-tech industry this has become very important. One of the leaders in the ‘green’ movement has been Hewlett Packard. This push for more environmentally friendly practices doesn’t stop at the door; it has moved out on to the grounds at many of the Hewlett Packard campuses. We stopped by the Vancouver campus to look at some of the flower and vegetable gardens the employees have put together. Hewlett Packard has supported employee gardens on their campuses for over 25 years and it must be popular, they have a waiting list for spaces. The Vancouver site has 35 garden plots and 20 corn plots. If an employee grows more than they can use they can leave the extra for other employees at stations around the facility. It is a great example of a big company and employees working together to make a better world where they work.

Garden Lights

Extending your outdoor entertaining into the evening in the late summer and early fall is easy. All you need to do is add a little light! We found a great assortment of solar and passive lights at the Greenhouse Catalog (800-825-1925). These lights need no plugs or power; they get their energy from the sun. There are also a bunch that are powered by batteries for those typical northwest cloudy days. We saw all-weather Chinese lanterns, garden stakes and even one that floats in a bowl! If you are looking for some colorful night time accents for your garden, check out their website or give them a call.

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