Welcome to the final week of Le Tour des Plants. We have had a great time touring some of the nurseries for the show and hope you have too. We focused on the northern part of the tour last week, so this week we head south. With the weather being so nice it is hard to think about the cooler days a head, but these cooler nights have us thinking about the changes that are coming. In the next few weeks we will be helping you get your garden ready for the cold and wet, but for now lets get touring!
If you are in the Eugene and Cottage Grove area, stop by and see William and Judy at the Gathering of Gardeners at the Village Green Resort (800-343-7666) in Cottage Grove. They will have seminars on both Saturday and Sunday. One seminar will show you some great fall container ideas and another seminar is called ‘Liar, Liar, the truth about garden myths’. If you come to the seminars you will also have a chance to win some raffle prizes. Hope to see you there.
This week we featured...
Le Tour des Plants - Part 2
We visited more of the nurseries involved in Le Tour des Plants and saw some interesting plants and learned a lot of new things. This is the final weekend so get out and enjoy it.
Le Tour – Terra Tour
There are a lot of great growers in the Northwest, growing a lot of great garden plants. We stopped by Terra Gardens Nursery and Bark (503-581-0441) in Salem to check out a couple of the coolest plants they had. Dan showed us the Poncirus ‘Flying Dragon’ and the Juniper ‘Gold Lace’. Both of these plants are knock outs and they are grown by 2 local growers, Youngblood’s and Kraemer’s nurseries. This Saturday you get a chance to check out these great nurseries. Terra is hosting a couple of bus tours and you can join in. Just give them a call to register. Terra is also hosting a bunch of different classes including how to build a dry riverbed. Check them out for more information.
Fall is the time for grasses to shine. They are at their best and some are getting their fall color too. We stopped by Daryll’s Nursery (503-623-0251) in Dallas and chatted with Daryll to learn about a few of his favorites. We really put him on the spot by asking him to choose only 5 of his favorites. He grows 100’s of different grasses, sedges and rushes. The ones he chose were perfect. We started with a Dwarf Pampas Grass. This one gets only about 7 feet tall instead of 20 feet tall like the regular variety. Next we saw the Moor Grass – Molina ‘Skyracer’. This one is about 3 feet tall, and gets huge flower stalks that wave in the wind. We then moved on to the Miscanthus sinensis – zebra grass. Zebra grass is aptly named because of the striping that occurs on the leaves. Daryll had this one planted with a penstemon to show off the color of the grass. The Japanese Forest Grass was next. This grass is a great mounding grass that has a nice soft flowing effect. It is a great container plant too. Finally we saw the uniquely colored Carex tenuiculmus ‘Cappuccino’, also called the New Zealand Hair Sedge. This plant has spectacular bronze foliage that really ‘pops’ in the garden. If you have any questions about grasses you can call or stop by Daryll’s Nursery. Daryll is having a couple of seminars on grasses during this final weekend of Le Tour too.
Le Tour – Tomato and Melon Tasting
A couple of the great tastes of summer and fall are tomatoes and melons. We found a place where you can taste those 2 different fruits and help decide which ones will be available for home gardeners next year. Nichols Garden Nursery (1-800-422-3985) in Albany is having a tasting this weekend as part of their Le Tour des Plants activities. On Saturday you can taste tomatoes from 1-4. Judy and Rose Marie check out a few of the varieties they have to taste. Rose Marie showed Judy the varieties including ‘Legend’, ‘Jaune de Flamme’, the interesting ‘Black Krim’, and the ‘Sun Gold’ and ‘SunSugar’. Next William talked to Mike from Red Hat Melons. He will be hosting a tasting on Sunday from 1-4pm. He showed William a few of his favorites including ‘Crane’, ‘Hannah’s Choice’, ‘Lambkin’ and ‘Quartz’. They were delicious! You can also find his melons at all the local New Season’s Markets. The best part about the tasting at Nichols is that you can help decide which varieties they will carry next season in their seed catalog.
Green Roof Basics
If you are looking to try out a green roof but didn’t know where to start we have a place for you to go. Egan Gardens (503-393-2131) in Salem is holding a class at their garden center as part of Le Tour des Plants where you can learn more. If you don’t know, a green roof is a roof the uses small plants and ground covers to help reduce rain runoff and protects the building from the extremes of heat and cold through-out the year. Ellen took Judy out into the nursery where they have a small demonstration green roof growing on a dog house. They are able to show people how to plant one and give instructions on maintaining one. Ellen also gave us some tips for getting started. First you have to make sure that your building can handle the extra weight of the soil and plants. Then you will need to build a small box-like structure to hold the soil. You will also need to provide good drainage. You will fill the roof box with a good light weight, well draining soil. Do not use a regular soil because that will be too heavy. Plant selection is the final step and the most important. Check with your local garden center to find a good selection of short, drought tolerant, slow growing plants.
Le Tour – Dancing Oaks
Our tour of nurseries took us to Dancing Oaks Nursery (503-838-6058) in Monmouth. They have had a bunch of different activities for Le Tour and will finish the tour with a laid-back weekend of tea and cookies for everyone. Leonard also showed us a couple of his favorite plants in the garden. He took us out to show us the Hardy Hibiscus (Rose Mallow) that he has growing in the garden. These tropical looking plants are truly beautiful. He cut a bunch of blooms so we could see them together in a bowl. We saw varieties like ‘Torchy’, ‘Pink Cloud’, and ‘Old Yella’. Then we moved up to the Garden Pavilion to see another outstanding plant, Lespedeza, also called ‘Bush Clover’. It has great, late summer blooms that are long strands of pea-like blossoms. If you want to see these plants in a great display garden you need to take the drive out to Dancing Oaks and see these and other great plants.
There is a lot of misinformation about bamboo so we stopped by Garland Nursery (1-800-296-6601) in Corvallis to learn a little bit about the difference between a ‘runner’ and a ‘clumper’. Karen, the plant buyer, talked with Judy about the different types of bamboo and how to grow them successfully. Clumpers are the type of bamboo that doesn’t grow too aggressively. They will grow but will stay in a mound shape. They include varieties like ‘Dragon’s Head Bamboo’. The running type of bamboo is the most aggressive and can be a problem if you don’t maintain it. The bigger ‘timber’ types of bamboo are the kind that will take over a bed if you don’t contain it. Installing a barrier like a concrete curb or a rubber barrier will help contain it but you need to keep an eye it anyway. If you have questions about bamboo you can attend a seminar at Garland this weekend as one of their Le Tour des Plants seminar.
Here is your chance to win the famous ‘Le Tour des Plants’ garden bike. These bikes are made locally by Garden Gallery Ironworks and are the signature image of the whole event. You will find them at garden centers throughout the area marking the le Tour specials at each nursery. This bike would make a wonderful piece of garden art in any garden. Simply click here to find the form you need to fill out. Then drop it in the mail or stop by Garden Gallery Ironworks at the Woodburn Company Stores to drop off your entry. The contest ends September 25, 2008, so hurry! We will draw the winner on the Garden Time show at the end of the month. Good Luck!