The rain has been falling! But we get a reprieve this weekend. That means it is time to get out and finish the cleaning up of your garden. The warm gardening season is coming to an end and we are transitioning to the cool winter garden. It is a garden that is less labor intensive and harder to get out and enjoy, but interesting none the less. The cold wet weather also signals an end to our 3rd season. Next week is the final episode of the Garden Time show for this year. Don’t worry; we will be returning in late February of 2009. Until we return you can go to the Garden Time website and get weekly updates of stories, blogs and videos. In fact, in a few weeks we will be blogging about gardens ideas and show you garden centers in Italy. This week on the Garden Time Blog Judy talks about her lemon tree! Check it out!
This week we featured...
The holidays are here. Believe it or not Thanksgiving is sneaking up on us, but you don’t have to be caught by surprise. We stopped by Drake's 7 Dees (503-256-2223) and talked to Lynn about some decorating ideas for the thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. First we looked at some of the potpourri of ideas from Lynn that included ornament hangers, multiple wreaths, and a new type of easy-to-use Christmas tree stand. We then moved over to another area in her nursery to see how she used pumpkins to create a display to light up her garden path in the dark evenings. She used a cheap pumpkin, a string of lights and some spray paint to make interesting luminaries. We also saw how she flocked a dead tree to create a wonderful display for the upcoming holiday. For more information on creating these projects or other holiday themed classes, check out the Drake's 7 Dees website or stop by their nursery on Stark Street.
Even though the rains have returned you can still get some project done in your garden. We met with Ron from Mutual Materials (888-688-8250) to see how to install a garden path with bricks and pavers. Hardscaping has become one of the new trends in gardening. People are adding garden paths, walls and permanent art to their landscape for the long term enjoyment of their garden. Ron showed us how easy it is to use the Mutual Material pavers to create a path. Earlier we had built a retaining wall and this path was going to add the finishing touches to this garden. First we figured out our pattern and the area where we wanted the path. Next we dug the path out to create a bed for the base of our path. We then lined the path area with edging to keep the stones straight and tight. Next we put down a few inches of crushed gravel (3/4 minus), leveled and tamped it down. Then we added about an inch of washed sand over the gravel. This was leveled and tamped as well. Then we started to place in the stones, starting from the low end of the path. We did end up cutting some of the stones to fit and create the pattern we wanted. The finished project looks great and it only took a couple of days to do. If you are interested in this project you can check the Mutual Material website for tips, ideas and locations where you can buy stones and pavers.
If you are a bird lover, you probably have feeders in your garden and enjoy watching the birds feed. That might be a problem if you can’t get close to the feeder. During the winter it is too cold to go outside and in the summer they might be too skittish to let you come near. We found a great product that will allow you to capture the beauty of your feathered friends as they visit your feeder. The Bird Camera from Wingscapes (888-811-WING) is easy to put together and get started. You can also modify it to do custom recording of the birds. To get started you just put in the batteries, set the distance, turn it on and point it toward the feeder…and you are done. It comes with an internal memory but you can also get an optional SD card for more memory. You can set it to record stills or even movies of the birds feeding. It has a photoelectric eye so it can activate when a bird is at the feeder, or you can use the remote to activate it when you see a bird at the feeder. For you flower lovers it can capture time-lapse of your favorite flowers blooming. You can find it locally at the Backyard Bird Shop (503-635-2044, ) or you can order it on-line at Wingscapes.
Fall is a great time to cut back your garden perennials. The ‘Queen of Deadheading’, Tracy DiSabato-Aust, joined us to give us some tips for doing it correctly. Tracy is an internationally known garden author who has written a couple of books on perennial care. She has researched pruning techniques and has some great information that she is always willing to share. She walked through William’s garden and chatted with Judy. First she talked about bloom time and how you can regulate it by how you prune early in the season. Cutting back or pinching off blooms can delay some flowering perennials for a couple of weeks during the blooming season. She also showed us how to cut back to a lateral branch and how to clean-up your perennials without damaging the new growth for next year. Her 2 books ‘The Well Tended Perennial Garden’ and ‘The Well Designed Mixed Garden’ are available through Timber Press (1-800-327-5680).
Winter Berry Plants
The leaves are falling off your garden trees and shrubs, and you are thinking that there isn’t much of interest in the garden, right? Well we found some great plants with winter berries at Larsen Farm Nursery (503-638-8600) that serve 2 functions, they help feed our local wildlife and they look great in your garden. Ryan from Larsen Farm showed us a huge variety of plants that you can find at your local garden center. Some of the plants we saw included the Porcelain Vine ‘Elegans’, Snowberry ‘Scarlet Pearl’, Pyracantha ‘Victory’ and ‘Yukon Belle’, Arbutus also called Strawberry Tree, Beautyberry ‘Profusion’, Holly ‘Ebony Magic’ and Holly Veriegata. If you are looking for more winter interest in your garden or a plant that will help feed the local wildlife then check out the selection of winter berry plants at Larsen Farm.
It is never too early to start thinking about injuries in the garden. We are talking about the aches and pains of the average gardener. William and Judy shared some tips and some of the newest tools on the market. First the tools, Fiskars shared some of their newest tools that have been recognized by the Arthritis Foundation for their ease of use and design. They are designed with power gears and are lighter in weight to relieve stress and strain on your hands and body. We also saw tools with extending handles and benches to make it easier to get work done around the garden. Tips to help your body included working later in the day once your muscles warmed up and working with containers and raised beds to relieve stress on your back. For other labor (and body saving devices) check out your local garden center.