COVID-19 AWARENESS: Please note that we are taking all necessary precautions to keep our on-air personalities, interviewees and crew safe during this challenging time. However, we do run repeat stories and segments that were shot last year, before social distancing practices were recommended by health officials. If you see our hosts standing close to someone, please be assured that the segment was shot before March of 2020. We thank you for your concern and your interest in Garden Time.
When does summer start? Memorial day just past and some people consider that the start to the summer season. Meteorologists say that the beginning is the 1st of June, and if you follow the movement of the sun it is solstice on the 20th of June. If you ask me it was the middle of this past week. Temps in the 90's and those warm breezes? That spells summer! As hot as it was there is still time to get veggies and plants into your garden! Get those plants in and watch their watering, and you will still have blooms to enjoy and a great harvest ahead. Just don't wait too much longer...
Another thing to enjoy are some of the great events that are coming up. As restrictions ease, more events are opening up. This weekend we have the Vintage Flea and Berries, Brews and BBQ's opening up. Check out our stories on each of those. We also have a garden tour the following weekend for the Cracked Pots group. We have a preview of that in the show as well.
Looks like it's shaping up to be a great summer!
This week we featured...
Margie's Hummingbird and Low Care Plants
A lot of gardeners are into their local wildlife, especially hummingbirds. Other gardeners want a garden with lots of color, but with little or no maintenance. To get some ideas on both we stopped by Margie's Farm and Garden (503-866-6123). Margie loves color, so not only are the plants she picked great with care and hummingbirds, they are bursting with color too. We started with Cupheas which are also known as 'cigar plants' because of their cigar shaped flowers. The blooms are perfect for hummingbirds and the first one we saw was even called 'Hummingbird's Lunch'. Another popular one is called 'Vermillionaire'. Both are covered in blooms and extremely colorful. Another cuphea that we saw was 'Diana' and it had small, non-tubular flowers, but is still a favorite with the birds. Another popular plant for hummingbirds are salvias. Margie had a bunch of different varieties including the new 'White Flame' salvia. This one has tall spikes of bright white blooms. Because it is so white, it is an amazing contrast plant in the garden! Another popular one is the 'Hot Lips' salvia. The red and white blooms look like little puckered lips. We have had this one in a container on our deck and it is so popular with hummingbirds that they will fly past the feeder just to get to the blooms. A newer variety to the market this year is the 'Amethyst Lips' with purple and white blooms. Another salvia is the 'Rockin Fuchsia' series from Proven Winners. These are not hardy in our area, but if you protect them a little during those cold days, they can come back for another year.
The next group of plants were a bunch that need little or no care. We started with Calibrachoa or Million Bells. These are low growers that you can use in your garden beds or as a container plant. They will spill over the edge of your container or spread in your garden for an entire season of blooms. A plant that is little care and hummingbird loving are fuchsias. The smaller upright 'shadow dancers' are a series of smaller, more compact fuchsias that you can put just about anywhere. These like a little shade, but they will also bloom all season long. Abutilons, or flowering maples, are another great plant for low care and hummingbirds. They are called maples, but they are not true maples. They just get their name from the maple shaped leaf that they have. These are a little taller in your garden and are not extremely hardy, but most will survive in the winter in a protected area or in a container on your deck near your home. Other great low care plants are dragon wing begonias. They bloom great all summer and prefer a little afternoon shade, but work well in flower beds or containers. The magnum impatiens were next. These are a form of New Guinea impatiens and are considered an annual in our area. They will bloom all season long and then they disappear when the frost comes, but they really perform in the summer heat, with afternoon shade, and get covered with huge blooms. The final plant we looked at were the 'tut grasses' which are varieties of papyrus plants. These came in different sizes and have a great foliage that moves in the wind. The flower has a 'wild hair' style to it. It is considered an annual as well. It comes in a King Tut variety which can get over 6 feet tall in a season, but there is also a Prince Tut and Baby Tut, which stay shorter.
If you would like to check out these plants, this weekend is the time to do that. Margie is offering most of her plants at 20% off. It is part of the Vintage Flea event at her nursery. A Vintage Flea is a vintage/flea/antique market with anything from antiques and mid-century vintage to crafts and castoffs. The event is happening from 9am to 4pm on Saturday, June 5th. Here you can find just about anything you want for your home and garden. Stop by and pick up a plant for the garden and something for the home as well.
Cracked Pots - Duet Garden Tour
If you have ever been to the Cracked Pots events you know how cool they are. The annual event at Edgefield is a must see for a lot of people. However, due to Covid a lot of those events have been postponed. Not to worry, you can still see some of the great Cracked Pots art and a couple of really cool gardens too! It is part of their Garden Duet series of garden tours. For this series, they feature Cracked Pots artists in 2 cool and unique gardens. We were able to visit both gardens as a preview to this year's tour.
The first garden belongs to Anna Kullgren from Optic Verve. She is a garden designer who we have featured on the show a couple times in the past. It is always great to visit the garden of a designer to see how they build their own gardens and we were not disappointed. Anna is into 'cram-scaping'. Her garden is loaded with tons of different plants separated into different 'rooms' in her garden. She doesn't subscribe to the 'buy multiple plants' theories of gardening. She has a lot of single and one of a kind plants in her garden. She freely mixes them up so you get splashes of colors and textures as you wander her garden paths. She also freely mixes in unusual art pieces as well. It is incredible to see how many plants she has on one city lot!
We then moved over a few blocks to visit Fishingham Garden. Owners Jeff and Ed took their 'starter home' and made it a one of a kind garden oasis. It is now their 'forever home' and we can see why. Intense colors and textures are mixed throughout the front and back gardens. Twisty pieces of glass, metal and wood showcase why this is a great stop for featured Cracked Pot artists. Jeff told us that he spent months picking out a color for their house and then started matching plants, containers and art to that color. The end result, a masterpiece that has been featured in regional and national publications and newspapers. The colors of orange, chartreuse and purple are dominate, but you can also find reds, blues and pinks scattered around as well, all in tasteful combinations.
The Duets Tour is a limited engagement with only a few tickets left. If you miss out on this event, be sure to sign up at their website and Facebook page to get notices of future events. Check out their website here.
French Prairie Gardens - Berries, Brews and BBQ
It is berry time at French Prairie Gardens (503-633-8445). We met up with Katey in the greenhouse to talk about the great event starting this weekend. The heat of the spring has the berries coming on strong! You can come out and ride the wagon out to the berry field and u-pick your own, or you can stop by the store and buy some already picked.
The Berries, Brews and BBQs event is happening over the next 3 weekends at the farm. This is a tickets and timed event so you will need to go to their website to reserve your time. The tickets allow you to park, enjoy the event and even have access to the strawberry patch. You can even order your food, drink tickets and other goodies on the website so you don't miss out on any of the fun. Once you get in you can find tons to do for the whole family. If you are into brews and ciders, they will have over 20 different ciders and brews on each weekend for you to sample. Of course they will have the farm animals out for visitors, slides, lots of stuff for the kids. And don't forget the live music!!! This year they are having music on all weekends, and it all benefits the Em's Fight Foundation! Stop by and enjoy a day in the country with the best tastes of the season.
Terra Casa Garden Décor
Putting your garden together is about more than plants! Garden décor and accents are the finishing touches that really make your garden stand out. Terra Casa (503-577-8242) in Damascus is widely known for their great selection of containers and fountains, but they also have other décor items to really make your garden pop. Ryan met with Diana near the very busy 212 state highway (makes finding their store very easy) to talk about some of the most popular items. We started with Shroomyz the ceramic mushrooms that comes in tons of different colors. These you can hide in your garden to bring a little color to those dull places once the blooms have faded. Another colorful item to add to your garden are spheres. Gazing balls used to be the thing people added to their garden, but these solid colored balls add more dimension to your decorating. You can also mix and match these to go with your potted containers. Metal art is big and Terra Casa has a wide assortment of rusty metal pieces including, garden stakes, trellises and decorative items.
To see some other items we moved up to the store. Here we found the carved metal pieces that are made out of old steel drums. These are really cool with shapes of suns, moons and animals carved out of the recycled steel. Some are even painted to really make them stand out. Outdoor fountains are also included, but not the huge ones that take up a lot of space. They feature smaller ones that can fit on a deck or patio, or even inside your home. Finally we saw the color recycled metal art that was fashioned into bird feeders, plants, coolers and even wall art.
As you can see there is a lot more to Terra Casa than pottery and fountains, and don't even get me started on all the great treats inside the store!
OSU Pollinator Tips
It seems like everyone wants to protect and attract pollinators to their gardens, but where do you start? It is more than just putting a few plants in your garden! To get some tips we met up with Andony Melathopoulos a researcher/professor at Oregon State University. He and a group of OSU researchers and extension agents put together a 41 page publication called 'Enhancing Urban and Suburban Landscapes to Protect Pollinators'. This publication is free and is loaded with tons of great information, including garden designs so you can get ideas of getting started in your garden. It also has 10 tips for getting you started. Of course, for TV we didn't have time for all 10 tips, so we had 4 to share with you on camera. The first tip is to plan your garden to have blooms throughout the entire gardening season. Most people think of only spring or summer blooming plants, but Andony emphasized the importance of blooms from late winter through late fall. The second tip is to have a variety of different plants. Not all bees and pollinators like the same types of plants, so it is important to have blooming trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials to meet the needs of all the pollinators, including the hundreds of types of butterflies and the over 600 species of bees. The third tip is about pesticides. To avoid the use of pesticides he recommended that you look for plants that are not pest-prone. If a plant is known to have pest problems, avoid it and you will not need to use excessive pesticides in your garden. Of course, along with that tip is to remember to treat problems when they occur, don't spray pesticides unless you find a pest, and then try to find a natural or organic solution. It will be better for your garden in the long run. The fourth tip was to manage your bees responsibly. That means learning about each pollinator that comes to your garden and meeting their needs throughout their entire lifecycle. Don't just put up a mason bee house, but learn how to take care of them so they can survive and thrive!
The key is to start with a plan. Having everything laid out in front of you will help you visualize your garden and the pollinators you want to protect. Part of that is to download the publication, follow the tips listed, and then stay in contact with your local OSU Extension Agent or office to help you through the tough parts.
Garland Sun and Shade #2
A few weeks ago we stopped by Garland Nursery (800-296-6601) to chat about plants that do well in sun and shade. There were so many plants that Lee Powell found that we had to return for a second story. We started with an Oakleaf Hydrangea called 'Ruby Slippers'. These are called oakleaf because of the shape of their leaves. This hydrangea has a panicle type of flower, meaning it looks like an upright cone, which starts as a white bloom and changes to a ruby color by the end of summer. It also has great fall color as well when those leaves start to get ready for winter. The next plant was a much smaller plant, perfect for the borders in your garden. The Geum 'Tempo Rose' has wonderful pinkish blooms, but there are lots of different geums that work in sun and shade. If you cut off the spent blooms you can also get another flush of blooms later in the season. The next plant was a Glossy Angelica. This plant is known for the great foliage texture and unique flower stalks. The blooms are nothing spectacular, but the foliage makes up for it. If you are looking for another plant that can stand out in the sun or shade, the Carex/Japanese Sedge 'Feather Falls' might be the one for you. The variegated foliage of cream and green pops and it also curls in cascading waves over the edge of a container. Another shrub type of plant for your garden is the Itea/Sweetspire 'Little Henry'. This one is a shorter version that only gets 2-3 feet high. It ends up covered in white bloom spikes and then ends up with great fall color that lasts for weeks. A popular plant that a lot of gardeners already use is the Nandina. This variety, 'Tuscan Flame', is evergreen, or should we say ever-red? The new growth is a bright red with great fall color lasting through the winter months. We were getting near the end of Lee's cart when we saw the Birch-leafed Spirea called 'Tor'. Clusters of large white pompon blooms covered this plant already and they looked like they would last for quite a while. Next to the spirea was a blindingly gold Choisya (Mexican Orange) called 'Gold Fingers'. It absolutely glows, though it will be a little more light green in the shade. Lee also included a native on the cart. The Salal (Gaultheria shallon) is a plant you can find all over the Pacific Northwest forests and will grow well in sun and shade, as will a lot of native plants and shrubs. It flowers and has berries that the local wildlife will love. The final plant was a Japanese Yew 'Emerald Spreader'. This plant will stay small and compact in your garden with selective pruning, but could eventually get 2 feet tall and up to 8 feet across. The foliage is a lighter green in the sun and a little darker in the shade.
Remember that most of these plants will need a little more water in the sun. They may also have less blooms in the shade and different colored foliage. To find the right plant for your sunny and shady areas or anything in between stop by Garland Nursery and ask their great staff.
Bartlett Soil Health
The key to a great and healthy garden can be found right under your feet. It is your soil. Recently we had a chance to chat with Dr. Tom Smiley from Bartlett Tree Experts (503-722-7267) about the importance of analyzing and maintaining a good soil. We met him at a local home and were right in front of a tree that had yellowing leaves. He told us about chlorosis and how this tree was suffering from it. Chlorosis is a lack of chlorophyll and could be caused by watering, root problems, poor soil or a few other issues, including a mineral deficiency, but the only way to narrow down the problem was to get the soil tested first. Bartlett can do these soil samples, but he also mentioned you can contact your local extension office to see what they recommend for soil testing. Once that testing is done you can then apply what your plant needs to thrive. By just adding fertilizer to your plants you may not solve the problem and it may cause other problems for your plant and the environment.
As a homeowner, once you know the problem you can find a product that can help solve it. Remember to always follow the instructions for application and know that you may need to reapply a product multiple time before you see results. The label is the law, so follow those directions as listed! Professionals usually use a liquid application so they can inject material right to the root zone and avoid runoff and poor application.
If this seems like it is too much or you don't know where to start, you can always contact the knowledgeable people at Bartlett Tree Experts. They do more than tree care and can help with a lot of your landscape problems.
Artist Gavin Tougher
We meet quite a few artists who specialize in garden art, and every once in a while we find one whose art is also functional in the garden. Gavin Tougher is one of those artists. We heard about Gavin a couple years ago. We were impressed and wanted to invite him to bring his art to GardenPalooza, but due to covid we were not able to have an event.
Gavin is an artist who loves and is inspired by nature and wood. His company 'Pith to Bark' shows his interest in using everything from trees. He has taken this love of nature and trees and created some incredibly beautiful and wonderful native bee and bird houses. We were able to meet him in his shop in Corvallis to see his work. Artistic design and functionality were combined to benefit the wildlife and the owner. We weren't the only ones impressed. When Capitol Subaru in Salem started building a new native area around their dealership, they commissioned Gavin to build a couple bee houses to include in that area. It was stunning!
If you are looking to get one of these houses for your yard or garden you can find Gavin at local garden events around the area, or you can contact him through his website. Benefit the wildlife and add a thing of beauty to your garden.
TOW - Deadheading Rhododendrons
So your early blooming rhododendrons are starting to lose their bloom. Here is a tip to help you get more bloom out of them next year. Take the spent bloom at the base and snap it off. Be careful not to damage the new growth coming out at the base of the bloom. By removing the old bloom you are telling the plant to not produce seed heads and to spend its energy on the bloom for next year.
If you are looking to limit the growth of your plant you may want to do a little trimming. Snap off some of the new growth to keep the plant at the same height. This may also damage some of the blooms for next season since the plant sets buds in late July and August. You can reduce the height of your plant by cutting down the branch to the next leaf bud. This will cause the plant to not bloom on that branch for next year, but you can generally expect a new bloom on that branch the year after that. Also remember to wear a glove when cutting your rhododendrons back; they have a coating that may irritate your skin.