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.
Fall has arrived! We still have had those summer like days, but last weekend reminded us that fall was approaching and now it is here! The rains were welcomed and the cooler nights have been brisk, but we still have lots of warmer days ahead. It is really a great time to get out and plant the garden. In fact, in this week's show we have a couple of stories about fall plants and reasons for planting now!
I would also like to say thank you to all the great fans who came out last weekend to our Subaru Fall Garden Fest. It was a great day for everyone and a huge thanks to Subaru for hosting this wonderful event!
This week we featured...
Al's Fall Shrubs
Not only is fall a great time to plant, it is a great time to transplant as well. If you noticed a plant that was unhappy during the heat wave this past summer, now is the time to move it. To get some tips on planting and transplanting, we stopped by Al's Garden and Home (503-726-1162) in Sherwood to talk with Aaron. Aaron is the Tree and Shrub expert and he was full of great tips. First of all he told us that the root growth really kicks it up a notch during the fall. Mild temperatures and warm soils will help your plants get acclimated through winter and established for the following spring. He also recommended that you work to improve the soil before you plant. The clay soil really makes it tough on the root systems of the new plants. Adding a mulch and a transplant fertilizer to the hole when you plant will do the trick to help eliminate transplant shock. Once those plants get established they will not only thrive, they will withstand heat and other problems down the line.
We also looked at some of Aaron's favorite shrubs that you can get in the ground now. We started with Crape Myrtles, which are blooming right now. Tonto and Purple Magic were looking really good right now. Tonto with deep red blooms and Purple Magic with clusters of purple blooms. The next plant was a hypericum (St. John's Wort) named Rose. This plant had bright yellow blooms that transform into pink berries that cover the plant into the fall and early winter. The next plant was the Beautyberry (callicarpa) 'Profusion'. The name is a good one since this plant has a profusion of purple berries that the birds love all winter. The bluish/purple berries almost have a metallic look to them, which looks incredible when there is very little color in the garden during winter months.
If you are looking to add some of these plants to your garden, stop by any of the Al's locations to see these and a huge selection of other perennials, trees and shrubs.
Run for Your Life 5K
Fall is a busy time at French Prairie Gardens (503-633-8445). Katey met us and said the garden center is full of plants, including some great mums, that you can use to refresh and update your containers. Plus, they are getting ready for their fall festival and the wonderful pig races we always enjoy. Then we talked about an event that is near and dear to their heart, the Fight for Your Life 5K. This race is a benefit to the Em's Fight foundation to help people battling cancer. It was founded by the Pohlschneider family (Katey and her family) in remembrance of her sister, Emily, who passed away from cancer. This race takes place on the 26th of this month (tomorrow) and is a really fun event. For your entry fee you get to enjoy this 'set your own pace' race, a complimentary beer (or other beverage) and all the fall activities on the farm. To learn more about the foundation and Emily check out this video. You can learn more about the race at http://fightforyourlife5k.com. This race is fun even if you don't run! You can always stop by, have a brew and cheer on the racers. Come out, make a difference for cancer patients and their families and have a great time doing it.
Colors of Fall - Cascade Nursery Trail
The Cascade Nursery Trail is a great collection of 8 specialty nurseries that join together as a group to bring you some really cool and unusual plants. This weekend they are hosting their 'Colors of Fall Festival'. One of those 8 nurseries is Out in the Garden Nursery (503-829-4141). We stopped to talk with Carol to see what plants she will have to offer this weekend.
Carol is a lover of grasses, so she had brought out plenty of them to showcase. We started with a Panicum (Switch Grass) called 'Ruby Ribbons'. It has ribbons of color as the blades turn a deep red color and it gets better over time and with more exposure to sunlight. The next choice was so popular that it has been called the rockstar of grasses. Bouteloua (Blue Grama Grass) 'Blonde Ambition' has blonde/straw colored foliage and has fuzzy little flowers that look like flags waving in the wind. The next 2 plants were both Miscanthus (Maiden Grass) types. 'Little Miss' will start having red tips to the foliage that increases as fall gets near. It stays a little shorter, in comparison to 'Fire Dragon' the taller variety, which also gets deep red tips to the blades. It will eventually have reds and oranges and yellows topped with soft seed heads. We then looked at the Fountain Grass (Pennisetum) 'Karley Rose'. The fall color is a yellow foliage, but the seed heads are the big drawing point to this plant. They sent out seed heads earlier this summer and now are sending out more, so they will look good for months to come. Carol also had a couple of 'Bluestems' They have a very hard to pronounce name, but people just refer to them as bluestems. The Big Bluestem was called 'Blackhawks' and the Little Bluestem 'Standing Ovation'. The big variety can get flower stalks up to 6 or 7 feet tall and the shorter variety has raspberry colored foliage that gets stronger and stronger. The final grass was a Calamagrostis (Feather Reed Grass) called 'Lightning Strike'. This is a tall one with variegated foliage and huge flowers that wave in the wind. It is a strong plant that will survive well into the winter and even into the spring before you have to cut it back for the next growing season.
Carol also had 3 different types of caryopteris. 'Sunshine Blue' has a gold foliage and a blue flower. 'Beyond Midnight' is more compact with a blue flower, and has a darker foliage and the final one was a pink flowered one called 'Beyond Pink'. It looked like candy with all the pink flowers. The final plant was a vitex called 'Pink Pinnacle'. This can become a huge shrub, but the reward is the late summer and fall bloom spikes that punch up over the foliage.
Out in the Garden is one of the Cascade Nursery Trail sites that will be open this weekend. You can check their website to see all the member nurseries and then stop by one, two, or all of them to get some really great plants.
Blooming Fall Planting
A lot of people may be tired of gardening as we get into fall, but you can get rejuvenated and freshen up your garden and containers by stopping by Blooming Junction (503-681-4646) in Cornelius. Ron met us in their new covered retail area to tell us about some of the great plants they have and reasons for planting now. This retail space will be filled in just a couple of weeks with lots of great plants, some of which Ron had on a cart for us. Some of the plants that he loves for fall included penstemons, heucheras, asters, heleniums, Sedum 'Autumn Joy', and the Parthenocissus (Virginia Creeper). He had also pulled out the Miscanthus 'blondo', the oakleaf hydrangea, persicaria, a barberry and a holly. He also emphasized that fall is a great time for planting and that the plants will be healthier and stronger going into the new growing season next year if you get them in the ground now. The plants could be twice as big next year if you get them in the ground now.
Now is a great time to pick up those plants too. They have most of their plant inventory on sale at up to 40% off. Make the short drive and find some inexpensive and beautiful plants for your garden.
Portland Nursery Apples
For over 30 years many families have marked the beginning of fall by attending the Annual Apple Tasting at Portland Nursery (503-788-9000). This year, because of the COVID crisis, things are a little different. We met with Sara near a few bins of apples at their Division Street store to talk about what they are doing this year. She told us that the festival as we know it is not going to happen. Large crowds and tasting apples with toothpicks is too risky. Still, they want to celebrate the apple and give more people an opportunity to participate. That means that they are stretching out the apple availability for a few more months! Starting now and through November, you can find a huge assortment of apples available at both of their locations for you to purchase and take home for your own private apple tasting. Not sure which varieties to pick? Check out their apple and pear list here. They also have a list of flavor characteristics for all their apples and pears on their website so you can pick ones that will please your palette! The price is right too, all apples are only $1.29 a pound for all 50 different varieties of apples and pears they carry! So stop by anytime and pick up some apples and have an apple a day. A perfect fruit for staying healthy this fall.
TOW - Trimming Your Iris
Those wonderful irises of the late spring are looking pretty bad right now. Dry, dead leaves are mixed with sad, damaged leaves. Now is the time to clean them up. First, pull all the dry leaves out of the clump. Then cut back the green leaves to about 2-3 inches from the ground. Later this fall you can dig, divide and replant them, but for now this will take care of them and make your beds look much better. For more tips on iris care you can check out the website for Schreiner's Iris Gardens.