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It sure feels like fall! Last weekend a couple of the Garden Time crew headed to the beach for a quick camping trip. It was chilly and dry up until Sunday. Then the cold winds and rains returned. More than Ďpumpkin spiceí everything, the rain and wind are the real signal that the seasons are changing. It looks like it will soon be time to get all those summer plants off the deck to be followed by the patio furniture. Soon we will be dreaming of snow (?) and then the warm rains of spring. You will notice a lot of fall prep stories on the show for the next few weeks. All to help you get yourself and your garden ready for the colder days ahead.
This week we featured...
Portland Nursery Fall Containers
Fall is a time of renewal! Really! When all your other plants are getting ready for a long winterís nap, your containers can just be getting started again. To see what we mean we stopped by Portland Nursery (503-788-9000) on Division to chat with Sara about how fall containers can be the bright spot in your fall and winter garden. Sara mentioned that there are a lot of plants that can easily make the transition from late summer to winter and still look great. We started by looking at plants like the camellia. Some of these varieties are winter blooming so they can brighten up any spot. Donít forget textures. We had a variety of grasses that not only add color but their movement in the wind highlights their flowy textures. If you are looking for a bold look, try a heuchera or an ornamental kale. For smaller color plants, a pansy is the go-to plant for fall and winter. These little wonders will take a beating and pop back up even in the worst weather! Heathers and heaths are also great for some winter interest. They fill in those empty spots in your containers and surprise you when they bloom with their tiny flowers later in the winter. Of course we had to include hellebores. These are great for winter interest foliage and then they have wonderful blooms too.
The good part about winter containers is that you donít have to worry as much about sun or shade plants. With the shortened daylight hours, there is not a huge amount of sun to worry about. The final touch for your container is the addition of spring flowering bulbs. Plant these before you get your planter filled and they will surprise you in a few months when they pop up between those winter perennials.
If you are looking for more ideas on container plantings, check out the Portland Nursery Container of the Month, https://portlandnursery.com/container-gardens. They post a new Ďrecipeí for a container garden each month from one of their knowledgeable staff. These designs are saved and archived so you can see the designs for summer containers as well as fall and winter ideas. You can transform your winter garden with these great plants and ideas. For more information and ideas, check out their website or stop by either location.
Baumanís Harvest Festival
The fall is here and that means it is time for Baumanís Fall Festival. This year the people at Baumanís Farm and Garden (503-792-3524) are celebrating another year of fall fun and they have something planned for each weekend. There were a lot of changes from last year when plans and activities were curtailed. They are back to offering a full plate of family friendly activities, and the cost is so affordable. Pricing starts at $10 for a basic activity wrist band, and up to $25 for a wrist band that opens up the whole farm for you! The activities band will let you enjoy over 20 different activities on the farm.
This weekend there are tons of events centered around the Baumanís Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off (https://baumanshf.com/pumpkin-weigh-off/). In the decade the weigh off at Baumanís included a new Oregon record! The big event is the giant pumpkin drop at 1pm on Saturday. After the big drop you can enjoy all of the outstanding harvest activities that Baumanís has become famous for. There are hay mazes, slides, a bunch of bounce houses, the jumping pillow and so much more! You can also enjoy some of their great baked goods, wonderful plants and all kinds of fresh garden produce.
Of course the stars of the show will be the giant pumpkins. These giants can get as big as 1,500 pounds and larger! The winning pumpkin will walk away with a nice prize check and that is sure to guarantee a ton (sorry for the pun) of pumpkins will be entered. Come and walk among the giants!
Fall Clematis Pruning and Planting
You know that clematis are not just for spring and summer. You can now get varieties of clematis that bloom late into fall. Fall is also the time for pruning back some clematis and it is the perfect time for planting too. To learn about both we stopped by the Rogerson Clematis Garden at Luscher Farm to chat with garden curator Linda Beutler about all 3; blooming, pruning and planting.
We met with Linda in the greenhouses and talked planting tips, and what to look for in a plant when you buy it. First, look for multiple vines and stems. This means that the plant has been pinched back and has a strong bushy habit. Then look for well-developed roots. For the clematis garden they get their plants well rooted so that roots are starting to push out of the pot. We also talked about letting the plants finish blooming in the pot before you get them in the ground. You get to enjoy the blooms and the plant is less stressed.
We then talked about a Ďheat comaí. During the extreme heat of this past summer we saw clematis essentially go dormant on their apex buds, the ones at the very top of the plant or stem. This heat coma will cause the plant to stop growth at these points as a way of protecting itself. Linda showed us how to prune these buds off so the plant can start to redirect itís growth and become a healthier plant in the long run.
Linda then showed us a new plant that was looking great, H.F. Young. It and a couple of other plants will be featured at the garden today. You can come out and see these wonderful plants, Saturday the 2nd, during their great plant sale between 10am and 2pm. They will have the garden open so you can get one to take home! If you want to learn more about using perennials and clematis in the garden, they will have a bunch of volunteers there to answer questions and will also have a class between 10am and noon. This class has a small fee for attending (unless you are a garden member),check out their website for details.
There is no bad time to come visit the Rogerson Clematis Collection, but today is even more special. Stop by and say hi!
Smith Pear Recipes
This fall is the time for pears. Pear and apples are at their flavorful best right now and the good news is that, if chilled or refrigerated, they can last for a few months and be used when you need them. One of the best places to get fresh pears and apples is at Smith Berry Barn (503-628-2172). We stopped by the store and joined Joelle in the kitchen again to get another great recipe for some of the fresh pears they offer. She showed us 4 of the varieties of pears that they have on the farm right now. Red Bartlett, Bartlett, Comice, and DíAnjou are available either for u-pick or fresh picked in their store, but you can always call or check their website for current availabilities. We also talked about how to ripen pears. They are usually picked while they are still a little green. Then they are chilled in a refrigerator. A couple days before you need them, you bring them out to let them ripen at room temperature. They turn out perfect with a wonderful taste and a smooth, but not grainy texture. Today Joelle was using Bartlett pears for a quick and easy pear dish. First, she peeled, sliced the pears into quarters and then she cored them. On her stove she had a pan of butter (about 2 tablespoons) with a tiny bit of thinly sliced ginger put into the butter. The pear quarters went into the pan and were browned on all 3 sides. Then a mixture of sugar, cinnamon and other spices went on top. You can find the recipe on the Smith Berry Barn website. After the sugar was a little caramelized, the pears are dished into a bowl and served. We had ours with a little ice cream and it was wonderful!
If you would like to come out and pick you own pears, right off the tree, we recommend that you schedule a time to pick through the reservation system on their website. On the site you will also find more great recipes and a complete availability list for all their great fruit and vegetables on the farm. Including the recipes for the pear cobbler and pear butter that we also saw.
Grimmís Fall Mulch
Believe it or not, now is the time to start thinking about your summer garden. If your garden is getting tired and needs a boost, then you should be adding garden compost now. It is also the time to add mulch to your garden to protect your plants and add nutrients to the soil. Jeff Grimm from Grimmís Fuel (503-636-3623) showed Judy all the different mulches and composts available and the benefits of each one. You can even use some of them for erosion control. We also found out the differences between all the different barks that are available, plus if you donít want to spend time shoveling, they can even blow it in for you. Now is also the time to get your wood for the coming winter. Grimmís not only has barks and mulches for your garden they also supply wood and heating oil too. Give them a call before itís too late!