The rush for the holidays is on, but we are still finding time to tackle those last little chores in the garden.  We finished putting some protective mulch around our tender plants, we cleaned up a perennial bed (and got rid of some ‘lemon balm’ that got out of hand), and we collected all the tools that have been spread out over the garden.  The weather has been perfect for getting out one last time before the cold rains return.  Now that the clean-up is done we can focus on gift shopping. 

If you are still looking for a garden gift you can check out the story we have featured this week.  For some light holiday reading you can read the Garden Time Blog.  Judy talks about Ornamental Grasses in the winter and Producer Jeff shows you how they garden in Venice Italy.

Judy Alleruzzo


December 6, 2008



William McClenathan

Check out these features, created especially for the Garden Time website!

Gifts for the Gardener

If you have a gardener in your family it may be hard to find the right gift for them.  If you are having troubles, check out this list of suggestions we put together.  We also brought out a bunch of different gift ideas to show you on camera.  You can always pick out a big gift like a fountain or fire pit, which will last for years, or you can focus on a favorite interest for your friend.  If they love birds you can pick up some bird watching/feeding items.  There are also tools, books, seeds, gloves and garden accents.  The main thing is to not stress out about gifts for your gardener friends.  As a gardener, they love things of beauty and the fact that you are thinking of them will make them enjoy you and your gift.  

Christmas Tree Care

Thanksgiving weekend is the first big weekend for people to start getting their Christmas trees.  Before you decorate your tree there are a few rules you need to follow to make sure it lasts through the season and into the New Year.  Craig Lee from Lee Farms (503-638-1869) told us to always make a fresh cut on any tree you purchase from a tree lot.  If you cut your own tree make sure you get it into some water as quickly as possible.  Some other tips; use lukewarm water the first time you water your tree, and add an aspirin and a couple drops of bleach to the water.  Remember, if it runs out of water once, it will seal up and then it doesn’t matter how much water you add.  Don’t let the tree run out of water and you will have a longer lasting green tree for your holidays.

We also saw the best Christmas tree stand ever built.  The Davis stand has lots of features.  It installs easily in less than a minute, fits any tree and makes straightening your tree a breeze.  They will even apply yours when you buy your tree.

Kindergarden – Birdseed Wreaths

Creating a decorative feeder for your feathered friends is not hard to do.  We went to talk to Myra Lukens from the Backyard Bird Shop (503-635-2044) to see how easy it is to make a Birdseed Wreath.  She picked up a wreath, some wire and a ribbon at a local craft store.  Then bought some all-organic peanut butter at the grocery store, and added some NW mix seed from the Bird Shop.  First she attached a piece of wire to hang the wreath from the tree and the decorative ribbon.  She spread the peanut butter on the wreath and dipped it into the seed until the entire wreath was covered.  Then you hang it outside.  Make sure to place it close to your house so you can enjoy the birds when they come to feed!  

Fall and Winter Garden Design

Fall and winter are a great time to work on the design of your garden.  It is good to look at your garden with  fresh eye while the blooms of summer are still in your mind.  We talked with Tracy DiSabato-Aust, the author of ‘The Well Designed Mixed Garden’ from Timber Press (1-800-327-5680) and got her thoughts and tips on garden design.  First, determine the maintenance needs of the type of garden you want.  This will help you select plants and may determine the type of garden you can have.  Next is color.  Are you looking for a single color or complimentary/contrasting colors, cool or warm colors?  Then we move to style.  What type of garden are you interested in?  Are you a ‘formal’ garden type of person or do you like something a little more laid back?  Remember it should reflect who you are and be a reflection of yourself.  The fourth tip deals with the long term view of your garden.  Remember that things change.  Plants grow, tastes change, so don’t be in a hurry to be ‘finished’.  Take your time and grow with your garden!  Finally, consider scale and proportion.  The small plants of today may become the large plants of tomorrow.  Consider the size of a plant in 2-5 years.  Does it still work in the area you planted it?  Do you want, or need to move it after a year or two?  If so it may not be the right plant in the right place.  If you are looking for more tips on design you can pick up Tracy’s book at your local bookstore and create your own garden masterpiece.

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