Welcome to Garden Time -- Fall 2008/Winter 2009

It is time to protect your plants!  There are predictions for a big cold push coming into the area.  That means you should make one last check around your yard and garden to make sure that everything is ready for the up-coming cold weather.  In fact, there is a whole list of things you can do to protect the ones you love (we are talking about plants!)  Check out Judyís blog for tips on preparing you garden for the cold weather.  Also on the Garden Time blog, Producer Jeff talks about interesting gardens in Padua, Italy. 

Happy Holidays from Garden Time!

Wishing you the best of the holiday season!  Therese Gustin, Production Assistant; William McClenathan, Co-Host; Judy Alleruzzo, Co-Host; Jeff Gustin, Owner and Producer.

Garden Time returns with new episodes February 28, 2009.


Judy Alleruzzo


December 13, 2008



William McClenathan

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

Winter Tree Care

The wind, rain and possible snow of the coming winter can mean trouble for your large landscape trees.  How can you tell if your trees are healthy enough for all that mother nature has to offer?  We sought out our favorite ĎCertified Arboristí Terrill Collier from Collier Arbor Care (503-72ARBOR) and asked him for some signs we can look for.  Terrill took us to a park in Vancouver Washington to show us a multiple trunked tree that had lost one of its trunks due to rot and decay at its base.  That is just one of the 8 signs that you should look for in a dangerous tree.  Other signs included weakly attached branches, cracks in the branches of the trunk, pealing bark and signs of decay or rot.  These are the most obvious signs, but if you are unsure of the safety of your trees you can contact Collier Arbor care or a certified arborist.  Collierís even has a brochure that can tell you what else to look for.  Terrill emphasizes that you insist on a certified arborist.  They are trained to look for the damaged spots and are trained (insured and bonded) to remove the weak tree safely. 

Holiday Heritage Plants

Ever wonder why we use holly in our holiday decorating?  What is the story behind kissing under the mistletoe?  William and Judy covered the reasons why we use specific plants during the holidays.  Hollyís origins are based on both Christian and non-Christian traditions.  In one tradition, the holly protects the home from evil spirits.  In another, the holly represents the crown of thorns of Christís passion and its berries represent the drops of blood.  Ivy is a very misunderstood plant.  We sometimes see it growing all over trees, almost smothering them.  In the Middle Ages ivy meant prosperity, and if it died financial hard times were soon to follow.  Mistletoe has a longer history.  It has various meanings that include fertility, immortality and love.  Of course the best meaning involved kissing.  In proper English society you could not kiss your spouse-to-be in public.  During the holidays you could kiss under the mistletoe, but you had to remove a white berry every time you did.   Naturally, twigs with lots of berries were highly prized!  So next time you are decorating your home, take some time and learn some of the meanings.

Winter Mulches and Compost

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.

Kindergarden Ė Dried Fruit Ornament

It is the holiday time and why not share the spirit with your local bird population.  Myra Lukens from the Backyard Bird Shop (503-635-2044) brought some of her friends to the store and gave us a quick lesson on building dried fruit ornaments.  These decorations can be used indoors, but they are really designed to feed those flyers that are trying to survive the cold.  All you need is a weather resistant yarn or string, a needle (embroidery needles works great) and a variety of dried fruits and unsalted peanuts.  We used cranberries, raisins, prunes, and apricots.  String them together and place them on your trees outside.  Hang them close to your house so you can watch the birds feed and enjoy sharing the holiday spirit.

A Tasty Holiday

As we get closer to the up-coming holidayís it is time to think about the meal.  Sharing a wonderful meal is a time-honored tradition for many families, but it can become one of the most stressful parts of the season.  We recommend a couple of places where you can relieve the stress.  A quick stop at Gartnerís Meats (503-252-7801) can take care of your entrťe concerns.  The crew there will help you chose something that will be easy to prepare and tasty too!  Then for dessert, pick up a couple of pies from Baumanís Farm and Garden (503-792-3524).  Call both stores to reserve your meats or pies so you donít get caught out in the cold; then sit back and relax.


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