Well the summer is finally here. The heat feels good right now but I know that in August people (and plants) will need a break. Enjoy it for now but make sure you and your plants stay well hydrated! We hope everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July.
We started this week’s show at Viscaya Nursery (503-761-7757). It is a very unique garden center. It is a wonderful display garden with the plants that are on-sale in the garden. You can see how the plants are actually growing and then pick one out to take home. It is also a great place to just wander and relax. It is a must see place!
This week we featured...
When people think of the Goodwill Store (503-238-6100) they are probably thinking about clothes or household items, but there are lots of ideas and products for your garden as well. Dale Emanuel joined William at the Hazel Dell Goodwill store to show off some of the items that she found that can dress up any patio. She found some cool items at a couple of their 45 stores that can really show off your style, and with 7,000 new items coming into their stores every day it is like a treasure hunt! A couple of the things she found included a small wooden rocking chair that could be used for a climbing vine or as a plant stand, some clay planters, some water jugs that could be used for vases, a mirror for outdoors and even a set of outdoor lights that were not even opened! Goodwill is a great place for shopping no matter what you are looking for. They return over 94 cents of every dollar to the community in the form of jobs and other support services. Stop by the Hazel Dell store or any of the other Goodwill stores and see what you can find for your garden.
Fry Road Summer Plants
We recently paid a visit to one of our favorite nurseries in the valley to see what they had been growing for the summer. Fry Road Nursery (541-928-7038) is a great little grower/wholesaler/retailer between Albany and Corvallis that always has some great plants (and deals). Judy met up with Mark in the front parking lot to look at one of their cooler plants! Gunnera is a very old species of plant. One of the common names is ‘dinosaur food’ because of its long history and also because it looks like a plant from prehistoric times. The Gunnera has very large leaves and wonderful seed spikes in the center of the plant. Mark said they harvest the seeds to plant for next year’s plant. You need to give this one some room to grow, it gets really big! Then we moved back into the middle of the nursery to see a bunch of other summer plants they have to offer. The first ones we looked at were a couple of primroses. The Orchid Primrose (Primula vialii) doesn’t even look like a primrose. This one has a large flower spike in the center and likes boggy conditions in full to part sun. The Tibetan cowslip (Primula florinae) has larger flowers and comes in different color variations! The next one was a brand new plant that was discovered at Fry Road. This introduction was a phygelius called ‘Lemon Spritzer’. It has a variegated leaf and comes out with orangey-peachy flowers. Mark really loves variegation in his plants and that led us to his next plant the Euphorbia ‘Tasmanian Tiger’ which has some really cool leaf patterns of light green and cream. A smaller euphorbia (spurge) with variegation was ‘First Blush’ that had touches of red and pink in the leaves.
The next plant may make some people cringe! It was an oxalis, or clover. This one is not one that will take over your lawn though. This one was called ‘Plum Crazy’ and it was an annual, which means it will die during our cold winters. Still with the bright red foliage and the yellow flowers you will want this ‘clover’ in your yard! Another stunning plant that Mark brought out was a Hebe. A few years ago the hebe got a bad name when we lost a lot of them due to the cold winter we had. This is one that survived and performed well in the garden. ‘Sussex Carpet’ has a low growing habit and gets covered in flowers! It was stunning! Another stunning plant was the Astilbe ‘pumila’. This one has a great fragrance like Kool-Aid or sweet candy. It has tall pink flowers that were outstanding. They do need a lot of water so make sure they are in a well irrigated area in your garden.
You can find these plants and a whole lot more this weekend at the nursery during a special plant sale. Fry Road has invited 3 other nurseries to their location for a huge plant party! Hydrangeas Plus, Sebright Gardens, and Dancing Oaks Nursery will all be at Fry Road on Saturday the 7th from 10am to 4pm. Fry Road will also have a Plant Exchange in the afternoon. Show up with a plant from your garden (and with a small fee for charity) you can exchange it with someone else for a new plant for your garden. There also will be live music and free refreshments. Stop by and pick up a new favorite plant!
We have featured hydroponic systems on the show before, but when we heard about ‘aquaponics’ we had to find out what that was. Jason from Portland Purple Water (503-922-3583) told us about the differences between the 2 systems. Hydroponics is a soil-less growing system. You add fertilizers and other additives to the system to grow plants in a small space or other unique environment. Since you have to be actively involved in adding stuff to the system it is more of an ‘open’ system. Aquaponics is a system that is more water efficient because it uses fish to create a ‘closed’ growing environment. The waste from your food scraps and other waste is converted into fish food. The fish eat it and then their ‘waste’ water is sent through the system to water and feed the plants. Then the overflow water is sent back to the fish, and the cycle continues! It is a great system that can be placed in just about any shed, garage or greenhouse. They have plans you can download off their website or you can buy a system from them. You can also attend a seminar at their store to learn more about the system and how it works. The next class is on July 14th. Be sure to give them a call to register to attend.
Produce for Kids
We are always promoting healthy eating and locally produced vegetables in the show. We received an e-mail about a program that is taking place at your local Fred Meyer that does that and a whole lot more. Amanda Ip from Freddies joined us to fill us in on the program. It is called ‘Produce for Kids’ and now through July 26th when you shop at Fred Meyer you can help your kids eat healthier and support a great cause at the same time during their ‘Get healthy, Give hope’ promotion. Fred Meyer and some of their vendors have teamed up to provide meal cards in the produce section of the store that will help you create healthy meals for your family. Also, a portion of the proceeds from purchases of local produce will go to help the Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel right here in Portland. You can find the local produce by looking for the signs that clearly mark the local growers. You can stop by any local Fred Meyer for more information on the program or you can check out their website at http://www.produceforkids.com.
Tuesday Morning Tote
The avid gardener is always looking for new or better tools. The beginning gardener is just looking for the right tools to get started! We stopped by the local Tuesday Morning (800-457-0099) store in Lake Oswego to see what ‘lifestyle consultant’ Sissy Biggers had found for the gardener at her store. She had put together a great tote full of cool gardening items. She started with sun block (always a great place to start) and then added gloves, pruning tools, a hat, a knee cushion, a cultivating tool, all in a great tote to carry it all around the garden. You can find lots of other gardener gifts at your local Tuesday Morning.