Welcome to GardenPalooza weekend! This is the weekend where we are kicking off the Fall GardenPalooza. We previously had the ‘Tour’ in the fall, but this year we are back to Fir Point Farms. There are over 25 different garden vendors and this year we are featuring wine and beer tasting. There is also a lot to do with the kids. Fir Point Farms has a great petting area where kids can get up close with farm animals. Plus we will also have ‘dirt babies’ that they can take home. Check out the story below to learn more about those. Come on out and spend the day, it should be a blast! And best of all, it is a free event!
We hope to see you there!
This week we featured...
GardenPalooza – Fir Point Farms
We stopped by Country Grains in Wilsonville to talk to Jack Romaine who is one of the new owners of Fir Point Farms, the home of GardenPalooza and soon to be the new home of Country Grains. Jack, his wife Jessica and the Country Grains crew are known for their great baked goods and if you stop by GardenPalooza today between 8 and 4 you will be able to sample some of the delicious food and even buy some to take home. They will have their wonderful sweet rolls and the signature apple cider donuts! Jack and Jessica are great hosts and we are excited to be partnering with them for this great event.
GardenPalooza – Conifers
Things are pretty boring in the winter garden! Perennials are asleep, annuals are gone, and the rest of the garden is looking tired. The one plant that looks great all year long is the conifer! One of our favorite vendors at GardenPalooza is French Prairie Perennials (503-679-2871) and Rick Naylor, the owner, is a big fan and collector of unique conifers. He is bringing a bunch to GardenPalooza and he decided to showcase a few for us. The first ones we looked at were little ones. First Judy grabbed a cypress. This one was a Sawara Cypress called ‘White Pygmy’. This one is a low and slow grower. New growth is white and it is striking in the front edge of your border. Next we saw the Cryptomeria ‘Twinkle Toes’. This one also stays small and the new growth is a golden or yellow color. The third plant was a Chamaecyprus ‘Golden Fern’ this one gets a bit bigger than the first 2 but still has the golden color to the new foliage. The more sun you give it the brighter the foliage becomes. One of our favorite plants was next, the Japanese Umbrella Pine. This one was called ‘Sternschnuppe’, it only gets about 5 to 6 feet tall and has the signature unique foliage that looks like bursts of fireworks at the end of the stems. Another favorite of the crew was the Western Red Cedar ‘Whipcord’. Rick calls this his ‘Cousin It’ tree (remember the character from the Addams Family?) It has long cords of foliage that can reach the ground when the plant is full grown. It does look like a green ‘Cousin It’! The final 2 plants he shared with us were both Pinus strobus varieties, but they looked completely different! ‘Niagara Falls’ was a shorter plant with a weeping habit and would work well in an area where you would want to cover some rocks. The last one was Pinus strobus ‘Louie’. This conifer will turn a bright gold in the winter time and have a very dramatic look in the winter garden. It is one of those ‘oooh, ahhh’ type of plants. Everyone loves it during the cold drab winter months.
If you are looking for some cool conifers or want something that will bring some new life to your fall and winter garden, stop by and see Rick today at GardenPalooza, or see him anytime at his nursery in Dundee!
GardenPalooza – Dancing Oaks
New and interesting plants are the mainstay of Dancing Oaks Nursery (503-838-6058) and we are happy that they are joining us again at GardenPalooza. To see what they were bringing to GardenPalooza we stopped by the nursery outside Monmouth and chatted with Leonard Foltz. Leonard told us he is not only bringing some cool plants he was also bringing some fruit plants as well! On the way to the fruit plants we stopped by the Hardy Hibiscus! These plants are huge and they were packed with blooms. The best news is that they are hardy for our area and so you can get that tropical look year after year. Then we moved to the berries, the incredible ‘Triple Crown’. This is one of the newest blackberries and it can produce tons of fruit for you to enjoy, plus the berries are HUGE! Leonard then showed us a very unique Lobelia called ‘Tupa’. This one gets really tall and wide and has long spikes of curly red flowers that have the hummingbirds fighting over them. One of the most unique plants we have ever seen was next, the Colutea media or ‘Bladder Senna’. It is in the pea family and is very drought tolerant once it is established. It has some bright little flowers that look like the hat on Yosemite Sam. Then the seed pods that develop are like little balloons. It is really something to look at. Finally, we looked at a native bog type of plant, Darmera peltata or ‘Indian Rhubarb’. It is found in southern Oregon and northern California. It gets a pink flower on a tall stem early in the spring and then large green leaves. Right now it is getting its fall color and it is looking fantastic! These are just a few of the cool and wonderful plants that Leonard will have at GardenPalooza today. Stop by and check them out.
Building a Willow Bench
There is nothing like the look of willow furniture. Either in your home or on your deck, it carries a rustic quality that can’t be matched. We traveled to Salem to pay a visit to Brian and Sammie Phillips from the Willow Station (503-897-7387). Brian has been working on willow furniture for over 30 years and he is a true craftsman when it comes to this great art form. When we were there, Brian worked while Sam told us all about the furniture and walked us through the steps for making our own piece. The Willow Station teaches classes and in the class you can make an entire piece all by yourself and take it home the same day. Brian showed us how to make their signature ‘Oregon Garden Bench’. Each class starts with a good solid frame. Then we take the edge off the ends of the frame. We ‘blunt’ the points of the nails we use to keep them from splitting the wood when we put our bench together. Then we start assembling. The back and the ‘T’ are first, followed by the branches for the seat and then the armrests followed by the building of the back. Once it is done we will cover it with a good coat of marine varnish or Safecoat, a sealant that has no harmful fumes. If you take the class you can really showcase your creativity and personalize your piece. To catch the next class, check out their schedule on their website. If you can’t make it to a class you can buy a special DVD that will show you all the steps to build your own bench, to order just check the site. This weekend you can find Willow Station at GardenPalooza in Aurora. Stop by and see some of their work and sign up for a class or pick up a copy of the DVD!
KinderGarden – Dirt Babies
William and Judy are proud parents, of Dirt Babies. Dirt Babies are a great project that you can do with your kids or grandkids. All you need is a knee high stocking, some grass seed, a couple cups of Black Gold Potting Soil and some decorations for the face. Start by opening the stocking and pouring a little grass seed in the toe of the stocking. Next pour in the soil and pat it down into a round shape. Tie off the end and leave the long ‘tail’ of the stocking on the end. Then use some glue and decorate or put a face on your baby. Place the tail in a glass full of water and rest the baby on top of the glass so the baby’s head is just touching the water. Don’t let it become totally submerged. In a few days you will start to see the grass sprout and the ‘hair’ will start to grow. Keep it watered and your baby should keep growing hair for quite some time. For a full list of instructions and a ‘birth certificate’ you can click here. Black Gold has also provided us with an activity sheet full of puzzles and games, check it out here. If you want a little help in building your dirt baby, you can stop by GardenPalooza today and the Black Gold crew will help you make your own!