Where did the fall go? It seemed like summer would never end, and then fall slowly crept in, and now the rain and cold have returned. It sure feels like fall was really short this year. With the cold weather comes the push to protect your tender plants and the urge to extend the vegetable season. To learn how to do all that we looked at protection measures in this week’s show.
November is also the kick off month for holiday festivals and open houses around the area. Today we visited the Lan Su Chinese Garden for their Mum-vember event and to take a tour of the garden. Check out the Garden Time calendar of events to see what is happening around the area.
This week we featured...
How do you get rid of those pesky Himalayan blackberries! If you have ever had them in your garden you know that they can take over a yard. We caught up with Norm McCreight from Lilly Miller to see how he deals with them. He told us about the Blackberry and Brush killer by Image. A lot of gardeners in the Northwest have problems with blackberries and other woody invasive plants like scotch broom and poison oak. This product will take care of the problem and now is a perfect time to apply it. In the late summer and early fall the plant will draw energy to its roots. When you apply this product the plant will carry the spray to the roots and get rid of your problem for good! Norm also showed us how to apply it by paint brush so you can use it in your established gardens as well.
Chinese Garden Fall Structure
The fall and winter offer a lot of opportunities for the visitor to the Lan Su Chinese Garden (503-228-8131). The garden is a wonder during any time of the year, but when the plants start to drop their leaves it takes on a whole new look and feel. Glin joined William in the garden and told us how wonderful it was to tour the garden this time of year. First of all, you get to see some of the tree structure and bark textures that are normally hidden. Then you can check out the fabulous foliage from all the plants and trees as they make the transition to winter. You can also see some of the late season fruits and seeds including pomegranates, persimmons, and the decorative seeds on the lotus plants. Don’t forget the blooms. Right now the osmanthus are also starting to bloom with tiny delicate flowers that give off more fragrance than you would think from such a small blossom.
November is also Mum-vember. The whole month is dedicated to the chrysanthemum and they are celebrated with a cut flower display, educational talks and even plants for sale. One of the slogans for the Lan Su garden is ‘never twice the same’ and a walk around the garden in November proves it!
Magical Water Fountains
If you have ever been to Las Vegas you have probably seen the water show at the Bellagio. It is a truly spectacular display of lights, water and music, all mixed into a wonderful show. Well, local engineer Richard Bishel saw the display and thought he would like to have one in his backyard, and his company Magical Water Fountains (503-877-3849) was started. These fountains are all tiny Bellagio shows that you can have on your back step. He has combined ‘dancing waters’ with a light show and music that you can control on your I-phone, laptop or android. You can just download your favorite music and then get the app from his company that choreographs the water to the music and you are ready to entertain.
But with winter coming you may be wondering about the timing of having something like this in your backyard. Well, he thought of that too. You can now get an insert of the Magical Water Fountains that you can drop into your fireplace insert. During the winter you can pull out the fountain and enjoy the fire pit, then when the weather warms up again you can drop in the insert and enjoy the water display with friends and family.
On a recent show we showed you how easy it was to build a Solexx Greenhouse. This is the best way to extend your growing season and the get a jump start on the spring, but what if you don’t have the room for a greenhouse? There are still plenty of ways to protect your tender flowers and vegetables. We returned to The Greenhouse Catalog (800-825-1925) and visited with Bev again. We started outside at a cold frame that was on a hinge that protected a flower bed that even had strawberries in it. It opened up and if the weather started getting bad you could just lift up the legs and drop it to the ground. Bev also recommended that you get a soil heating cable. This cable can be slightly buried in the ground and it will help keep the soil warm so your plants won’t suffer. We then ducked inside a greenhouse to escape a heavy rain shower and see some other season extending tools for your kit. These were a collection of frost cloths and bags that you can use to cover or wrap your plants. They are easy to use and let the water and air in, but keep the cool out! If you are looking for tools to extend your growing season or even to get a jump start on the new growing season, stop by The Greenhouse Catalog in Brooks, or check them out on-line.
Fall Pond Cleaning
It is getting colder and it’s about time to get your pond ready for winter. We met up with Doug at Tsugawa’s Nursery (360-225-8750) in Woodland Washington to see how to prepare our ponds and pond animals for the cold. Doug mentioned that you should also take care of your pond plants by either lowering them deeper into the water or moving them to protected areas. You should also keep your water clear of all the plant material that falls into the pond during the fall. This plant material can cause a lot of problems when the weather warms up in the spring including an algae bloom. Doug also talked about the importance of feeding your fish the correct foods to prevent them from dying. Once the pond temperature drops below 45 degrees you should stop feeding your fish. They can’t process the food in the colder water. You will also want to keep your pond running. The water movement will prevent freezing and damage to your pond liner and pumps. If you have to shut off the pump, you will need to drain all the water out of the water feature to prevent long-term damage. To get answers to all your pond questions, contact the experts at Tsugawa’s.