Time to say goodbye again! This weekend marks the end of our seventh season of Garden Time. We are going into our three month hiatus for the winter. Not to worry, we will be back in March of 2013 for our eighth season of Garden Time. For those of you who have been following the show these past seven years, you know that we take a break over the winter months. We have had a great season with lots of fans telling us that they really enjoy all the stories that we have done. If you have a story you think might fit into the show, let us know and we will try to work it into our 8th season. Of course we would not be here without all our fans and advertisers. We would like to thank you all for your support and encouragement!
We will be putting occasional stories on the Garden Time site while we are away, so keep checking the site during the winter. We have something else that we will have on the Garden Time site, a store! We are starting our store with special Garden Time t-shirts. Check it out!
Enjoy your holidays!
This week we featured...
Thanksgiving has past and now it is time to start thinking about Christmas and Christmas trees. We stopped by Lee Farms (503-638-1869) in Tualatin to visit with Craig Lee about the most popular types of cut Christmas trees this season. The varieties that Oregonians are buying include Douglas fir, Grand fir, Nobel fir and the Frasier fir. The most popular tree is the Noble fir, but the Frasier fir is gaining ground, because it is very fragrant. The newest variety of tree that is also gaining in popularity is the Nordmann fir. Lee’s also carries the wonderful Davis Tree Stand. Pick one up and you will never need another stand again!
Now that you have your tree and your new stand, how can you make sure that it will last through the season and stay fresh? You could get a flocked tree. The flocking on a tree helps to seal in the moisture and that means little or no water is needed. If you have a green tree there are a few rules you need to follow before you decorate to make sure it lasts through the season and into the New Year. Craig 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 luke warm water the first time you water your tree, and add an aspirin and a couple drops of bleach to the water. Don’t use any soda in your water. Some people think the sugar in the soda will help the tree last longer, but it really just promotes the growth of bacteria and that is not good for your tree. Remember, if it runs out of water once, it will seal up and then it doesn’t matter how much water you add, so make sure you have a large reservoir of water under your tree. Don’t let the tree run out of water and you will have a longer lasting green tree for your holidays.
Portland Nursery Christmas
A lot of people are out battling the masses for a few great shopping deals at some stores, but you can find great ideas for the gardener at all of your local independent garden centers, without all the crowds. We found one of the best places to shop at Portland Nursery. Both stores, Stark (503-231-5050) and Division (503-788-9000), have tons of great gifts and plants for the gardener. This weekend both stores will be celebrating their holiday open house on Saturday and Sunday from 9 to 5 each day. Stop by and get some great deals and also take a class so you can learn how to make a wreath or a centerpiece for the holidays. We visited Stark and found some wonderful decorating ideas from Margie. She always puts together a great display of holiday vignettes and we always get a fresh idea or 2 from her while we are there. They have a wonderful selection of garden gifts including calendars, books, tools and toys. Stop by either Portland Nursery location to find that one of a kind gift for your favorite gardener.
Favorite Plant Picks
Once again we had a great year of plant picks from our friends at Skagit Gardens and Blooming Nursery. We had a lot of really great plants that will do well in the Northwest, but William and Judy had a few favorites and wanted to share them with everyone. The first plant was one of our most recent ones, Hellebore ‘Jonas’ which is part of the Gold Collection. This one is starting to bloom now and will keep on blooming all winter long. Judy loved the Uncinia ‘Belinda’s Find’ also called the red hook sage. It has some great glossy red and brown variegated foliage that is striking in the garden. William liked the Knautia ‘Thunder and Lighting’ because of its wonderful variegated green and cream foliage, but then it also had striking purple flowers as well! Speaking of variegation, the Hebe ‘Turkish Delight’ is great because it has a dark variegation and stays short in your garden; a perfect accent plant. If you like Bleeding Heart plants you will love the next one. Dicentra ‘Gold Heart’ is one of the newest bleeding heart plants and has some wonderful golden foliage that is complimented perfectly by the pink and white flowers. One of the flowers that we were up in the air about was the new primrose ‘Kennedy Irish Drumcliff’. The flowers didn’t really pop up as high as we thought they would. Then we found out that we were growing it in a area that was too warm. They need a cooler growing temperature. So we still love it and we can’t wait for an even bigger flower show next season! If you are looking for some great flowers for your garden next season be sure to look for these at your local garden center next spring and summer!
Dick's Recycled Greenhouse
Building a greenhouse from a kit can seem like a huge job, but what if you built one from recycled materials? It isn’t as hard as you think. We found one that is not only made from recycled materials but is also really good looking too. Dick McCollom from Richard McCollom Yard Service (503-709-7232, ) built this one in his backyard. Dick had been collecting old windows and other parts for years and this past summer he was looking to finally put all those pieces to use. A friend drew up some plans with some of the pieces in mind and then Dick just used those plans to assemble the greenhouse. In its short life this building has become a playhouse for the grandkids, a potting shed, and a greenhouse. Here is what Dick recommended as a starting point. First, take an inventory of the materials you have. Then, get help from a designer and come up with a plan for building. Make sure you check local building codes to see if there are any restrictions on where and how to build. Then, prep the site. Look for sun exposure and any kind of obstructions that could create a problem. Next, create a good foundation with secure footings so the structure will remain stable. Now, you can begin construction. When you are done, do what Dick did and use a crushed gravel or greenhouse fabric as a flooring material. This will help keep weeds down and allow for drainage. Finally, do a little landscaping around the building for a beautiful finished project. If you have any questions, feel free to drop Dick a note.
Fall Equipment Maintenance
It is the time of year that we are putting away our power tools for the season and to keep them in the best condition for the next year, give them a tune-up for the winter. Kenny from Stark Street Lawn and Garden (503-255-5393) in Portland showed us how to prepare your mower, blower, chain saw and other equipment for the cold months ahead! The benefit of doing it now keeps your tools in the best condition so you have less maintenance in the future. A couple of pointers… add a fuel stabilizer to all your machines now. Without, old gas becomes weak gas and can foul your engine. Check air filters and spark plugs. Sharpen blades/chains and clean all surfaces. If you are looking for a replacement part, bring the old part with you to the store. If it sounds like too much to tackle, you can always take it to your local Stark Street dealership. They have 5 locations in Oregon.
Gifts for the Gardener
For the non-gardener, buying a gift for the person with a green thumb may seem daunting! William and Judy came up with a few simple ideas they found at Garland Nursery (1-800-296-6601) near Corvallis for gift giving this season, though you can find most of these same items at your local independent garden center. If they love plants consider one that will give them a different perspective on gardening, like a bonsai. These tiny landscapes are very rewarding for the avid gardener. You can also get them a new book. This past year there have been a couple of new books produced by local authors that have great plant information, they also have plant lore and recipes included as well. Our 2 favorites include ‘Grow, Cook, Eat’ by Willi Galloway and ‘Roots’ by Diane Morgan. Another great gift is birding supplies. A new feeder in the garden during the winter helps the birds survive the cold conditions and when summer returns they are already patterned to return to your garden, so you will have a full year of little feathered friends to enjoy. Don’t forget garden tools! A lot of gardeners are still using the cheap tools they once bought when they first started gardening. Find them a new ‘top of the line’ tool that will last them years! Also, boots and gloves make great gifts, since they are the first to wear out for the avid gardener. Locally produced gifts are also available. Earrings, wine, candles and clothing can be found at your larger garden centers. If your garden loving friend can’t get out into their garden, why not give them a pass to one of our great public gardens? The Lan Su Chinese Garden, the Japanese Garden and the Oregon Garden are all great places to visit and enjoy even when the weather isn’t so nice. Finally, don’t forget the kids. There are lots of tools, t-shirts, gifts and games for the younger gardeners. Getting your kids excited about gardening ensures that they will have a love of outdoors their whole life. Gardening is a great family activity and pays dividends as they grow older. For these gifts and more, check with your local garden center.
Garden Time T-Shirts
For the last couple of years we have had people request t-shirts and hats with the Garden Time logo on them. Well, we are proud to offer the brand new Garden Time T-shirt for sale at the Garden Time website. Right now they are only in blue, but we may be offering other colors soon. We are also going to be adding other products so keep checking back for more products.
We finish this season as we have the previous 6, at Jerry and Deb Yost’s house. Jerry is from Gartner’s Meats (503-252-7801) and he has opened his house every year to host our wrap-up party and also to show us how to grill some great meals out in the garden. For our goodbye this year he prepared a combined pepper ham and a sugar ham, plus a stuffed turkey breast! What a taste treat! You can take care of your holiday meals early this year by pre-ordering your meats. This will save you time in the long run because you will have most of your preparation done before the holidays! We would like to thank Jerry and Deb (and the whole Gartner’s crew) for all the great times we have had and the great eats! Remember to call Gartner’s early to order your favorite holiday meats!