Welcome to November and the start of the holiday season. The holiday season actually started with Halloween, but with all the fall harvest festivals it is hard to think about Turkeys and Christmas. Now we are going into the ‘winter’ at full speed! There are winter color plants, both indoor and out, that we can consider for our homes and gardens. Now that the Cubs have won the World Series, you can stop putting off all those outside chores and consider planting something new in the garden! This week we feature some great camellias that will bloom into the holidays! What a way to celebrate the Cubs win and the holidays!
For the last few weeks we have told you that seats are running out on our tour, well, we are down to our last few seats. With the prediction of cold and wet (i.e. snow) this winter, you should consider joining us in the sun! Check out our ‘tour’ page for more info.
Plus one more sad note… we are just a few weeks away from our last show of the season. We are wrapping up our 11th season on the 26th of November, but not to worry, we are signing new contracts with the TV station to be back in March 2017, for our 12th season!
This week we featured...
Fall and Winter Camellias
The winter months can be boring in the garden. There is not usually a lot of color to enjoy. One plant that will brighten up your garden in these dreary months is the camellia. The Sasanqua Camellias are a variety that blooms in the late fall and into winter, with wonderful color. The interesting thing about these plants is that they will tighten up when it gets cold and then when the sun comes out they will open up their blooms and even set new blooms! They are also a wonderful plant the rest of the year too, even when they’re not blooming. Brian at Tsugawa Nursery (360-225-8750) in Woodland brought out a few of his favorites to share with us. The first one was a new double called ‘Showa-no-sakae’. It has incredible pink flowers on a taller plant. A shorter shrub form with pink flowers was next, called ‘Jean May’. It can be kept even shorter with regular pruning. A great holiday bloomer was next; ‘Yuletide’. This one is an old favorite with its deep red petals and bright yellow center it is perfectly named for this time of year. There is a new variety of ‘Yuletide’ called ‘Pink-a-boo’ with the same bright yellow center and soft pink petals. These both will bloom through the holidays. The next variety was called ‘Bonanza’ and it had a little tighter dark pink or red colored bloom. The final one we saw was from the Ice Angels series of plants, called ‘Winter Snowman’. It had a bright white bloom so it would brighten up any area in the winter garden.
If you are not sure of which plant you like, Tsugawa’s had a large board with all their camellias posted on it, so you can compare them without wandering around the garden center! The ones we saw were just a few of the varieties that you will find at Tsugawa’s or your local independent garden center. If you are looking for some great late season, into winter color, you should check these out.
Ninth Moon Floral Design - Mum-vember
November is also Mumvember at Lan Su Chinese Garden (503-228-8131). The whole month is dedicated to the chrysanthemum and they are celebrated with a cut flower display, educational talks and even plants for sale. This year they are kicking off the celebration with their 3rd annual Ninth Moon Floral Design Showcase. 25 floral designers will be putting together outstanding displays featuring the chrysanthemum. There will be prizes for the top designers including a ‘peoples’ choice’ award where visitors get to vote for their favorite. Leanne Kesler, one of the co-founders of the event told Judy that these displays are over the top and viewing pictures of the entrees from last year… she’s right. If you want to see these great floral designs you have to come this weekend, the judging ends Sunday afternoon.
Mumvember doesn’t end there. One of the slogans for the Lan Su Chinese Garden is ‘never twice the same’ and a walk around the garden in November proves it! There are over 800 potted chrysanthemums and 80 different varieties are on display in the garden. During the celebration you will learn about a lot of the lore surrounding mums. For over 2,000 years the Chinese have been growing and hybridizing these wonderful flowers. Did you know that the Chinese thought the chrysanthemum could give you long life. In fact there is one story of a lake in China that was surrounded by mums and if you were to drink the water from that lake it was supposed to give you 100 years of a happy and healthy life. That is why the Chinese would brew a tea made from the leaves of the plant and even made a rice wine with the leaves as well. They are also having special chrysanthemum speakers and events throughout the month. There is something planned for every Saturday, so don’t forget to check the schedule on their website for more details. There are also a lot of plants that are showing off in the garden right now so stop by and enjoy the garden as well as Mumvember!
Rose Garden Winter Pruning and ADA Changes
The winds of winter are blowing and if you would like your roses to survive you need to do a little selective pruning now. To see how to do that we traveled up to the International Rose Test Garden at Washington Park. There we met with Harry Landers the curator of the rose garden to see how they prune the hundreds of roses for the coming months. His first piece of advice was to cut at wrist height. That means you should cut off the canes at the level of your wrists at your side. This will keep your plants from rocking back and forth in the wind. The rose plant doesn’t have very deep roots and so a good strong wind will blow over canes and, sometimes, even the whole plant. We saw that when we were visiting! Later in the winter, around President’s Day in February, they will cut the plants down to around knee height and get them ready for the growing season.
We then walked over to the Rosarian Rose Garden to talk about some other big changes happening at the garden this winter. Harry showed us where they will be taking out a group of stairs to install ramps with gentle inclines for people with mobility issues. This is will take place over the winter but most of the garden will remain open. The construction will also require that a lot of roses will have to be removed. Don’t worry, they are being transferred into pots and will be placed back in the garden when construction is done!
Another big event for the coming year is the 100th anniversary of the garden. There are a bunch of events being planned, and details will be coming out soon. We can tell you that there will be a special rose named for the anniversary. A yellow, hybrid tea rose will be named soon and there will be a big celebration in August to celebrate. Keep on watching Garden Time for more details!
Veteran's Day Memorial Plants
With Veterans Day here you may be looking for a way to memorialize a loved one. William and Judy paid a visit to Al’s Garden Center in Woodburn (503-981-1245) to learn how you can create a memorial garden. There are various meanings for different plants and we covered just a couple. We talked about the various ways you can choose a memorial plant like by fragrance or color. You may also choose a plant that held a special meaning to the person you are memorializing. Other things you can do would be to use a statue in your garden or by attaching a ribbon, flag or banner to a plant or container to mark it. Remember, you must have permission to bring a plant into a cemetery or on public property. Also, you don’t have to lose a loved one to plant a memorial garden; you can mark any big occasion by planting a special plant.
TOW – Raking Leaves for Mulch
Tired of bagging your leaves? Here is a quick tip that will help your plants and save your back! Rake your leaves into your garden beds. This will help the plants by protecting them from the bitter cold, plus it will also keep the rains from compacting your soil during the wet months ahead. This spring you can compost the leaves to finish the job that nature started or you can put them in your yard debris container where they will take up less room than they do now.
Chestnut Roast and Festival
‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire’… We have all heard the old holiday carol, but few of us have ever tasted a roasted chestnut, even though they grow in our area. A few years ago we heard about a chestnut farm near Hood River and we did a story up there, so we decided to pay a return visit and learn more about these traditional, but underused nuts. Bernardo is the owner of Nella Chestnut Farms (1-800-400-3658). Bernardo is Italian and his experiences with this nut have a deep rooted tradition. Even Judy, who is also Italian, has had chestnuts with her family for meals and snacks. Many cultures from Italian, to French to Asian, use this nut in their cooking. In Europe you can find vendors on the street corners during the fall, roasting these for shoppers. To harvest them you have to make sure that you are not using the Horse Chestnut (these can make you sick), the correct ones are like a big sharp, fuzzy looking pod. Once the pod falls from the tree you can step on the pod to have the nut pop out. Then take the biggest ones and cut them with an ‘x’ on the outside (to prevent them from bursting in the oven) and then roast them for 25 minutes at 400 degrees, you can then eat the yellow meat inside. You can even cook them in the microwave! There are lots of other ways to enjoy these naturally delicious nuts and you can find more recipes on the Nella Farms’ website. You can even order them on-line. Check them out this weekend for their annual Chestnut Roast at their farm in Hood River, taking place both Saturday and Sunday between noon and 4pm.