What to think…? The election is done, and people are either celebrating or in turmoil; it can be a tough time for some, but the one thing that is constant is the garden! Please take some time this week and wander your garden. There is nothing like a walk in the garden to refresh your soul and the weather has been warm enough on some days that you don’t even need a jacket. The garden doesn’t bow to political winds. It is totally reliant on the soil, sun and weather for all its needs. The garden is forgiving and totally understanding!
And speaking of done… we are nearly done with our 11th season of Garden Time. We are just a couple weeks away from our last show for 2016 on November 26th. Not to worry though, we are putting our schedule together for our return in March of 2017 for our 12th season. If you want to stay in touch with us while we are away you will want to sign up for ‘Garden Time’ magazine. It’s free and it comes to your e-mail box every month! Sign up here.
This week we featured...
The holidays are starting to gear up and that means it is time to decorate! One thing that gets everyone into a holiday mood is decorating with fresh greens and that includes holly. We are blessed with a bunch of local holly growers so we know our holly is fresh when we pick it up at our local garden center. One of the nicest local growers is Olson Farms. Just east of Salem, we had visited Olson Farms a few years ago to see their peach growing operation. We met with Stuart Olson in one of their holly fields to talk about the holly plant. At Olson Farms they grow only 2 types of holly commercially. One type is a dark green and the other has a variegated leaf. The holly plant needs a male plant to pollinate the female plants so you can get those great red berries. We also found out that they only harvest the plants every other year. That allows the plant 2 years to product great leaves and berries.
We then moved over to the main house where Monique showed us how easy it is to decorate with holly. You can just insert holly boughs into other greens, or even use them in floral arrangements. The key is to treat them as you would a regular cut flower. That means they will dry out like a regular flower would, so you may need to replace them in your decorations. Of course, they will last a little longer than your regular flowers, and they won’t wilt, but they will still need to be replaced. Olson Farms is a grower, wholesaler, so you can’t buy greens from them, but they do supply to florists and stores. They recommend that you go to your local garden center to find the freshest holly for your holiday decorating.
Timber Press Holiday Books
With the coming of winter we will all be missing our time, outside, in the garden, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get your fill of gardening. Books are great for those long cold winter days. To see what is new in garden books we stopped by Timber Press and met with Tom. He had pulled out a great selection of 5 different books to share. The first book was called ‘Nature’s Temples, the complex world of old growth forests’ by Joan Maloof. Joan is a biologist and an avid protector of old growth forests. She tells us how rich and complex these old growth ecosystems are. She covers everything from insects to birds, and all the different plants that make up the ecosystem. In addition to covering why these forests are good for the environment she also talks about how they affect people. A great read if you love the outdoors. The second book was ‘Wildlife Spectacles, mass migration, mating rituals and other fascinating animal behaviors’ by Vladmir Dinets. As the title suggests this book covers the natural phenomena of different animal behaviors. One cool part is the including of the Vaux’s Swifts that roost at Chapman Elementary during the late summer during their annual migration. This book is loaded with pictures, but the best part is that it includes a section telling you where you can see these behaviors for yourself. The third book is one for the crafty person in your life. ‘Plant Craft, 30 projects that add style to your home’ by Caitlin Atkinson is a step by step, do it yourself book of great projects that feature plants. From small wall hangings and ceiling pendants to wreaths, swags and table top displays, there is a project that you will definitely fall in love with! The fourth book was ‘The Bold Dry Garden, lessons from the Ruth Bancroft Garden’ by Johanna Silver. This book is a wonderful book about the Garden and also a tribute to the designer, Ruth Bancroft. Ruth is now 108 and still working in the garden. It is a masterpiece on how to use dryland plants in garden design. Ruth experimented with tons of different plants and used them in various ways to create a stunning display. It even includes some of her notes on the different plants she experimented with. Finally, we were introduced to ‘Garden Flora, the natural and cultural history of the plants in your garden’, by Noel Kingsbury. This book is full of fascinating stories on all the most popular garden plants, where they came from, how they have changed and why some have stayed popular and others have not. You will notice some of your old favorites and some that are no longer on the market. If you love plants, you will love this book!
These are just a few of the great books that are available from Timber Press, for more great titles and to purchase these selections, check out their website.
GGIW Holiday Party
The holidays are here. The kickoff for most people happens after Halloween (though some start a little sooner!) and that means it is time to start your shopping for everyone in the family, including you! All of our garden center and nursery friends are having their open houses over the next month and we start the fun at Garden Gallery Iron Works (800-452-5266) in Hubbard. Don met us in their huge showroom to talk about the HOT items for the holidays. We started in their ‘Farmhouse Style’ area of the store. It is full of vintage and faux antique items. Most of these items are not only good for the holidays, but can be wonderful additions to your home all year long. We also looked at their new hanging baskets. These were cute circular baskets that could be decorated for any occasion. They are full of Christmas decorations now, but could be changed with just a few greens, flowers or candles.
Next we moved to another part of the store to see the rustic tree (one of 12) that they have on display. This tree was loaded with decorative pine cones which were great all by themselves. Don also mentioned the great wreaths that they are making this year. They have different designs to choose from and you can even order them on-line and have them shipped to you (or someone you love). Or you can order yours this Saturday if you stop by the store for their annual Holiday Open House. They are having a big party on Saturday from 9 to 4 with gift ideas, décor items and refreshments. There will be a gift for the first 50 people and discounts off your entire purchase. It’s a great way to kick off your holiday shopping!
Terra Casa Holiday
The Christmas season can be merry and bright! You just need to stop by Terra Casa (503-577-8242) in Damascus. We did and talked to Diana about all the great holiday lights they have to offer. She started by showing us the flame-less candles that they were using in their lanterns and candelabras. These are great because they are safe and just need new batteries every once in a while. What is new this year are the LED lights. These are tiny strands of lights in white, blue, red or green and are so small that you can actually insert them into glass ornaments for a cool visual effect. They also had them intertwined in some of their iron displays and other gifts. Right next to those little lights were some ‘water motion’ lights. These had actual water in them that was moving around and it looked like sparkling showers, a modern day lava lamp! Another cool light that can take you back to a more traditional look were clip on candle lights that you can clip on to your tree, or anywhere you want. These were not only cool, they were operated by remote control. Diana also told us about the new pendant lights that look like ornaments, that you can hang just about anywhere. Finally, we saw some of the smoked/frosted glass vases and lanterns with various scenes on them. They had lights on the inside and they just seemed to glow!
These were just a few of the special lights that they had for your holiday decorating. For more decorating ideas and other great Christmas gifts, stop by Terra Casa and check out all the cool stuff for indoors or out.
Winter Tree Problems
The wind, rain and possible snow of the coming winter can mean trouble for your large landscape trees. How can you tell if your trees are healthy enough for all that mother natural has to offer? We sought out some tips from arborist Logan Collier from Bartlett Tree Experts (503-72ARBOR, 503-722-7267) and asked him for some signs we can look for. Logan took us to an area near West Linn to check out a couple of trees. He told us that you should check your trees from the ground up. Look for damaged roots, trunk and canopies. He showed us a large maple that had lost a few big branches. He said that an arborist should check out this tree to make sure that there wasn’t any decay or disease that could weaken it even more. We then moved to a multiple-trunked tree that could lose one of its trunks due to rot and decay at its base or between the 2 main leaders. We also saw a tree that had a bunch of dead branches and one that had fungal conks (a sign of possible internal disease). Those are just a few of the 8 signs that you should look for in a dangerous tree. Other signs included weakly attached branches, cracks in the branches near the trunk, pealing bark and signs of decay or rot. These are the most obvious of signs, but if you are unsure of the safety of your trees you can contact Bartlett. Bartlett even has a brochure that can tell you what else to look for. Logan also emphasizes that you insist on a certified arborist. They are trained to look for the damaged spots and are trained (insured and bonded) to remove the weak tree safely.