June! Just savor that for right now. We are a few days away from the formal start of summer and the weather is finally getting warm, and we are out of May! The cold spring is behind us and now we can just enjoy the sun and warmth! Enjoy.
A great way to enjoy all this great weather is to come to the 4th annual Subaru Garden Dayz event at Capitol Subaru today, June 3rd, between 11am and 3pm. We will have nearly a dozen garden vendors at the Subaru location on the parkway in Salem for your late spring plant shopping. We will be giving away plants, seeds, hotdogs, sodas and we'll have half hourly drawings for gift cards too! This year we also have a kids planting area with the help of our friends at Black Gold. Have the kids stop by and they can plant up a little pot with sweet pea seeds to take home and grow. There is just too much fun happening for one location!
This week we featured...
Hughes Lotus Bowl
Have you ever heard of having water plants and regular garden plants in one container? We hadn't either, until we got a call from Eamonn Hughes of Hughes Water Gardens (503-638-1709)! In the past Eamonn has shown us how to build a simple water bowl with a fountain in it. This time we returned to learn about his 'surf and turf' special. What we are talking about is combining a water plant, a lotus, and a regular garden planter in one pot. First Eamonn showed us a container that had soil inside of it. In the center there was a space for a bowl that would hold a small lotus plant. Lotus are very hardy for our area, but because of the small amount of water in the bowl, will need protection in extreme cold. The larger container had a hole in the bottom for drainage of the terrestrial plants we would be using. We placed the bowl in the center and then started to add plants around it. These plants don't have to be water plants because we treat the rest of the container as if it were a regular planter. Once everything is planted he added hazelnut shells as a top dressing. This blended the water bowl into the terrestrial plantings quite nicely. It was done in less than 15 minutes! It is a great way to enjoy the best of both worlds, a planter with container and water plants. Now, as we mentioned, at the end of the season you will want to move the lotus inside on the coldest of days below freezing, but other than that this plater should be one to enjoy for years. If you are near Hughes you can stop by and pick up all the supplies to build your own Lotus bowl.
Subaru Garden Dayz Vendors
As we mentioned earlier, it is time for another Subaru Garden Dayz! We are at Capitol Subaru in Salem on the Parkway. There are nearly a dozen vendors at the dealership today and lots of fun activities happening. To get a feel for the plants and other things available we stopped by a couple of the vendors to see what they will be bringing. We first went to Wavra Farms. Diane talked to Judy about the great hanging baskets they will have available. These baskets are low maintenance and beautiful! Plus, Diane will have a limited bunch of helmet planters there as well. These are hanging baskets made from helmets from the Aumsville Fire Department. They are using the funds to replace their old helmets with newer models! What a great way to support the fire department and get an unusual hanging basket at the same time!
We then moved to Garden Gallery Iron Works. Don Sprague joined William to talk about planters, especially the rusted metal planters. These are great for flowers or vegetables. In fact, it is not too late to get your veggies in the ground. Just put them in these planters and the retained heat from the metal sides will give them a jump start for the season! Garden Gallery will also have a nice selection of trellises, garden stakes and even some of the whirly bird stakes for your garden.
These are just 2 of the great vendors at the event. Stop by for your late spring plant shopping and walk away with something great!
Portland Nursery Bonsai Event
Bonsai is a wonderful art. Each plant becomes a microcosm of a miniature landscape. It can become a hobby that can consume you if you get bitten by the 'bonsai' bug. It can also be very intimidating for the beginner. To help people understand how easy it can be we stopped by Portland Nursery (503-788-9000) to get some tips from Sara about how to get started and what tools were involved. First she showed us a bunch of different plants that you can bonsai. Most of these were varieties that were bred to be dwarf or miniature plants. There are a wide assortment of evergreen plants or even deciduous varieties. You will want to take your time in choosing the right plant since bonsai is not a short term hobby. It is recommended that beginners start with a juniper, pine, hornbeam or a maple. Those are the most common and the easiest to work with. You will then want to choose a pot that is the right size for your plant. Soil is very important and there are special bonsai mixes that provide the right nutrients and drain well so your plant doesn't end up sitting in too much moisture. Tools come next. You will need a good pruning scissors. Since most of your pruning will be done on small limbs and branches these are very important. Next is a small hand rake. This helps with raking the soil, weeding and straightening the roots when you replant your bonsai. It is also recommended that you get a carrying case for these tools so you don't misplace them. Wire is also useful when training your plant's growth. This can help shape your bonsai to gain a more statuesque appearance. If this interests you, you should stop by the Portland Nursery location on Division next Saturday for their big bonsai event. On June 10th from 10am to 3pm you can learn about bonsai from the bonsai society and even enter your own bonsai for prizes. There will be lots of bonsai experts there to answer your questions. You can also enter YOUR bonsai to win some great prizes. Be sure to check out the Portland Nursery website for more information on this great event!
Berries Brews and BBQ
It is berry time at French Prairie Gardens (503-633-8445). We met up with Stacy in the greenhouse to talk about the great event starting this weekend. First, we had to talk about this past spring. It was cold and wet, and that means strawberries for the home gardener may not have performed as well as they would have liked. The key for berry success is good drainage, early fertilizer and patience! Then we switched gears to the event for this year! The Berries, Brews and BBQ event is happening over the next 3 weekends at the farm. The admission is free for the farm, and so is the parking. You simply pay to play, eat, or drink whatever you would like and once you get in you can find tons to do for the whole family. If you are into brews and ciders, they will have nearly over 30 different kinds on each weekend for you to try. If you like fresh berries the fields will be open for u-picks, or you can get some fresh berries in the store and if you like BBQ they will have an assortment of different BBQed meats for you to try too. Of course they will have the farm animals out for visitors, slides, hand-pump duck races and tractor wagon rides for the family. Stop by and enjoy a day in the country with the best tastes of the season.
Planting Hardy Fuchsias
It is hard to think of fuchsias being hardy. Most of us think about the fuchsias in our hanging baskets as being tender and susceptible to frost, but there are other varieties that are very hardy for our area. Mark of Little Prince of Oregon is growing and distributing some really great 'hardy' varieties of this plant and we met up with him at Sebright Gardens to talk about them. Hardy fuchsias are different than your trailing types you would find in your hanging baskets. Those are very tender and most will not survive the winter without protection. The hardy type go right into the ground and will survive from year to year with just a little maintenance. The key to success with hardy fuchsias is to bury them deep when planting them. They are like tomatoes and can have the crown of the plant buried in nice, well-drained soil. This will allow the plant to grow a nice root mass that will help them survive those cold Northwest winters. Mark had one that he wanted to plant to show people how deep they should go. This one called 'Golden Herald' had a golden foliage and would look good in any garden. Mark buried this one with 2/3's of the foliage underground! Given a growing season, it will be a wonderful addition to any garden for years to come. 3 other varieties that he had to showcase were 'Cambridge Louie', 'Delta's Sarah' and one from some dear friends of the show, Ron and Debbie Monnier. That one is called DebRon's 'Smokey Blues', this is also a dark colored one with more hints of blue on parts of the flower. If you follow Mark's planting instructions, you will have these in your garden for many seasons.
To find the nearest garden center that sells Little Prince plants you can always check their website.
Stenzel Healing Garden
There is nothing like the feeling of walking through a garden. Legacy Health realized that this feeling is not only good for the soul, it is also great for the body. To learn how they use the garden as a therapy we stopped by Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center and visited with Teresia Hazen, the head of the therapy gardens in the Legacy system. Legacy has 12 therapeutic gardens at their hospitals, that serve the public and the all the employees in their system. We were at the Stenzel Therapy Garden where it all began for Legacy nearly 20 years ago! This garden, like most therapeutic gardens, focuses on the 5 senses. Teresia talked about the garden and how it uses plants and structures that feed those 5 senses. The various plantings, structures and containers create a stunning display that is fun to see and enjoy. There is really no place in the garden where you can't sit and enjoy the beautiful plantings. This area is great for visitors and patients alike. In fact we found a patient watering plants as part of her recovery, next to employees enjoying a lunch break.
This garden was one of the first in the country that was solely dedicated to therapy and healing. 20 years ago there were not many that existed and they weren't even called healing gardens at that time. Now, it is a 'must have' piece of any therapy program. The 20th year is cause for celebration! In fact all this summer there are events happening at the Stenzel Garden to enjoy. You can join the Legacy team on these dates to enjoy garden tours, raffle prizes, therapeutic garden information, pet therapy and more.
Tuesday, June 6, 11:30am - 1:00pm
Tuesday, July 24, 4:00pm - 7:00pm
Tuesday, August 15, 11:30am - 1:00pm
Saturday, August 26, 10:00am - 1:00pm
If you would like to check out any of these gardens, you can check out the Legacy website that is devoted to them at http://www.legacyhealth.org/gardens. If you would like to volunteer to help maintain these jewels of healing, you can contact Teresia through that website. Stop by and take a moment to do a little 'self' healing at one of these gardens. You won't regret it.
Cooking with Peas
Peas are one of the surefire vegetable plants of the spring. If you can grow anything in the spring garden and be successful, it is peas. Barb Randall, who writes the 'Lifting the Fork' column for the Pamplin Media Group of newspapers, joined William at Luscher Farms in Lake Oswego to share a couple of great recipes that incorporate peas! The first one was a pea butter. This is a delicious recipe that adds lots of peas to a butter that you can use as a spread or for cooking. William enjoyed it on a cracker with radishes, cucumbers and some flower petal garnish.
Then we moved to the stove for the next recipe. This was a three green salad, made with peas. Barb told us that you could use any 3 greens, but right now we are lovin the peas! We had snap peas which were being cut into smaller pieces. Then we also had snow peas which were just washed and shelled peas which were also washed. These were steamed in a pan on the stove. The snap peas went in first because they were the thickest. Then the snow peas, then the shelled peas. Once they were done we had them in a bowl and added the pea butter to the mix. They were set aside.
Then we moved to the main course for this story, a pea and shrimp pasta. First we put our pasta in the hot water to boil. Then we added garlic to a hot pan with olive oil. Then we added precooked ham from Olympic Provisions. This was warmed and then we added shelled peas to marinate with the ham and garlic. After a few minutes we added a little cream to simmer for a few more minutes on a medium heat. This will coat with the pasta later. Then we put in a about a half a cup of parmesan cheese and a half a pound of pre-cooked shrimp and some chopped parsley. The pasta was then combined and we plated it all and served. You had a wonderful pea and shrimp pasta with a side dish of 3 green (pea) salad and some pea butter for flavoring! What could be better?
You can find more from Barb each week in the Pamplin Media papers in Lake Oswego and West Linn, or more information about Barb at www.BarbaraSmithRandall.com.
Pest Patrol-Spittle Bug
Our pest this week really isn't a pest. It's more of a nuisance. The spittle bug is easy to find at the base of branches on your smaller shrubs and plants. It's easily identified by the ball of spit in which it lives. What is interesting about the spittle bug is that is does no real damage to your plants. If the spit bothers you simply wash it away with a hose.
TOW - Tool Handle Measuring Stick
Our tip of the week is about making your tools do double duty. When you buy a plant or plant seeds a lot of the tags will tell you to keep the new plants separated by a distance to make sure they have room to grow. Most of us don't carry around a measuring tape to make sure we keep those distances, so why not make your long handled tools be the measuring tape? Simply make marks on your handle at 6 inches intervals and then all you have to do is lay your tool down to measure the distance and you can plant without worries!