Happy first week of Spring! Remember last week when I told everyone that we still have cold days to come? Well, welcome to those days! It has turned cold again, with some of our viewers getting a few flakes as well! Not to worry those signs of spring are still out there. Including the Jumpstart event happening at Bauman’s this weekend and the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, and don’t forget GardenPalooza happening in just two weeks. There are plenty of things to be optimistic about.
While we get ready for GardenPalooza, we are also doing our taxes and planning on a refund. If you are getting a refund, you may want to use part of it to join us on our next Garden Time tour. We have just a few seats left for this dream trip to Europe which takes place in August. Check out our tour link on the Garden Time website.
This week we featured...
Bauman’s Spring Garden Jumpstart
Spring has finally arrived and Bauman’s Farm and Garden is ready to celebrate. We met with Brian to see how they are marking the beginning of the season. Brian told us that they named their event Garden Jumpstart and filled it with classes and sales to help you get everything ready for the warmer weather. Classes include presentations by Kellogg Soil products, Bailey Nursery, Espoma, Monrovia and Youngblood Nursery. Each of these classes will also have an associated product or plant with it. These featured items will be discounted, or on sale.
In addition, the store is full of other great plants and products for spring. You can also enjoy fresh vegetables, baked goods and even some of their delicious cider. Check out their website and then head over to Bauman’s and get your spring off to a great start.
GGIW - GardenPalooza Prize
Garden Gallery Iron Works (800-452-5266) is a longtime supporter of GardenPalooza and they have provided a number of great giveaways over the years. This year is no different. Don and his crew have been building custom iron works for gardeners for decades and one of their most popular items is up for grabs for one lucky attendee. Garden Gallery is offering a raised bed with an attached trellis for the annual GardenPalooza drawing. This metal raised bed has a retail value of $500. You can enter at the Garden Time booth or the Garden Gallery Iron Works booth on the day of GardenPalooza. At the GGIW booth you can also pick up a $10 coupon that can be spent at their retail store in Hubbard, just minutes from the GardenPalooza event.
Stop by and enter to win!
The first flower of spring for most people is the daffodil! Most of us grew up with the standard ‘King Alfred’ flower, the tall bright yellow bloom that trumpeted the start of the gardening season, but there are so many more varieties out there now and that is due to the efforts of a group of hybridizers. One of those hybridizers is Kevin Vaughn, a good friend of the show. He starts with a couple of varieties that are known and then crosses the pollen to produce seeds and then spends years growing them to maturity to see if he has a winner or not. And it does take years! The first year the seeds look like thin pieces of grass, then the second year they look like thicker pieces of grass, but a couple years after that they start to bloom. One of the latest trends in the daffodil field is the breeding of ‘Split cup’ daffodils. This means that the center ‘trumpet’ of the flower actually is ‘split’ and opens up like the outside petals to create a wide multicolored bloom. They look incredible! Kevin is also working on the standard type of daffodil too. He is looking for brighter colors, fragrances and stronger shapes.
Since he is a breeder, you can’t buy his bulbs right now, but stay tuned to our show and website and when they become available for retail purchasing we will let you know.
Small Fruit Planting
It used to be that if you wanted to have fresh fruit in your garden you needed to have a lot of area and set up elaborate supports to keep the vines and canes off the ground. Those days are gone. Now, with new introductions of plants, you can find smaller varieties of fruiting plants that don’t need all the space or supports. To take a look at some of them we stopped by Tsugawa Nursery (360-225-8750) in Woodland to talk with Brian Tsugawa. We met at a raised bed in the middle of the nursery to check out 3 different plants and learn why they are great for smaller gardens. The first plant we looked at was a blueberry, ‘Bountiful Blue’. This berry is semi-evergreen has a great small habit that makes it great for containers or in a garden bed. It also has a nice crop of berries during the summer. The second plant was a raspberry. In the past we have done stories on raspberries in the garden and they required posts and wires and lots of support, but these newer varieties can be grown in a much smaller space and without the posts and wires. The new ‘Raspberry Shortcake’ is a great performer for the smaller gardens. Raspberries need great drainage and that makes this variety wonderful for containers. Finally we saw a blackberry called ‘Babycakes’. This one does get a little taller than the raspberry and it may need a little support, but you could give it all that it needs by just using a tomato cage!
Of course you will want to give them a great start with a great garden soil, and a starter fertilizer. For the blueberry you will want to use an acid based fertilizer, since they love acidic soils! For more great fruiting plants for small spaces, you can stop by Tsugawa’s or your local independent garden center.
Natural Easter Egg Dye
Easter is a week away and it is time to dye those Easter eggs, but this year we decided we needed to add a little twist so we stopped by Geranium Lake Flowers (503-228-1920) to get some ideas from one of the most creative people we know, Kim Foren. She brought out her recipe for ‘botanical inspired’ Easter eggs. These eggs are made by using onion skins or beets to create a dye. First you need to get some raw, unboiled eggs. Then you take some small, pressed flowers and foliage from your garden and then hold them in place with a small piece of nylon. You pull the nylon tight over the egg (don’t break the egg) and tie it tight with zip-tie or string. Then you boil the water with vinegar and the onion skins in the water bath. After it boils about 10 minutes you pull the egg out and let it cool down. After it cools, cut off the nylon and rub a little vegetable oil on it to give it a sheen and you are done. People will be amazed how great they look and they add a great touch to your holiday table! You can find the step-by-step directions here: You can find the step-by-step directions here.
Tip of the Week – Floating Hellebore Blooms
In the late winter leading up to spring it is hard to enjoy the colors of your outdoor plants. To help you enjoy them, bring them indoors. Winter blooming plants like hellebores are even more difficult to enjoy because the flowers sometime face down to the ground. One way to enjoy them is to cut the blooms and float them in a bowl of water. This way the blooms are facing upwards and, because they are in water, you can enjoy their beauty for a week or two.