Happy Memorial Day! This weekend is the unofficial start of the summer season. We are looking forward to some more great gardening days ahead. Even though the spring is winding down, there is still time to plant some new flowering additions to your garden and also get some veggies in the ground as well. A lot of plant sales and tours are still happening and this weekend marks one of our favorites. The Inviting Vines Tour. This year the tour features a little afternoon tea with Judy and William. Check out our story below for all the details.
Also a couple of things are coming up for the 8th of June. On that Saturday we will be having our annual Subaru Garden Dayz event at Capitol Subaru in Salem between 11am and 3pm. There are lots of garden vendors, prizes, kids’ stuff and artists that will be there. Check out our website page for details.
The second thing happening on the 8th of June is a slight, and temporary, time change in the show. Normally we are seen at 9am on Fox 12 Plus every Saturday morning. On the 8th we will be moved to 7am because of Soccer and the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade. Be sure to tune in a little earlier, or watch to show by checking out our link on the Garden Time website.
This week we featured...
Blooming Junction Shade Trees
The summer is coming and it could be a hot one! Short of buying an expensive air conditioner, you can use your garden to help cool your house. All you need is a shade tree! To learn about the benefits of a shade tree we stopped by Blooming Junction (503-681-4646) to talk to Ron. Shade trees are great for giving shade either to protect your home or can even be used to create shady spaces in your garden so you can expand your plant selections to include shade loving plants. If you are using a shade tree to provide cooling for your home you will want to locate a southwest corner of your yard so the shade can protect your home during the hottest part of the day. In choosing a tree remember to choose a deciduous tree, one that will lose its leaves in the winter, is the best choice. In the summer the leaves provide you with shade and in the winter the lack of leaves will allow the sun to warm your home. Plus, most of the shade trees on the market will also reward you with blooms, texture or color (especially fall color) at other times during the year.
Ron had picked out a few trees for us to look at. The first one was the Raywood Ash. This tree will get about 40 feet tall. It has a fine textured foliage that provides a dappled shade and it turns a purplish, red in the fall. The next tree was the Tupalo, also known as the Nyssa sylvatica. This one was the variety ‘Wildfire’. These are great in the spring and summer because their new growth has a red tinge to the leaves, and in the fall you get a bright red color to the leaves! The third tree was the Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea). It has some yellow fall color, but this one is better known as a tree that gets big and is fast growing, so it can fill a large space pretty quickly. We then moved to a couple of smaller shade trees. One was a flowering Crabapple called ‘Brandywine’. This one has small, beautiful rose shaped blooms that are a lovely shade of pink. In fact, a lot of your fruiting trees like pears, cherries and others make great small space trees. The final one we saw was the Styrax Japonica, or Japanese Snowbell, called ‘Fragrant Fountain’. This one is loaded with blooms right now and like the name says, it has a fabulous fragrance.
When planting your tree you will have to prepare a nice large hole with amended soil and you will need to deeply water it for the entire summer until the rains return next fall. This will help it get established and won’t stress the plant out during those hot summer days. If you would like to see a great selection of shade trees, stop by Blooming Junction on the west side of the valley near Cornelius.
Portland Nursery – Rose Festival Rose
The Rose Festival is here! This annual celebration of the rose is a tradition in Portland and it is marked by tons of activities. One of the significant events is the introduction of the Rose Festival Rose. This year the rose is called ‘Sun Showers’ and is a beautiful floribunda rose that has apricot, peach and pink rose petals. The only place to find this rose is at either Portland Nursery (503-231-5050) locations. We met with Sara to get introduced to this beauty. The rose is hardy for our area and will grow to a 5 foot tall bushy plant, covered with blooms. The best part is that $2 from every purchase will go to the Rose Festival Foundation. If you would like to add a little piece of the Rose Festival to your garden, be sure to check out the rose, Sun Showers, at Portland Nursery.
Van Essen New Introductions
Occasionally we visit local growers to see what is new and exciting with varieties of plants. These growers keep their fingers on the pulse of industry and are the first to see trends as they appear. To see some newer introduction of plants we stopped by Van Essen Nursery to talk to Ken who is tasked with finding and growing these newer introductions. We met him in their wonderful display garden. There we found some incredible lupines! These were from the ‘Westcountry’ series of plants. These newer varieties were made for our climate and conditions. They come in a huge selection of color combinations and were unbelievably tall! Judy loved the variety ‘Manhattan Lights’, but there were others like ‘Red Rum’ and ‘Desert Sun’ which were also striking. We then move to another part of the garden to see a couple of lavenders. The newer one was a tiny one called ‘Wee One’ which stays around 8 to 10 inches instead of the larger variety called ‘Big Time Blue’ which gets from 15 to 20 inches tall. Both are loaded with blooms but ‘Wee One’ is perfect for those smaller gardens. Black Lace Elderberry is a popular Sambucus for gardeners. The black foliage and bright pink blooms are a great contrast in the garden. The newest version is a major improvement on that old favorite. Instead of taking over your garden, the newer variety called ‘Black Tower’, is more upright and stays compact. It is great for tight spots in your landscape or even in a container. Another plant that can get big in the garden is the Manzanita. Van Essen had a newer one called ‘Panchito’ which, once again, stays smaller, around 18 inches to 24 inches tall. It loves dry shade and takes heat well once it is established. These plant are not only great for the western side of the Cascades, this one will perform well on the east side as well. Great for the Bend, Redmond, and Prineville areas! Speaking of shorter versions of popular plants, viburnums are also known to get big, but when you have one called ‘Mini Man’ you know you have one that bucks that trend. This one stays around 5 feet tall instead of the 12 foot height of its parent plant. It gets creamy flowers in the spring and provides great texture in the garden the rest of the year.
The next plant was a great improvement on an old variety. Ilex (holly) ‘Mademoiselle’ has great new foliage that starts out with a chocolaty color and then turns to a dark green. The best part is that it stays soft! The foliage won’t poke you like other holly’s. This one does get large, about 12 feet tall and 6 feet wide, but it has good berries and good fall color too. The final plant we looked at was a laurel called ‘Chestnut Hill’. This one doesn’t get the shot-hole virus that older varieties used to get and it stays compact too, so it will work well in a container. If you would like to find some of these plants you can check with your local garden center or go to the Van Essen website and check out their list of local retailers here.
We have often talked about growing your own fruits and vegetables in your garden, but did you know that mushrooms are also great when you grow your own! We heard about a local grower that is not just a supplier of great mushrooms, but they can also set you up with supplies to grow your own. The Mushroomery is located in Lebanon, Oregon and we met with co-owner Jennifer in her vegetable garden to learn more. She was in her garden to show us that you can grow both, mushrooms and veggies at the same time! In the garden beds they had planted their annual crop of vegetables and in the walkways they had spread inoculated bricks of sawdust. These bricks were inoculated with spores of new mushrooms. These sawdust bricks help keep the weeds down, provide nutrients to the vegetable seedlings and produce mushrooms! It is a true soil partnership! We also found out that some mushrooms like ‘Garden Giant’ are also perennials so they can keep producing for you for many years to come.
We then moved to their indoor facility where they grow even more exotic mushrooms! These rooms are where they can control temperature, humidity, light, and fresh air. This allows them to grow some really cool varieties like pink oyster and golden oyster among others. They supply some local stores in the area, but you can always find them at the Beaverton Farmers Market, or the famers markets in Eugene and Corvallis. Also, in addition to their website, they update their Facebook page quite often. Look for them for some great mushrooms or the materials to grow your own at home. They are delicious!
Inviting Vines Tour 2019
One of the best collection of plants in the US is right here in the metro area. The Rogerson Clematis Collection is located at Luscher Farm in Lake Oswego and contains lots of beautiful clematis that you can’t find anywhere else! To help fund the care and maintenance of this collection they annually host the Inviting Vines tour. In the past this tour took visitors on a trek to see many outstanding gardens around the area and sometimes that included a lot of time in the car to get from one garden to another. This year the 4 gardens on the tour are close together, just minutes by car between them! We met with the owners of two of the gardens with Phyllis McCanna from the Rogerson Garden. The first garden was at the home of Dayle, a gardener who fell in love with clematis because of her friendship with Phyllis. She has a large lot in Lake Oswego, but it is not full of clematis… yet! There is a wide assortment of plants that are paired with more and more clematis every year. It contains winding grass alleys that take you to different parts of the garden. There are garden areas that have also been adapted to handle a lot of moisture due to the slope of the garden. It was stunning. The second garden belonged to Sue and it was a huge acreage! Sue was not a big gardener and she worked with designer Lucy Hardiman to give her garden some soft ‘lady curves’ to accent the straight lines of her home. A stroll around this garden not only showcases groups of great plants and color, but also strategically placed garden highlights and structures. Of course after you have visited the 4 private gardens you can stop by the Clematis collection at Luscher as well. It is a day full of beautiful blooms!
The Tour is happening this Saturday the 25th from 10am to 4pm. You can get your tickets at the display garden at Luscher Farm or from a list of garden centers on their website, including Dennis 7 Dees in Lake Oswego, Al’s Garden and Home in Sherwood and Wilsonville, Kordell’s in West Linn and Garden Fever among others. This year there was a morning session featuring Maurice Horne from Joy Creek Nursery, and there is an afternoon tea session with our own William and Judy. The morning session may be done, but you can still get tickets for the tour and the afternoon tea! Check out the Collection’s website for more information.
Vibrant Sky Glassworks
Spring is the time to bring in those garden blooms for your home, but to do that you need a vase. To see some really cool vases we stopped by the studios of Vibrant Sky Glassworks. There we met with Rosalind Cooper the artist. She has been working with glass for a long time and has specialized in fused glass in the last few years. She took the name for her studio from her work that recreates the vibrant skies she enjoys around her neighborhood. She creates these masterpieces by sometimes firing and combining glass pieces to make wonderful works of art. She makes not only great vases, but also plates, coaster, bowls, jewelry and other larger pieces.
If you would like to learn more about her products you can check her out in Yachats this weekend at the Crafts on the Coast event. You can also check out other events and see pieces of her work at her Facebook page.
Bonide Blackberry and Horse Tail Product
Blackberries and Horsetail are the curse of the Northwest gardener. We found a product that will take care of them both. Tom from Bonide introduced us to Stump-out, Stump and Vine Killer. This product can be painted on these nasty bushes and other noxious plants and vines to remove them for good! Using this product should always be used after reading and following all label directions. Try it today and get rid of those invasive plants for good!
Grimm’s New Compost Facility
Compost is the cornerstone of the Northwest garden. A quality compost is the key to healthy and thriving plants. Grimm’s Fuel (503-636-3623) has always been the source of great composts and mulches for decades! Now they are taking the next step that will make a great product even better! Jeff Grimm took us on a tour of their new compost facility. This state of the art facility will not only speed up the process of making compost, but it will create a better atmosphere for beneficial bugs to break down the yard debris that they recycle. This system will control air and temperature so that the microbes that control decomposition will work more efficiently. That means better compost, quicker, with less smell! They are producing 10 percent of their total output now, and are looking at being at 90 percent by August.
So if you are looking for a great compost you already know the place to call, Grimm’s!
Hot Tubs and the Garden
If you are considering a hot tub or spa for your home you probably have a lot of questions, I know we did. So we met with Kim from Pacific Hot Tub Solutions (503-498-5617) to see if we could get some of those questions answered. The new styles of hot tubs are really loaded with lots of toys! You can get a bunch of features with tubs these days; from massagers and different seating configurations to cool lighting patterns and wireless music, there are so many things to choose from. The best thing is the ease of installation and maintenance. You don’t need much to install a new tub. Some of the newer tubs just need a secure platform (you can even put them on an existing deck) and a regular electrical outlet. Some will require a larger power requirement based on the number of jets you are using. As far as maintenance, you don’t have to load up on chlorine either. There are new products that are safer and easy to use. Clearwater Spas puts a multiple layer of water care and treatment into their tubs. UV light, Ozone, ion technology and a magnetic field work in combination to help maintain the quality of your water.
We then moved to the swim spas in another part of the store. Here we found the swim spas they had to offer. These are the big daddys! These offer not just the intimacy of a regular hot tub, but also the ability to have resistance training for exercise. You can have the ability to exercise without digging a big pit in your garden for a traditional in ground pool. It is a much cheaper option! If you are looking to add a hot tub to your yard or garden and you have questions. Be sure to check out Pacific Hot Tub Solutions to get all your questions answered!
TOW - Measuring Tools
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!