Welcome to summer? For a lot of people the Memorial Day weekend was the start of summer and with this weather I can believe it. We are all pretty excited by the warmer temperatures that we are finally getting on a regular basis. These are great days to be out in the garden.
This is also the beginning of Rose Festival. We celebrate the rose on our show by visiting the wonderful rose garden of Rich and Charold Baer. Rich gives us tips on how to pick an award winning rose from your garden. We also learn how you can enter to win in the annual Spring Rose Show at the Lloyd Center.
Also a couple of things are coming up for the 8th of June. Next 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, http://www.gardentime.tv/gardendayz-2019.htm.
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 the show by checking out our link on the Garden Time website.
This week we featured...
Egan Flowering Shrubs
In the spring it is easy to be enchanted by all the beautiful blooms that seem to be popping up out of the ground every day, but for a truly wonderful garden you need to look a little farther, and taller, to flowering shrubs. To get an idea of the variety of plant material out there we stopped by Egan Gardens (503-393-2131) and talked to Ellen Egan. She pulled over a half dozen plants to share with us. The first one was an escallonia named ‘Pride of Donard’. Shiny dark green foliage with small bunches of pink flowers. It is beautiful any time of year. Next we went a little lower with a couple of local favorites. Abelia ‘Francis Mason’ has a bright yellowy/lime foliage with blooms that come in mid-summer that really attract the bees. The other smaller one was the loropetalum or fringe flower. This one was named ‘Zhuzhou’. It was already done blooming for the season with rose colored lacey flowers and is now just covered in dark burgundy leaves that really contrast with the bright yellow abelia. Ellen had also pulled out a couple of hydrangeas. The first was ‘Fire & Ice’ with large white flowers, still to come, and deep red stems for a backdrop to those blooms. The other was the Hydrangea ‘Incrediball’. This one has incredibly large balls of flowers that show up on a larger plant, so you better put this one in an area where it can stretch its legs.
Two other plants that she talked about was the Weigela ‘Czeckmark Trilogy’ with a pink flower that fades to white and stays compact in the garden. The last of the small plants was the heather ‘Irish Lemon’. These are great in the garden for filling in around the taller plants in the garden and rewarding you with foliage color and tiny spikes of blooms too.
If you are looking for a great flowering shrub, stop by Egan Gardens and check them out. If you already have a flowering shrub and want to learn more about pruning it and maintaining it, check out the free class on June 8th at 2pm. It is free but please call to register so they can make plans for the crowd.
The newest and most dangerous pest that has recently come to our area is the Japanese Beetle. This pest will eat just about anything and it is not only a danger to our ornamental flowers and shrubs in our gardens but also to our agriculture in the state. They are known to eat over 300 different plant species in our area! To learn more about this pest we met with Dr. Jessica Rendon, the Japanese Beetle Eradication Specialist from the Oregon Department of Agriculture. We met in the Bethany/Cedar Mill area where almost all of the beetles have been found. This area is north of highway 26 in northwest Portland. Jessica showed us one of the traps that they are using to track the spread of the beetles. This trap had a rose scented lure and a male pheromone lure to help them try to get a good sampling of beetles in the area. Right now the beetles are emerging from their larval stage and will soon begin feeding. The Oregon Department of Agriculture wants us to keep an eye out for these hungry little pests. They are tracking these pests to make sure that they don’t travel outside of the treatment area of Cedar Mill/Bethany. They have been successful in reducing the numbers, but they are only scratching the surface! If you see one let them know. You can go to their webpage at https://www.japanesebeetlepdx.info/, or contact them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to report a sighting or get more information. If you are buying plant material or sharing with friends, make sure that your plants are clean. Once again, for more information, check out the Oregon Department of Agriculture website.
Berries, Brews and BBQ’s 2019
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. The heat of the spring has the berries coming on strong! You can come out and ride the wagon out to the berry field and u-pick your own, or you can stop by the store and buy some already picked.
The Berries, Brews and BBQs 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 over 20 different ciders and brews on each weekend for you to sample. 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. And don’t forget the live music!!! This year they are having music on all weekends, finishing with a big benefit concert supporting the Em’s Fight Foundation! That weekend, Dad’s Weekend, camping is available too! Stop by and enjoy a day in the country with the best tastes of the season.
The Perfect Rose
What are judges looking for when judging roses? We have all seen those blue ribbon winners at the rose shows, but did you know you can pick an award winning rose too, maybe even one from your own garden! We met with Rich Baer from the Portland Rose Society and he told us what makes a perfect rose! Judges look for a number of things; form, stem and foliage, color, substance, and balance and proportion. If you are looking for a winner, you should pay attention to these key areas, but don’t forget the foliage! The rose will be judged on all areas. If you still think you have a winner your chance to prove it is coming up. The Rose Society has their annual Spring Rose Show happening next week at the Lloyd Center. You can bring your rose down on Thursday the 6th between 6:30am and 9:30am to enter. Don’t worry if you don’t know what rose you have or even if you are scared because you have never entered a rose before, there are lots of friendly people who can help you out! Who knows, maybe you have big winner!
This rose event has been happening for over 130 years! It was started by Georgiana Pittock in her backyard all those years ago and that started the beginning of the Rose Festival!
Even if you don’t have a rose to enter, you should come down to the second floor of the Lloyd Center and see some of these great roses on the 6 and the 7th! Help support the Portland Rose Society by entering or just coming down to take a look!
Wavra Artisan Fair
Art can make any place more beautiful! Either indoors or out. Your chance to beautify both is happening today at Wavra Farms and Nursery (503-364-9879) in Salem. Diane joined us to tell us about her 1st ever event. This event takes place today between 9 and 5. You will find artists that specialize in painting, jewelry, ceramics, glass, felting and soap, among others. There is also a ton of food and beverage vendors there so you won’t go hungry. Not forgetting the plants either, Wavra will be offering a hanging basket special of buy 2 baskets and get one free. They also have a huge selection of annuals and perennials to choose from and even their succulent bar too. This is the place to be if you are an art OR plant lover!
Margie’s Strawberry Ice Cream
It’s strawberry season and there is nothing like the taste of fresh berries! Especially if it’s in ice cream. Did you know you can make your own ice cream and you don’t need any special equipment. To get a recipe and learn the method we stopped by Margie’s Farm and Garden (503-866-6123. There she was joined by her 4 kids. Her eldest, Emily, was the master chef for this story. She took an quart sized Ziploc bag (or any sealable storage bag), and added one cup of half and half, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and a half cup of mashed strawberries that had been strained so it reduced the amount of fluid. The bag was then sealed and placed in a larger freezer bag (they had 2 in case of breakage of the smaller bag). The area around the smaller freezer bag was filled with ice and rock salt. This was sealed and then the shaking began! You spend the next 5-8 minutes shaking like crazy. The rock salt and the ice interact and create a super cold mixture (use a towel if you get frozen hands) which freezes the ice cream into a solid form! It was easy and fun, especially if you have 4 kids taking turns! When done, take the small bag out, dry it off and cut of the corner of the bag to squeeze it out!
The Oregon Garden (503-874-8100) is a wonderful place any time of the year. One place that always shines, no matter the season, is the conifer garden. We stopped by and chatted with Doug Wilson, the volunteer curator of the collection. He has been at the garden for way over a decade and he know these plants, and that’s a lot of plants. The conifer garden started with about 300 varieties of trees and now they have a collection that is close to 1,000. Those trees are nicely grouped and most are labeled with the correct names. That is great especially when some of the names we know for a tree may not be true. A good example was where we were standing at the entrance to the garden. There we found some trees which people normally called cedars, but because of the overlapping scales of their foliage, they are actually cypresses. Next to it was a true cedar with small bunches of spiky needles. It was a great lesson in plant ID.
We then walked through the garden and ended up talking about witches brooms. These are not a witchcraft type of subject, but a ‘sport’ that occurs on an existing tree or shrub. A ‘sport’ is a part of a plant that appears completely different than the mother plant. It is a genetically different plant that forms spontaneously. This one looked like a fir tree with a small shrub growing out of the side of it! This is where growers will sometimes find new plants to introduce to the market. You can see weird plants like this and other great conifers at the Garden any time!
This coming week there will be a meeting of fellow conifer lovers as the American Conifer Society descends on the Oregon Garden for their annual meeting. ‘Conefest at the Oregon Garden’ is sure to be a conifer lovers heaven. Though this is a members only event, we’re pretty sure that you can find other conifer fanatics if you were to wander the gardens. If you love conifers, this is the place to be!
Planting a Strawberry Pot
With the push for edibles in the garden the last few years we had the idea of bringing those edibles to your doorstep. We stopped by Portland Nursery on Stark Street (503-231-5050) to get some ideas from Sara about planting strawberries and how to choose a strawberry pot to bring your fruit and vegetables to your deck or patio. First we pulled a strawberry pot out of their inventory, which was no problem with all the pots they have in the garden center. We learned that you need to plant in layers. You don’t just fill the pot full of soil and shove plants in! You fill your pot with soil up to the first holes and then place your plants in and then move to the next layer. We also learned a little bit about strawberries. ‘June-bearing’ gives you one crop. ‘Ever-bearing’ and ‘Day Neutral’ gives you 2 or more good crops of berries through-out the summer if you treat them well. There are a couple of other things that growers do to get a good crop… plant new berries every 3-4 years. For a list of varieties and culture, check out their Fruits and Berries page. You should also maintain good watering and apply fertilizer a couple times a year. Sara had a great idea for making sure that your berries are well watered. She, and General Manager Suzy, had a PVC pipe capped and drilled with holes. This was placed in the center of the pot and would allow for the water to reach all levels of the pot so all the plants would get a drink! Finally, remember that you can plant everything from trees to other fruits and vegetables in pots. Smaller varieties of fruit trees are very popular right now and you can even find single trees with multiple varieties on one trunk. These are great in containers. Sara even told us about people who plant tomatoes in pots on their deck! Sounds like a winner to me!
TOW – Transporting Trees
Our tip of the week is about getting your new trees and tall shrubs home safely from the garden center. The minimum wind speed which is considered the threshold for a tropical storm is a sustained 39 miles per hour. So just driving down the street with your tree standing upright in the back of your truck is beating it up pretty badly. We stopped by Blooming Junction (503-681-4646) and talked to Ron about how to transport your plant safely. He told us that you should always lay your plant down with the top of your plant facing backwards. Most trees have a large stake tied to the tree. You can rest that on the tailgate to prevent any damage to the tree bark. You can then use a couple bags of mulch or compost to hold the plant in place so it doesn’t roll around. So use these tips and your tree will thank you for it.