November 29, 2013
There is still so much color in the garden that it is delightful to walk through it on our brisk mornings. We have had light frosts but the days have been beautiful with the sky clear and blue. We have a fruiting quince tree in our garden and the leaves are now golden yellow as is the fruit. The fruit is like a large apply but very firm and must be cooked in order to make jam. Much of the fruit has fallen and it has a very distinct and sweet fragrance. We always bring a few indoors just for the fragrance.
I have been continuing to add evergreen conifers to my
garden and many of them are the slow growing types that make ideal
container plants. Whereas several years ago my deck would be quite
barren once all the summer color plants were finished,
now it has some plant interest in the winter. Plus the conifers I use
are winter hardy and there is no need to protect them from cold
Here are two that I would recommend.
‘Horstmann’s Silberlocke’ has been in a container on my deck for
two years. What makes this so interesting in the winter is that the
needles slightly curl around the stem and show off their blue with
silver-white undersides. It is a superb winter color
The second plant is Abies koreana ‘Aurea’, often called Golden Korean Fir. It is another of the dwarf or very slow growing types and the needles are lemon yellow and the color seems to intensify in the winter. It is very hardy and will take full sun.
More on conifers later.
November 22, 2013
In my garden this past week, we got our first killing frost and the dahlias, which were blooming earlier in the week, are black and the flowers withered. The tropical red leaf bananas are no longer red, but are turning black like the dahlias.
As I walked out to look at the bananas, something white caught my eye and it was the winter blooming white sasanqua camellia that I have trained on a trellis. Its blooming season is just beginning.
Listener Garden of Margie Butts
In my continuing series of visiting with local home gardeners about their gardens and what makes them unique, my guest on November 23 is Margie Butts in Hillsboro. Margie has created a beautiful garden in the area between the curb and sidewalk.
This is an area in full sun and from the pictures she sent me, it is easy to see this garden is planted with an assortment of perennials which provide a spectacular show of color in the summer.
It is fun to see some of the unique items gardeners use and the wedding dress, complete with hat, in Margie’s garden is a great example of this. She brings it out in June and leaves it up all summer and it is quite a conversation piece. Margie told me that both the garden between the curb and sidewalk and the wedding dress have been a wonderful way to meet neighbors as people don’t just walk by, they stop and talk. We also get a peek at Margie’s back garden.
November 15, 2013
Stink Bugs & Listener Photos of Fall Color and Beaver Damage
Several weeks ago, listener Andrew Schliebe, from Scio, sent me a photo of brown marmorated stink bug nymphs and egg cases on his raspberry leaves. Since receiving his photo, I have been in several conversations with gardeners and nursery people where the subject of this insect has been discussed. I had not realized the damage it causes in areas of the eastern U.S. and the potential threat to Oregon agriculture.
My guest on Saturday, November 16, Pat Mitchell is the Natural Resource Specialist for the Portland Field Office of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Pat will be sharing information on the stink bug issue in Oregon; where it came from, how long has it been here, should it be a concern for us in the Northwest and what are the implications for the backyard gardener.
Listener Photos of Fall Color and Beaver Damage
Cotinus (Smoke Tree) is often planted in gardens here and by heavy pruning it can be easily kept as a shrub. I have Cotinus ‘Golden Spirit’ on my deck in a pot and the leaves stay golden all summer. I have kept it in a pot for many years by pruning back hard in the winter. Janet Livesay sent me a photo of a Cotinus in her garden that has purple leaves and as you can see from the photo, it has some wonderful fall color.
For those of us living in the city, we don’t often think of beaver damage to our plants. However a listener sent me this photo of beaver damage to a tree. There were other photos of trees that had been severed by beavers. This makes me not want to live near a river!
November 9, 2013
Taking Flight Memorial Garden
It is amazing what a few volunteers can do in a short amount of time and while I may be prejudiced, it seems as though if it has to do with gardening, the outpouring of support is even more amazing. West Salem High art teacher, Brenda Hauswirth, (my guest on November 9), often walked past an unused portion of the school grounds that was an eyesore, often vandalized and sometimes cars even drove over it. An idea came to her of creating a memory garden in this space to commemorate former students that have passed on or graduated, faculty that has retired or moved on, staff members and community supporters.
While there was much preparation, the actual physical project began this past June and there will be a dedication on Tuesday, November 12. What a marvelous example of what can happen when people work together, and in this case the importance of what can happen when students become involved.
Looking at these two photos of what the area looked like in early June and what it looks like in early November, it is hard to imagine the transformation. To West Salem High School, you have set a high bar for others to follow. Congratulations!
My guest on November 2, Nancy Buley, Director of Communications of J. Frank Schmidt & Son, discussed examples of trees for fall color. While we talked about many different maples, one that she mentioned that was very reliable for turning red is Redpointe Maple. Nancy said this was a great tree for the home garden as well as an excellent street tree. As an example of the fall color, Nancy sent me this photo of one growing in the Mt. Hood Legacy Hospital Healing Garden.
Mike Darcy is well known in the Portland gardening community and it all started 30 years ago when he began his garden show on KXL. Mike has done garden television programs for OPB, KPTV, and KATU and did garden segments on Good Day Oregon when it first premiered. He writes a column for Digger, trade magazine for Oregon Association of Nurseries, and has been a speaker at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show in Seattle and the Yard, Garden & Patio Show in Portland. He and his wife Linda, frequently open their garden to various garden groups and other non-profit organizations.
In The Garden 11/30/13 HR3It's the peoples hour. Mike takes your calls on a variety of topics.
In The Garden 11/30/13 HR2Mike talks with friend of the show, Rich Baer. The guys discuss what to do with rose bushes as the winter arrives. Mike is then joined by local gardener Andrew Schliebe.
In The Garden 11/30/13 HR1Mike talks with Brian Jacob from the American Conifer Society. Find out how you can incorporate conifers into a small space garden.
In The Garden 11/23/13 HR3It's the peoples hour. Mike takes calls on a variety of topics including, whats the difference between a yam and a sweet potato?