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.
November 1, 2013
Chrysanthemums have played a very important part of Chinese history and are mentioned in Chinese literature as early as the 7th century. Along with the plum, orchid and bamboo, the chrysanthemum is known as one of the “Four Gentleman of Flowers”. This refers to the fact that the flower, which is known for the late and long-lasting bloom, was likened to a mature “gentleman” scholar whose wisdom and integrity would grow each year.
In reference to this major flower, the Lan Su Chinese Garden (239 NW Everett Street, Portland) is celebrating “Mum-Vember”. The largest display of chrysanthemums on the West Coast will be displayed throughout the garden. To prepare for this event, last May, the horticultural staff began making cuttings and groomed these into the blooming plants you will see today. There are over 500 potted plants in the garden for the “Mum-Vember” event. On November 4, there will be a cut flower display featuring another 100 blooms.
There are special events throughout the month of November including a lecture by Ray Gray, owner of King’s Mums Nursery, who will discuss his recent trip to China and will have a question and answer session on how to grow and care for chrysanthemums in the Pacific Northwest. Ray will be speaking on Saturday, November 9, at 11am.
Glin Varco, Lan Su’s Horticulture Manager will lead guided tours of the display and significance of chrysanthemums on November 2, 16 & 23, at 11:00am. She will also share information on their growing of the 500 potted chrysanthemums for this display.
Even without the displays of Chrysanthemums, a visit to Lan Su Chinese Garden is a very special treat. The addition of the Chrysanthemums makes it even more so.
October 25, 2013
From my program of last week, (Oct 19), two listeners sent me photos of some issues we had discussed. The first was Andrew Schliebe from Scio and he had an insect on his raspberry leaves and was not sure what it was. From the photo, it is identified as the brown marmorated stick bug. This is an excellent picture as you can see the egg case, nymphs and adults. My friend Claudia Groth gave this advice when she saw the picture, “kill every single one you can find”.
Andrew also sent two photos of his peanut crop. I have never seen peanuts growing in Oregon and Andrew and a co-worker decided to try their luck with peanuts. They ordered seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange in Virginia and selected a variety with the shortest days to maturity, 110 days. He started the seeds indoors in late April and set plants outside at the end of May. When the record rains came in late summer, Andrew thought any hope of getting a crop was eliminated. However, despite the rain and our cool nights, he did get a crop.
Another listener called about small holes being drilled in the trunk of a tree. I talked with Scott Lukens, owner of the Back Yard Bird Shop, and he said it looked like red breasted sapsucker. They drill holes to attract insects and will often return to increase the size of the holes for fresh sap. The oozing sap attracts insects and that is what the birds want.
In some cases branches can die and even the tree if damage is severe. Scott suggests wrapping the trunk with burlap or use a sticky repellent like Tanglefoot Bird Repellent.
Roger from Damascus sent me this photo and reports that despite the holes; his apple trees have suffered no apparent damage.
October 18, 2013
Brugmansia ‘Shredded White’, Burning Bush, Maple Tree Fall Color
Last week on my program, local gardener Craig Quirk, mentioned a particularly
unusual Brugmansia (Angel’s Trumpet) that he had in his garden. It is called Brugmansia ‘Shredded White’ and has white flowers that look as though they’ve been shredded.
I have seen this plant in Craig’s garden and it is a very unusual looking flower for a Brugmansia. Like other Brugmansia plants, this needs to be protected during the winter months and brought inside a garage, basement or
greenhouse. Because of this, I think they are best treated as container plants so they can be moved when necessary. Set out new plants in the spring in a large pot as Brugmansia grows quickly and requires frequent watering.
There are so many plants giving us a show of fall color, that it is difficult to select and mention just one or two. I will mention one in particular, and that is Euonymus alatus ‘Burning Bush’.
I think it would be difficult to find a plant that has more leaves that are so totally red all over the plant. It fits well into the landscape and is rather ordinary looking until this time of year. This is a very easy to grow plant and once established requires very little care. I have seen them planted along freeways, indicating the minimal maintenance this plant requires.
Take a drive around your neighborhood or make a trip to Hoyt Arboretum and enjoy the color this season offers us.
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?