Tomato Indigo Blue
One to try this year is a new introduction from Oregon State University called ‘Indigo Rose’. This tomato has high anthocyanin which is a naturally occurring pigment that has been shown to fight disease in humans. The skin is almost blue and is about 2 inches round. It looks like clusters of purple plums.
Developed by OSU so it is adapted to our Willamette Valley conditions; seeds are available now from Territorial Seed Company, www.territorialseed.com.
11th Annual Plant Nerd Night
Plant Nerd Night is meant to be a fun and learning event. It gives us all an opportunity to meet and talk with other gardeners, learn about new plants and have an enjoyable evening. There will be refreshments and door prizes. If you have never been, I invite you to join us.
Plant Nerd Night
Friday, March 9
Lake Bible Church
4565 Carman Drive
(corner of Kruse Way & Carman Drive)
Doors open 6:00pm
Presentations begin 7:00pm
Click here for more information
There will be six different specialty nurseries/growers that will be offering plants for sale. Each of these nurseries/growers will be giving a presentation for 12 minutes about their new plants as well as old favorites. Some of these presenters are primarily wholesale growers and so this gives you an opportunity to buy directly from the grower.
Each year, I always find a plant that I offer as a special and I ask each presenter to offer one plant at a special price and in limited quantity.
The following are the offerings for this year:
Ginkgo biloba ‘Mariken’
During the past several years, I have become interested in Ginkgo’s. Not the large trees that we are probably most familiar with but some of the smaller and dwarf types. ‘Mariken’ is a good example. It is dwarf, light green leaves in summer and brilliant gold in the fall. I have mine in a container on our deck. I will have 25 available at $20 each.
Xera Plants is a wholesale nursery striving to bring new and interesting plants to our area. Their plants are available at selected independent garden centers.
Some of the plants they will be talking about at Plant Nerd Night include;
Jasminum humile, Epimedium 'Yokihi’, Leptosperumum humifusum 'Squiggly',
Muhlenbeckia astonii, Lagerstroemia 'Osage', Grevillea 'Orange Zest' and selections of Pacific Coast Iris.
Their plant special will be Ceanothus ‘Topaz’ which has cobalt blue flowers. There will be 20 plants available at $10 each.
Gossler Farms Nursery
Daphne ‘Mae Jima’
Well known for their mail order catalog, Gossler Farms Nursery (Springfield, OR) is known for shrubs and trees, many of which are not readily available elsewhere. They have one of the largest selections of Magnolias in the nation and a wonderful display garden..
The plant special for Gossler Farms Nursery will be Daphne ‘Mae Jima’ which has broader variegation than the common “Odora’ and larger flowers. There will be 40 plants available at $12 each.
Joy Creek Nursery
Clematis ‘Dark Dancer’
Located in Scappoose, Oregon, Joy Creek Nursery is a well-known retail garden center. They have beautiful display gardens so visitors can actually see how plants will perform in our area. They have an extensive selection of Clematis. Some of the plants they will be presenting include; Clematis: ‘Chirifu’, ‘Dark Dancer’, ‘Frau Suzanne’ and ‘Brewster’, Helenium ‘Tijuana Brass’, Miscanthus ‘Gold Breeze’, and assorted Penstemon such as ‘Raspberry Flair’, ‘Red Hot Kissed’, and ‘Rose Kissed’.
The plant special will be Clematis ‘Rooguchi’ for $14 each and Clematis ‘Dark Dancer’ for $16. There will be ten plants of each.
Located in Mount Vernon, WA, Skagit specializes in perennials and annuals. They are a wholesale grower and their plants are available at many local garden centers. In recent years they have offered some outstanding Hellebores, Primroses, and Delphiniums. As part of their presentation, they will be showing; Campanula ‘Ringsabell Mulberry Rose’, Coreopsis ‘Mercury Rising’, Delphinium ‘Royal Aspirations’, Helleborus ‘Merlin’ and ‘Rosemary’, Primula Kennedy Series ‘Irish Drumcliff’ and ‘Irish Innisfree’, and Scabiosa ‘Mariposa Violet’.
The plant special for Skagit Gardens will be Primula Kennedy ‘Irish Drumcliff’, 40 plants at $4
Wild Ginger Farm
Located in Beavercreek, OR, Wild Ginger is well known for their wide assortment of rock garden plants. They feature some wonderful display gardens which are excellent as learning tools for teaching how to grow rock garden plants. Some of the plants they will feature include; Asarum maximum ‘Ling Ling’, Gentiana sino-ornata ‘Stardust’, Dodecatheon ‘Spring Dawn’, Erythronium ‘Pagoda’, Tulipa greigii ‘Red Riding Hood’ and assorted Pacific Coast Iris hybrids.
The plant special from Wild Ginger Farm will be 20 Pacific Coast Iris hybrid 'Dorothea's Ruby' for $8 each.
Located in West Linn and specializing in annuals and perennials, Petal Heads will be showcasing an assortment of Heuchera, Geum, Hosta, Campanula. Expect to see some plants that are new on the market.
Their plant special will be Cistus ‘Mickie’ that is a selection with wonderful leaf variegation. There will be 30 plants available at $5.
It is a sure sign of spring when the fragrant pink flowers of Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ come into bloom. This easy to grow deciduous shrub produces flowers on bare branches before the leaves emerge. This Viburnum can reach up to ten feet or more in height and in my garden, I prune them regularly so they do not reach more than about eight feet. It you have a border garden; these would be ideal shrubs for the background. Best if planted in a full sun location, my plants have been disease and insect free and have never been sprayed. The branches can be cut before the flower buds open and brought indoors where they will open and perfume a room. There are not too many shrubs blooming at this time of year and this is a good one.
On my show of January 14, I had an interview with Alan Powers and the subject was Mason Bees. Alan has had Mason Bee nest boxes for many years and is very willing to share his information. He discussed how easy it is to attract these native bees to our gardens because they are probably already there. By providing a nesting block, it is easy to encourage them and very fun to watch as they come and go from the nest.
Mason Bees are good pollinators and so can be very helpful if honeybees are not available. The bee looks to me somewhat like a large fly and will rarely sting and if it does, the sting is similar to a mosquito bite. I have had Mason Bees walking on my hand and fingers.
I am always interested in finding ways to encourage young children to become involved with a gardening activity and talking with Alan made me realize this is an ideal project. I told my son-in-law about this and he made my grandson a Mason Bee nest box with my grandson watching. You can see the happy results.
A block of untreated wood will work and the holes should be 5/16-inch. Place nest on a building under an eve where it will get morning sun. By March, you should see some activity. Check out my podcast for the complete interview.
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 05/25/13 Hour3Mike talked to tomato breeder, Fred Hempel, about the exciting new breeds of tomatoes for the home gardener.
In The Garden 05/25/13 Hour2Mike talks with author, Barbra Damrosch, about her new book "The Four Seasons Farm Gardener's Cookbook".
In The Garden 05/25/13 Hour1Mike talked with Doug Barragar from Raleigh Park Gardens Tour. Also, Mike takes your calls.
In The Garden 05/18/13 Hour3Mike talks with Eamonn Hughes about ponds. What to plant, what to feed your fish and much more.