Great Fall Color
I have grown Euonymus europaeus Aldenhamensis (European Spindle Tree) for many years and it is another good fall color tree with both leaves and fruits of color. However the leaves on this are smaller than the E. planipes.
Both of these are large shrubs/small trees and deserve to be better known. I think many people are unaware of them when visiting gardens in spring and summer as there is nothing particularly outstanding about them. However, at this time of year is when they show their glory. I suggest planting them in a location where you can see the plant in the autumn, perhaps at the back of a flower bed.
One of my guests today was Roger Gossler from Gossler Farms Nursery in Springfield, Oregon (1200 Weaver Road, 541/746-3922). I have visited Gossler Farms Nursery many times and have always been impressed with their display gardens.
My conversation with Roger was about plants that are looking good now. One that he mentioned was Lespedeza thunbergii ‘Gibraltar’. I mentioned that I have one of these and how beautiful the flowers are even at this late date. It is a plant not widely seen in local gardens although it is certainly very hardy and deserves to be better known. I believe one reason it is not more widely planted is that we are not often visiting private gardens at this time of year and do not see it in bloom.
My plant is probably 7-8 feet tall and I have contained it in a 3’X3’ wrought iron structure as the plant has a weeping habit of growth. My structure keeps it contained and growing upward. I give it very little summer water and it is in full sun. After booming and sometime during the winter, I cut it back to about 12 inches.
The flowers are purple and look somewhat like a wisteria in bloom. It is a member of the pea family. I have never noticed any disease or insect problems
Buddleia ‘Peach Cobbler’
My guest today, Ken McVicker, Sales Manager for Van Essen Nursery in Lebanon discussed some of the new Buddleia’s that are sterile and do not produce the huge quantities of seed that those listed as invasive do.
At a recent nursery trade show (Farwest Show), there was an area called New Varieties Showcase where attendees were invited to vote on what they thought were the best new introductions. The winner was Buddleia ‘Peach Cobbler’. This Buddleia, as the name implies, has a peach colored flower and is one of the smaller growing types so it would fit into a small garden or would be ideal in a container. It has full-sized flowers, is fragrant, has a silvery leaf color, and attracts pollinators. Ken said that after the first flush of bloom, if the old flowers are cut off, the plant will re-bloom.
It may be difficult to find in garden centers since it is new, but it is available and it never hurts to ask.
Roasted Tomato Soup
I have done an interview for the past couple of years with Susan who is known as the ‘tomato lady from Oregon City’. I received this recipe from her husband Paul. He said it comes from the Food Network and is Michael Chiarello’s Roasted Tomato Soup Recipe. Paul reports they have already gone through two batches and many more are on the way.
For those of you that might have missed by interview with Susan, she is growing 120 tomato plants this year! Last year it was 325 plants!
Roasted Tomato Soup with Croutons Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello
For the soup:
• 12 large (about 4 pounds) tomatoes, stemmed and quartered
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 1/4 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar
• 12 large garlic cloves, peeled
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 cup chopped yellow onions
• 2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, plus few leaves torn for garnish
• 2 cups cold water
For the bruschetta:
• 1 loaf country-style bread
• Extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Prepare the tomatoes. In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, 1/4 cup of the oil, the vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper, to taste. Spread the tomatoes out on a non-reactive baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes in the oven until very dark in spots, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool a bit.
Prepare the bruschetta. Cut the bread crosswise into slices about 1-inch thick (you will need 8 slices). Lightly brush the slices on both sides with oil and season with salt. Place the slices on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until the bruschetta are golden brown and just beginning to crisp, about 6 minutes.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining 1/4 cup oil, the onions, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions are very soft, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the 2 cups basil leaves and saute with the onions for about 1 minute.
Add the roasted tomatoes and water to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Puree the tomato mixture in a blender. Start the motor at a slow speed and increase gradually. Alternatively you can use an immersion blender right in the pot. The mixture should be very smooth. You should have about 8 cups. You can prepare the soup to this point and refrigerate it. When ready to serve, pour the soup into a medium saucepan and bring it to a slow simmer over medium heat.
Serve the soup. Place 1 bruschetta in the center of each shallow soup bowl. Pour the soup around each bruschetta. Garnish with torn basil leaves.
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 05/18/13 Hour3Mike talks with Eamonn Hughes about ponds. What to plant, what to feed your fish and much more.
In The Garden 05/18/13 Hour2Mike talks Chinese gardens with Roger Gossler and Gary Wilson.
In The Garden 05/18/13 Hour1Mike was on location at BiMart in Portland. Mike talked to Ann Murphy about her Inviting Vines Tours. Mike takes your calls.
In The Garden 05/11/13 Hour3Mike talks with Alice Doyle from Log House Plants. Mike and Alice talk tomatoes. Also Mike takes your calls.