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.
Noth Portland Poetry Post Promenade
Begin at the corner of N. Killingsworth St. & Willamette Blvd
- 2919 N Willamette Blvd. (Poetry Post 1- PP1)
- Continue across Killingsworth (south on Willamette away from bluff towards N. Greeley)
- Turn right on Greeley and righ on Emerson Ct.* (see Portland -go to end of Emerson Ct.)
- Return to Emerson Dr. and turn right
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Must Haves for 2012
Lucy Hardiman, Stachyurus salicifolia ‘Sparklers’. I’ve had one in my garden for two years and it’s a beautiful evergreen large shrub.
Buddy Dietrich, Melianthus pectinatus. New to me. Listed in Annie’s Annuals & Perennials catalog but not currently available.
Charlotte Hootmann, Arctostaphylos pajaroensis, ‘Warren Roberts’. Large shrub Manzanita, little care, beautiful bark and winter flowers.
Jean Eves, Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’. Excellent bloomer, off white flowers that are on new growth so can be pruned without loosing blossoms.
Ann Murphy, Lonicera nitida ‘Briloni’ Edmee Gold. Bush type honeysuckle, excellent shrub for gold leaf color all season.
Barbara Blossom, Trollius ‘Lemon Queen’. Perennial with yellow flowers from spring to summer.
Lance Wright, Arctostaphylos ‘Austin Griffiths’. Another Manzanita, large growing shrub, low care plant, examples along River Place in Portland.
Gail Austin, Peony Itoh ‘Bartzella’. Excellent peony, cross between tree type and shrub, strong stems, beautiful large yellow flowers.
Mike Snyder, Rose ‘Westerland’. Disease resistant rose with flowers of apricot and copper-orange, strong fragrance.
Linda Beutler, Sweet Pea ‘Annie B Gilroy’. Available from Annie’s Annuals & Perennials, excellent bloomer and strong fragrance.
Harry Olson, Tomato ‘Stupice’. One of the best, fruits early and continues through the season.
Ginkgo 'Majestic Butterflies'
During the past several years, I have been drawn to purchasing Ginkgo trees. For many years I pictured these as very large street type trees and some good examples are in the Park Blocks of Portland. Certainly, these were not trees for a small garden.
However, recently there have been many new Ginkgo trees introduced and some are very slow growing and even considered dwarf. One in my garden that I am particularly fond of is Ginkgo biloba 'Majestic Butterflies'. This has a beautiful variegation in the leaf; cream and yellow against green. I have had one for about four years and it is planted in a container on my deck. It is very slow growing (which is what I wanted). I bought mine from Dancing Oaks Nursery in Monmouth, 503/838-6058.
While this Ginkgo seems to be difficult to find, it is one of those plants that is worth the search.
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 12/07/13 HR3Mike takes listener calls on a variety of topics.
In The Garden 12/07/13 HR2Mike talks to Jan Franke from Franke's Tree Farm in Woodburn. Jan and Mike discuss tips for keeping your tree green for the entire season and what type of tree is best for you.
In The Garden 12/07/13 HR1Mike chats with Marietta O'Byrne, from Northwest Garden Nursery in Eugene. Find out all about Hellebores and tips for their growing and care.
In The Garden 11/30/13 HR3It's the peoples hour. Mike takes your calls on a variety of topics.