Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Winter Damage

I have been watching the Willamette Valley weather from far away Chicago.
We have both been having extreme weather.
I’m glad that for now, Mother Nature has returned us to ‘Normal’ winter weather.
Once we all have assessed our gardens, don’t panic! Plants are very resilient & stronger than we think. Broadleaf shrubs & trees can have more branch breakage from ice & wind. If you have broken branches, you can wait until the coldest weather is over to prune them. If you need to prune now, just remember to use clean, sharp tools & make good cuts.
For more tips, check out these videos on Winter Tools ( & Winter Tree Care (
I know I have Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina) with broken stems. This has happened before & in my garden, these shrubs can always use a trim. I will cut the stems all the way to the ground. This will promote new stems from the crown of the shrub.
I also have Rhodies that will need a few branches trimmed back. I will lose the flowers that would have come on the stems, but the plant will be OK. Once spring has arrived & new growth is emerging, I will check & see what plants need additional pruning & a shot of fertilizer or top dressing of rich mulch. This will help stimulate healthy new growth.
Sometimes winter takes it toll on our gardens. That is a fact of life in our gardens.
Shopping for new plants --- sounds like fun to me! Maybe I hadn’t planned on replacing a shrub or tree but it is exciting to have a space to plant a new variety!
I know that all the garden centers that Garden Time visits will be stocking up with new plants to tempt us this late winter & spring. It will be a great new project to try something new!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Italy Gardens – Assisi

Assisi is one of those hill towns that we have been talking about. It is known as the home of St. Francis and St. Clare. St. Francis is the patron saint of the environment and St. Clare became the patron saint of TV, a perfect combination for a visit from a garden show! St. Francis has lots of ties to gardens and gardening.

One of the most interesting garden sites is the rose garden in the lower part of Assisi (seen on the right) where it is said that St. Francis threw himself when he was tempted. The roses, recognizing who he was, dropped their thorns so he would not be hurt. According to legend, they remain thornless to this day. You can even buy a leaf from one of these rose bushes in the gift shop.

On the grounds in front of his basilica you will find this topiary of the word ‘Pax’ which means ‘peace’ and the greek Tau symbol, the symbol he choose to represent his redemption.

A walk through the upper town took us by one of the most interesting uses of containers we have ever seen (on the right). In the corner of a Franciscan office building we saw a climbing variegated ivy and an assortment of terra cotta pots containing cyclamens, geraniums, and petunias. Very beautiful!

A couple of blocks away we saw this large oleander outside of a clothing store (on the left). Look at the base. It shows you how you can grow a large plant in a small space.

As with the rest of Italy, we found a lot of people with containers on their decks, patios and balconies. The one on the right contains oleander and citrus in containers and further down the street there was this established garden (pictured left) at the top of the ancient brick city wall.

The view from Assisi shows the large groves of olives that you see in this region. This area is loaded with farms and as you can see, they make use of all the land.

Next stop a special winery tour…

Jeff Gustin
Garden Time Producer

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Chilly Birds and Pets

This blog about winter bird and pet care is at the suggestion of Judy. She has been watching her local birds and the cold weather has her thinking about their well being. In fact all of the Garden Time team has been thinking about the cold weather and how we can help our feathered friends and pets.
The number one rule is to provide protection. If you have pets and they need to go outside, they need protection. Let them out to do their ‘business’ on the protected side of your house. Go outside with them, when you start to get cold, they are probably cold too. Don’t just let them outside by themselves. Most of the bird population will find their own protection but there are ways you can help. This past fall we left part of our garden with untrimmed bushes so they could find protection in the branches. Some will leave pile of yard debris to help the smaller birds.

The second rule is to provide water. This bird bath is absolutely worthless during cold and wintry days like these.

We have left the water running in our water feature so our bird friends can get a drink if they need one. For you pets, if you have water dishes outside, check them for ice. Just because they are under cover doesn’t mean that they won’t get frozen over.

The third rule is to provide food. We stocked our bird feeders with black oil sunflower seeds. These are a good all-purpose feed for your seed loving birds. We have neglected to keep our suet feeder full for our insect loving birds, but we will fill it as soon as we get a new suet block. The one thing we don’t have is a hummingbird feeder. These types of feeders need special attention. Because they are a liquid feeder they need to be watched to make sure they don’t freeze.
Finally, you need to be consistent in your approach to caring for your birds or pets. If you start providing feed and water, you have to continue providing it as long as it remains cold (and perhaps longer). If you need more tips or help in being a friend to your outdoor animals, check out the Audubon website ( or the site for the Backyard Bird Shop (

Stay Warm!
Garden Time Producer

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Winter in Chicago

On Tuesday, I flew from Portland to Chicago for Christmas vacation & ended up in the same weather. Go figure.
On previous years I left rainy, cool Portland & arrived in very cold, snowy Chicago. On this trip, the weather was virtually the same in both cities. Very strange.
I took this whole adventure in stride. Most of my fellow travelers were grumbling about snow hampering their way to get home. They are not used to services being stopped or curtailed. Chicago’s motto is “the City that Works”. It’s almost like the Post Office motto, “rain or snow or dark of night shall keep us from our rounds”.
I had just left a city that had closed down on Monday because of snow & ice. The schools were closed and many businesses were closed or on short hours. The Mayor of Portland asked people to stay home or use public transport. Portland & the Willamette Valley understand you can’t go up against Mother Nature & win. Chicagoans put up big muscle of huge plows & salt trucks to get the city moving during & quickly after a snowstorm. Many years ago, the voters were reminded by the opposing candidate, about the horrifically slow city response to a snowstorm. They voted the sitting mayor out of office in next election. It wasn’t really the mayor’s fault as there were huge back to back snow storms. Any response would have been helpless. That response shows how determine Chicago is to not be stopped by snow!
Driving from the airport last night, the city looked very beautiful. The ugly toll of shoveling, salt trucks & snow plows had not hit the pristine landscape. Everything was heavily dusted with snow. It was a Christmas card moment! I enjoyed the view as I knew it would be gone in the morning.
Wednesday morning was sunny with crystal clear blue skies. The temps topped off at 26F and the snowplows & neighborhood snow blowers were out.
We’re due for another storm on Thursday. We’ll all plan around it & know that we won’t be house bound for long.

Good Luck in the Valley.
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Italy Gardens – Florence and Siena

We made our way into the Tuscany region of Italy and the city of Florence. The beautiful scenery of this region is what most people think of when they think of Italy. The rolling, picturesque hills are seen on postcards and in paintings. We were there during the first part of fall and the hills were just starting to change color. We spent a few days in the heart of Florence, walking the city. We were surprised at the number and location of the city parks. You take your life into your own hands when you walk the streets trying to get to the parks, but you are not the only one. We found the parks to be well used.
This fountain is in a park is near the Firenze Fiera near the central train station. Here some of the locals strolled, some sat chatting on benches. We even saw one couple sharing a bottle of wine (what is Italy without wine!, we will take you to a winery later). The local botanical gardens are located in the old city too, not far away from this park.

Some of the container plantings were pretty elaborate.

Check out the containers in front of this restaurant.

We then traveled to Siena. A lot of these small fortress towns are built on hills and are surrounded by forests and orchards. Because of the location you have steep streets and alleys.
I noticed a café down this street (on the left) that had planters designed for the slope so they would stay level. Even the chairs had 2 legs shorter than the others so you can use them on the hill with out falling over.

Next stop Assisi

Jeff Gustin
Garden Time Producer

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Well, I heard the winter weather is coming this weekend. Timberline ski area is finally getting snow. Snow is predicted for the valley floor. It is Wednesday afternoon, I’ll believe it when I see it. The media has to talk about something and snow for the weekend is today’s topic!
Just in case the temperatures drop & snow appears, here are some tips for the garden & patio.
Make sure you take in the saucers for your containers. If the water in them freezes, they may crack. Use ceramic feet or some kind of riser to create an air space between the containers & surface underneath. This is to ensure good drainage during the wet season & therefore prevent ice in the pot. The pot may crack if that happens.
At night, bring in your Citrus plants. They are pretty cold hardy but extreme temps will hurt them. I leave my ‘Meyer’s Improved Lemon’ tree on the deck as long as possible in the winter but take it in when it gets below 25F.
We have had rain the last few days but if it’s just cold & dry, make sure plants get watered. Trees & Shrubs die more from being dry, cold & wind blown than just cold temperatures. If you use the hose, bring the hose back in the garage & shut off the water so the hose isn’t damaged & the faucet doesn’t freeze.
Use Wilt Pruf or other antidessicant on evergreen plants. This product seals the plants pores & prevents water loss through the leaves.
All winter rain or not, you should check your plants & containers that are in rain shadows or under the eaves. They may not be getting enough water.
Protect tender or newly planted plants. Put a covering of leaves over the crown of the plant or if feasible, cover with a blanket over night. Remember to take it off in the morning.
After all the chores are done, it’s time for us all to be warm & snuggled for the Arctic Blast that might be coming. Make sure you have a good garden book/magazine, seed catalogue or other fine reading available. Make sure you have wood for the fireplace or the pilot is on for the gas one. I like to have an adult-type beverage to accompany this kind of burrowing in on a cold day.
Relax, it’s the start of Winter.

Take Care. Stay Warm.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Italy Gardens – Padua

The next stop on our trip was the city of Padua. This city is famous for being the site of the Basilica of St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost items. It is also a beautiful city in its own right. Here, even though there is more space for gardening, you still see a lot of container and patio gardening. You will also see a lot of gardens mixed with laundry. A lot of Italians do not own clothes dryers, so every day is laundry day as you see clothes hanging out to dry among the plants on balconies.

We also noticed that the city has made use of planted traffic circles that have lots of different plant material in them (this picture was taken from our bus).

On a walk through the city toward the Basilica of St. Anthony, we found the piazza of Prato della Valle. This square is one of the biggest in Europe. It has a canal with 4 bridges that surrounds a garden. Around the canal are statues of 78 famous men of the city.

We also were wondering if the city leaders had been to the Pacific Northwest! We found hanging baskets similar to the ones you find in cities around here.

The real treat was at the Basilica of St. Anthony! We found a Magnolia on the grounds that was planted in 1810! This magnolia grandiflora and a sister plant in a near-by cloister were huge but very healthy for their advanced age.

Next Florence and Sienna.
Garden Time Producer

Friday, December 5, 2008

Winter Grasses

I love seeing the fog each morning these last few weeks. The landscapes look so quiet & other worldly. The world looks soft. The water droplets or if it’s very cold, the frost, sticks on the plants, especially the ornamental grasses. That is why I like to leave the ornamental grass foliage for the fall & winter. In late summer & fall, the green leaf blades start to turn burgundy or tawny brown. The grass flowers turn to seed that will be ornamental or edible for the coming seasons. By the time the fall rains start, the silhouettes add beautiful form to the fall & winter landscape.

I have seen this Purple Fountain Grass shining in all its’ late season glory.
I love the white see heads contrasting with the dark foliage. During the summer, this grass is a garden mainstay as the burgundy-purple foliage & pinkish flowers add motion & texture to our containers and borders.

For all your ornamental grasses, leave the foliage & seed heads up for food & protection for birds. It’s fun to watch them hanging on the tops of the grasses on windy days. As the winter progresses, grasses do start to look haggard. They have been through many weeks of rain & wind. In late March, it is time to cut back the old foliage. New foliage will be up before you know it and the new cycle begins.

I have always loved the fall & winter landscape. I am from Chicago where it can be cold & grey or cold with clear blue skies. Any plant left up for the winter besides a yew or pine is interesting. There’s just not a lot of plant variety in that area! But I got used to seeing some beauty as that was all we got! Now that I have lived in the Valley for 12 years, I see so many plants go through physical changes all year long. The late fall & winter have a beauty that is theirs alone. Take the time to enjoy this quiet time of the season.

Take care,

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Italy Gardens - Venice

Recently I traveled to Italy with my wife Therese for her birthday. A big one, and I won’t say the numberJ. Our trip took us from Venice in the north to Amalfi on the Mediterranean and while we were there I decided to check out the local garden scene. Italy is very interesting in its approach to gardening. There are large cities like Rome and Florence, where container gardening are popular (and necessary), and quaint little cottages in the rolling hills of Tuscany. I thought I would kick off with the first stop we made on our trip, Venice.
In case you didn’t know, Venice is an island. It was a marshy area that has been filled in and a good portion of the city is built on piers and pilings that have been driven into the water. As you can imagine, there isn’t a lot of soil for garden plots! Venice is a wonderful city that has no vehicle traffic except around the area of the train station. Walking (or water craft) is the only way around this wonderful place. The first thing you will notice is the creative use of plants and planting areas.
Outside of our hotel window was an apartment building. Check out the various uses for containers. People even created entertainment spaces where they could find room. And if something grew, they let it grow!!!

This ivy is coming from a 2nd story garden and trails over the edge of the home and down to the water.

This wisteria vine was growing in one person’s backyard (if you can call it that) and the neighbors have trained it around the building so everyone can enjoy it.

Window boxes are the container of choice. Almost everywhere you look you can see window boxes. This is a view of 2 major streets coming together and crossing a canal. That’s right, these 2 small walkways are considered streets. And you will find people growing plants anywhere there is a little light and soil.

There were 2 very interesting garden type displays we found in Venice. Down one street we found the Singapore Supergarden. This area was a showcase of design styles from Singapore, but the area of the garden (the entry) was very beautiful.
The other very interesting ‘garden’ display was the ‘Deep Garden’, a tribute to Venice. It was a sculpture that featured a single maple planted in the middle of a glass cube that was painted red on the inside. An outdoor room immersed in water. Very interesting!
The next stop on our tour will be Padua…

Stay tuned,
Garden Time Producer

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Banana Trees in Fall

I don’t actually own a banana plant but I sure see a lot of them in people’s gardens. I am amazed they still look nice in late November. This photo was taken in Woodburn at Al’s Garden Center. It will be interesting to see how it fares without being wrapped & mulched. They are pretty hardy, down to –3F & down to –20F with mulching & protection. Last year, I interviewed Bill at The Portland Classical Chinese Garden on the November 17th 2007 show ( At the PCCG, they want to ensure that the 12-15 ft trunks repel winter damage as that will help to ensure they will bloom & produce fruit. Their banana trees were beautiful this year. The banana bunches were so cute even though they are not edible.
If you are nervous about your banana tree, wrap the trunk with cardboard & burlap & cover the crown with leaves & mulch. Don’t worry about the leaves. In late winter/early spring, just cut off all the old leaves. The tree will sprout new ones. Apply fertilizer once the weather warms up. Use your favorite, general-purpose fertilizer. If the trunk does sustain some winter damage & is mushy, cut back below the damaged part. You don’t have to cut down the whole trunk. The leaves will sprout from the clean-cut healthy tissue.
I’ll put a note in my calendar to report back on the bananas at Al’s & let you know if they get a bunch of bananas.
Take Care,

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The best teacher is experience…

As long as there have been gardens there have been gardeners that have opinions about what, when and how to garden.
I received a call at work a few days ago from a customer who had just heard on a T.V. show that you should not transplant Camellia’s. The person doing the show said that if you moved a Camellia it might and most likely would, die.
Well, I can assure you that after a lifetime of gardening I have moved countless Camellias with great success. My first reaction was, ‘What a quack”. But then I thought about it for a few moments….
I know a lot of wonderful people in this industry and not one of them would ever even think about giving out wrong information, it is just not in their nature. So why this bit of misinformation?
Well, I can tell you that the person that said this really believes it IS accurate.
So what is the public suppose to do, how do they know what information is accurate and which is not, or more accurately, which information will garner them the best success in their garden.
One of the easiest things any gardener can do is A) try it yourself and B) pay attention! There is no information out there on gardening that can compete with your personal experience. I take all the info I can and then process that into a formulation that I can use in my gardens at home. When I hear, ‘you can’t do it that way”, well I just give it a shot! “Those won’t live here”, We’ll see about that! “You aren’t supposed to move those plants…they just do not transplant well”, Tell that to my peonies that have been moved countless times!
What I am saying is that each one of us has more to learn, each of us has ideas and desires for our own spaces and many failures and successes to have. Listen to everything that professionals say and then strike out on your own! It’s your garden with your sweat and efforts pored into it. And then pay attention to your space. Nature is so good at telling us exactly what it needs, we need only pay attention. If you are stumped, take a sample and your questions into any independent garden center, they are chucked full of people that have years and years of experience. But more than anything else…have fun! Take some time this winter to do some planning. How about a new vegetable garden? Maybe you have been waiting to expand your perennial beds, or put in a pathway. It is all with in your reach and you will have plenty of time this winter to plan it all out. And then that first day of warm weather hits and you begin whatever it is you are planning to do.
I know I have already started planning my veggie garden, tweaking it from last year, adding some things, removing some. Successes and failures, but always, always learning.
What can nature and experience teach you?
Warm Thoughts,

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lemon Tree very pretty….

Having a lemon tree on my patio reinforces the belief that I live in gardening paradise. I know we get a lot of rain and days & days with no sunshine but we can still grow lemons on our patios or in our house! What a hoot!
It is the easiest fruit tree to grow next to figs, but that’s a previous blog.
My plant is a Meyer’s Improved Lemon. This Improved variety is resistant to a virus that affects commercial lemons. The Improved Meyer’s Lemon was developed in 1970 is the best for containers. It is a cross between a lemon, a type of orange & a mandarin.
This fruit is the best lemon to use for baking. It has a very flavorful juice & zest, the yellow part of the rind. The flowers have a delicious fragrance that fills the air. I sometimes carry the plant indoors for a few days just to get that aroma in my house.
Lemon plants & Citrus plants in general need at least 8 hours of sun.
Water regularly & let dry down a bit. The first two inches of soil can dry out. Make sure the water goes through the entire pot & does not stay in the saucer. The plant’s roots may rot if left sitting in water.
Fertilize in spring & early summer when the plant is actively growing.
The best part is the Meyer’s Improved Lemon bears fruit as young as 3 years old. You may remove some of the fruit when small so the remaining fruit gets larger.
The other great fact about lemons is that they are hardy to 25F.
I left my plant on my covered patio for most of the winter. I just took it into the house on the coldest nights in January. I would then put it back out the morning. It was very happy!
Think about adding a lemon tree or orange or lime to your patio plants. With just a little care, you can be reminded of a garden paradise.

Take Care,

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Figs Are Ripe!

Some gardeners can’t wait for the first taste of their homegrown tomatoes. I am not among those gardeners.
I cannot wait until my ‘Desert King’ Figs are ripe. If you have never tasted a tree-ripened fig, you have not lived. The figs look like chartreuse-green globes hanging from the branches of a very weighted down tree. There are 100’s. As of August 13th, my count is 115 for me. There have been 23 casualties of figs eaten by slugs, birds or some kind of critter. It’s hard not to eat every other one as I pick them. Almost all are ripe with this hot weather we’ve been having.
The inside flesh of this fig is strawberry-red. They do look kind of weird. As a kid in Chicago, my Italian Grandpa Salvatore, had a fig tree in his back yard. It’s not easy to grow figs in Zone 5 Chicago. He had to dig around the roots & bend the tree over to bury it. A layer of mulch was added for insurance against the harsh winters. He & my family thought it was well worth the trouble come August. They were in Heaven. It was a little bit of their heritage & of memories of long ago summers.
I was ecstatic when I learned that I could grow figs in the Willamette Valley.
The first 2 trees I bought were my ‘Desert King’ & a ‘Negronne’ fig. The ‘Negronne’ had purple black fruit with deep raspberry flesh. It was a great tree that grew in a very wet site & finally fell over last winter. It was very sad. I miss that fig tree.
Fig trees are a great fruit tree as they grow like weeds & are not bothered by any kind of insect. The only maintenance is pruning & harvesting. The fruit is borne on last’s year’s growth. You just have to make sure you leave on enough branches to produce fruit the next year. I was lazy last year & did not prune very hard. The tree reaches to my 2nd story window. My husband, Ben, was determined to pick the first figs from the tallest branches. He scared our neighbor when he stepped out on the overhang to pluck the ripe fruit. Poor Jay couldn’t see where the voice was coming from when Ben said Hi!
Since we have such a bountiful harvest, I am drying figs in the oven. They don’t get very dry but they get to a rubbery stage that’s great to freeze. When it cools down a bit, I’ll bake some delicious biscotti, scones & cookies.
Figs are also very tasty with baked pork tenderloin, wrapped with prosciutto or bacon & grilled or stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese & drizzled with honey. YUM. I have a wonderful cookbook called Fig Heaven by Marie Simmons. She feels the same as I do about figs.
I hope I’ve peaked your curiosity about figs. Plant a tree & Enjoy.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Good ol 'fickle' Summertime

Oh! We humans are a fickle group.

Weathers raining, we're complaining,
When its hot, grumpy lot...
If it's cloudy then we're dowdy,
If it's hailin', seedlings failin'

The elements DO seem to control us on many levels and our gardens too.
I was walking thru my yard today and was actually chilly! In late July!

Here is what I noticed though. My plants seem far less concerned with the weather than I am. Perhaps a lesson to learn.
Nature changes, constantly. We prefer consistency. And yet I adore my gardens. They invigorate me, entice me, heal me, motivate me. They are my therapist, confidant, and friend.
Then there are those rare days when everything seems perfect. The weeds are gone (or at least hidden from my sight). The insects and disease are under some control, and everything seems...right.
On those occasional days, I do simple things that harken to a past era. Things like taking a drink of water from the hose and watching the drops of water sparkle like jewels in the summer sunlight. Or walking past a gardenia that just opened; and having the fragrance remind me of a gentler time, a time when life appeared, at least, to be easier.
Gardens are like children. They can teach us, frustrate us, anger us, vex us, and yet at the core of all these different emotions lies the one that sustains us...our love of them.
So, regardless of the weather and it's taciturn ways, we can find inspiration and growth for both ourselves and our gardens.
So get out there and spend time in your yard.
If it's chilly throw a sweater on. If it's raining take an umbrella (or better yet, get soaking wet!). Too sunny for you, put on some sunscreen. Just get out there and live. We put so much effort into our gardens, don't let a day go by that you don't let them invigorate you.
I am going out to attack a stand of red clover that cropped up in the middle of on of my lawns. Put up a pedestal for a new garden light and tear down an old green house and recycle it.
They say that action comes from motivation, not the other way around. Perhaps the Nike slogan is correct...Just do it.
Happy Gardening!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Summer Pruning

I don't like to prune. I would also like to believe that when I buy a plant, I plan it's eventual size and plant it appropriately.
But what do you do when the size of the plant far out grows what the tag says? You suck it up and prune. Sometimes, where possible, I transplant; but most times it is so large that moving would be a huge endeavor.
So...I prune. I planted an ailing Ceanothus several years ago from work. It should have gotten 12-15 foot tall. This year, as it topped 25 feet, I decided it was time to wrangle it down a notch.
Pruning is both necessary and important. Not only for the shape and control of the plant but also for it's health and vigor. The blooms were weak this year because usually the plant stops traffic as it burst into it's spring time sky blue color. So I knew it was time to work on it.
After cutting it down by half I was thrilled to discover my Kentucky Coffee tree (Gymnocladus) which by the way is suppose to get almost 100 feet tall!!). It was just setting it's small white blooms so I was thrilled to have rediscovered it.
As I toiled away, I realized that pruning is as much a part of gardening as watering. Perhaps it is not always fun but it does do good things to the plant if done properly. Even if done incorrectly, Nature is very forgiving....usually. Plants tend to bounce back quickly.
So, get out there and prune those plants. If you are not sure how too, go to any of your Independent Garden Centers and I know they would love to assist you.
Until next time....Happy Gardening!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hot Time in the Garden

What a few weeks it’s been! Just when we all thought the spring hail/sleet were over & the tomatoes could be planted in the veggie beds, the weather turns to ‘August’. What a mini-Heat wave. I know we were all warned the high temps were coming but we couldn’t warn the plants. The poor things. Many plants suffered toasted leaves & flowers. (Like this fern at Jan McNeilans)
After hearing of the impending temperatures, I quickly tested my sprinkler system to make sure the sprinkler heads were in good working order. I checked that plants were being actually watered. I responsibly ran the cycles in the early morning of the first day of the heat wave. I nearly lost a well-established, very beautiful, oriental poppy called ‘Royal Wedding’. That afternoon, I thought that it was just wilting from being over heated in the hottest part of the day. It was actually very dry, as the sprinkler had not really soaked it that morning. I should have given it more water as an insurance policy. I learned my lesson & ran the sprinklers the next morning. I watched the spray patterns more closely & trimmed back an Abelia that was shielding the poppy from getting more water.
I am offering my boo-boo as a tip to all. Check out your garden after you water to make sure the water is really soaking in to soil. This is so very important for new transplants and even your old favorites. Deep irrigation, means to let the water percolate down to the whole root ball, It’s healthier for your plants.
Have fun in the Garden. It’s perfect gardening weather this weekend.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

And A Good Time Was Had By All

Thanks to all of our Garden Time friends that stopped by to say hello at GardenPalooza. William & I are so very happy to have met you all.
We had a great time last Saturday at Fir Point Farms. So what the weather was very cool & windy. So what that it sprinkled on & off all day. We all got to shop for plants, garden art & tasty treats!!!
Plants were flying out of the tents. I saw Fritillarias, Hydrangeas, Hellebores & Senettis in many people’s arms. There were bags with bulbs & garden gloves & many a piece of garden art in the hands of happy gardeners.
All in all there were smiling faces. We are a strange lot, us gardeners. We brave the cold & wet to get together & celebrate Spring!

Take Care,

The Traveling TV

Update on the TV set planter from the YGP show

Many of the audience of Garden Time had seen the TV planter William & I and Show producers, Jeff & Therese created for the Yard, Garden & Patio show in February. The whole TV planter concept was very fun & a lot of donations were made for all the containers in the Celebrity container event. (All monies were donated to the Humane Society of Oregon)
A wonderful G.T. audience member, Laurel, had the winning bid for the TV planter. We were all thrilled. Not only did Laurel win the TV, she did a great deed & turned around and re-donated it to her church silent auction. That TV is on wheels!
We are all happy our ‘creative project’ made the rounds & won a lot of money for great causes.
Thank You Laurel!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Judy's Top 10

Since the weather has been very Chicago-like, I have made up a “Top 10 things to do when you can't garden”.

10.Sit under a heat lamp & dream of Oregon in August
9.Read a garden book & dream
8.Read a seed catalogue & place an order
7.Check out the Garden Time Web-site.
6.Look at your garden from different rooms inside your home.
Take notes for possible improvements to that view.
5.Clean out your garden area in your shed or garage.
Clean & sharpen tools & get ready for Spring.
4.Take a Winter tour of all your favorite Garden Centers.
3.Buy Primroses & enjoy them on your window sill.
2.Plan your visit to the Portland Yard, Garden & Patio Show February 15-17
1.Click on your favorite Garden Time Segment from 2007

I know some of these are corny but you get bored in winter & need to do silly things.
Indulge yourself.

Take Care,

Monday, January 7, 2008

Belated Merry Christmas to All!

Spending time visiting my family in Chicago really makes me count my blessings about living in Oregon. Wow, did they have a lot of snow over the holidays.
I flew in with about 8 inches of snow on the ground & left with almost that much. It snowed, and then it rained & washed it away & then snowed again. It was getting ridiculous!
I did learn some important lessons. Gardeners in the Willamette Valley are lucky.
We have a lot of green in our winter landscape & I’m not talking about just the Doug Firs. We have Rhodies & Camellias (which may be blooming), Hellebores, Pansies, Nandina (Heavenly Bamboo), Eucalyptus, Choisya (Mexican Orange), Heuchera (Coral bells) etc. I did not see any of these plants even when the snow was in the melted stage.
I did see my advice of leaving seed heads undead headed for Winter Interest.
I’m bias as it is my Mom’s Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ covered in a heavy dusting of snow in the photo. She is not big gardener so I don’t know if she just didn’t get to cut the plant back or she left it intentionally. Either way it looked nice. The Yew in the front of her home also looked pretty with the snow cover. I did brush off the snow later in the day, as when snow accumulates too much it will break branches. I was out shoveling for the 2nd time that day anyway.
Enjoy your Winter Garden

P.S. If you want to see more snow, check out the New Year’s Photos Next Week.