Events and Classes at Farmington Gardens

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Why Is Autumn The Best Time to Plant?

Autumn is THE time to plant!

I’m sure you have heard that expression many times and think it just might be a gimmick for garden centers to sell product. Not so!

Although springtime finds the gardener with energy and enthusiasm to get out and put into effect plans made during the cold, gray winter months, any plants that are ready to wake and get growing out of their pots are often slowed by the ups and downs of our spring temperatures and the cold wet soil.

During these autumnal months, the soil is warm and when mixed with some good compost, the roots of newly planted trees, shrubs and hardy perennials which are still actively growing, will stretch out in it.  Actually, these roots will continue growing and strengthening over the winter months. This applies also to deciduous plants that lose their leaves and seem to be sleeping. Come spring, the plants will have settled in and can spend their energy pushing out new growth and becoming the lush vision you dreamed of.

Garden to Table: Tomatoes, Tomatillos & Peppers


What a tremendous year for gardens!  Tomatoes are early this year, and many of us are experiencing a bumper crop.  We wait for them all year long and when they finally get here we can’t get enough.  However, sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to do with all those beautiful jewels.  In this class, we’ll explore some new, easy, and fun ways to make the most of not only our tomato harvest, but peppers and tomatillos as well.

Except for dessert of course.  It is summer after all, and we’ve been thinking about campfires, marshmallows, chocolate, and so…

Here’s what we’ll be serving:

     Roasted Red Peppers and ways to use them:

  •      Romesco Sauce
  •      Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
  •      Chili Rellenos with Salsa Verde (Green Chili Sauce)
  •      Grilled Chicken with Tomato Vinaigrette
  •      Roasted Tomato Bread Pudding
  •     Grilled Green Tomatoes

And for dessert:

  •     S'mores Bars 

Each class includes FREE recipes and FREE samples of everything we cook.

When: September 20, 2014 @ 10:30AM- 11:30AM

Where: Farmington Gardens

            21815 SW Farmington Road, Beaverton OR 97007

Cost: Free but please REGISTER


Phone: 503.649.4568

Recipes: Grill Roasted Red Peppers, Romesco Sauce, Red Pepper Hummus

Hardy Hibiscus - Rose of Sharon

As the colors in our gardens are changing to the yellows, oranges and reds of late summer, there is an easy-care flowering shrub that goes against this trend. The hardy hibiscus, also known as the Rose of Sharon, has large blossoms of white, shades of pink, lavender and combinations of all of those colors.


Pink Chiffon Woodbridge Lucy

Planted in full or part sun, the hibiscus syriacus is drought tolerant once established. The vase-shaped shrub can grow to 12 feet when not pruned. Over time the limbs will arch down. They have a mass of smaller flowers this way but, when pruned back, they will produce larger blossoms. It can also be trained to a tree form. Pruning should be done during the winter months.

The tubular flowers can be single or double depending on the variety. Some are bi-colored while others are solid. The Chiffons have double and pretty pastel colored blooms.

Attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, they are long bloomers. This is not because the blossoms last a long time but because there are so many!

                                   Aphrodite                          Danica

While not the 'tropical' variety, our hardy hibiscus have flowers that have been known to be used by young girls to make leis. Try one at your next luau.

Winter Vegetable Gardens

It may seem odd to be thinking of a winter garden during these warm days of summer but vegetable seeds and starts have time and temperature constraints to grow to term. They need to be getting established now.

winter vegetables in raised bedYou can use the same area as your summer garden, with added protections, or choose a new area where it will get the most of the low winter sun, is well drained, and is protected from strong, cold winds. Reflected heat from a building would extend your growing season, as could cold frames, hoop houses or remay. Whatever method you use, having fresh produce in the colder months certainly helps with your grocery bills when the stores raise the prices.

Vegetables are heavy feeders. Amend your soil before planting your winter garden. As the nights get cooler and the days get shorter, your list of vegetables to grow is also shortened. The advantage of planting at this time of year is that the soil is already warm and all seeds germinate quickly. You need not start them inside as you do early spring. This avoids the posibility of root and tender stem damage when transplanting.