May 2016

Garden Buddies: Frogs and Toads


See what kinds of frogs and snakes like to make our gardens their homes?                        Why are they good to have and how we can encourage them to stay?                  Make-and-take a "reptile refuge" for your garden.

 What:    Frogs and Toads
 When:   June 11th, 2016 @ 10AM
 Where:  Farmington Gardens
               21815 SW Farmington Road, Beaverton OR 97007
 Cost:     Free but Registration is Required
 Phone:  503.649.4568

Lessons are geared toward children aged 5-10 but all ages are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. We encourage our Garden Buddies to dress appropriately for hands-on activities.

Tropical Leaf Wins in the Size Category!

The huge paddle shaped leaves create the scene.


Not a real banana but sometimes called a Red Abyssinian Banana, ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii' is a real mover in the garden. If you want a fast growing plant, this is definitely one to try. What a focal piece it will become!

The leaves are more green on top and red streaked underneath. The solid red midrib causes your eye to follow along the length of the leaf which can grow up to 5 feet in one season. The whole plant can quickly grow 8-10 feet tall.

Plant in the ground or in a large container. 'Maurelii' needs full sun and does well with part shade from strong afternoon sun. Site it away from harsh winds which can tatter those exotic looking leaves. Give the plant plenty of water and regular fertilizer. Mulching helps with keeping it damp.

You can create a tropical atmosphere in your garden. Try matching it with similar leaved cannas, airy bamboo, large fatsia, or the exotic flowers of hibiscus or mandevilla.


Technically, ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii' is a tender perennial in our zone but you might be happier considering it an annual. Just enjoy the luscious growth during the summer.

For those of you with the room and light, you can use it as a houseplant but after being outside all summer, this can be a daunting task due to the sheer size.

What's Blooming 5.29.2016

So much color! It was hard to choose just a few.

          Weigela 'Sonic Bloom Pearl'                           Penstemon 'Red Riding Hood'

            Weigela 'Wine and Roses'                                  Veronica 'Royal Candles'

               Weigela 'Maroon Swoon'                                 Lupine 'Gallery Red'

              Rose 'Cherry Parfait'                                           Rose 'About Face'

What's Blooming 5.23.2016

Roses are Showing Their Colors!


                          Bull's Eye                                                       Smoke Rings


                           Fired Up                                                           First Prize


                       Twilight Zone                                                  George Burns


                       Mardi Gras                                                        Take It Easy

Container Gardening with Perennials

Both small and large gardens have room for containers.

On patios or balconies, the containers may even hold all of the garden! 


Choose a container you love for its shape, color or size. Fill with a good potting soil and choose your plants. Don't restrict yourself to the bright blooming annuals available at this time of year. You can also use perennials, small shrubs and trees in your containers. One of your main deciding factors in plant choice is whether the container will be in sun or shade. Once those decisions are made, you can enjoy those same plants for many years.

Containers can be simple and classic by growing only one plant like a hardy gardenia. It will bloom year after year and perfume the air by your front door or by your outdoor seating area. Another single plant to try is one of the new Patio Peonies, bred to grow in containers.


You can use a collection of containers or just one container with a collection of plants which interact and showcase each other by having different heights, textures and colors. Choose perennials which give the flower shape and color you love- like a coreopsis- but also stay a size good for your container - the Elfin coreopsis. Look for other attributes like the 'Radio Red' Salvia that attracts hummingbirds. You can use small shrubs like an abelia which will stay evergreen, keeping your container colorful even during the winter months. 

Grasses always add great texture and movement while perennial groundcovers like ajuga or vinca can soften the edges of containers when spilling over. They also create a base to highlight your taller plants.                                                                             

All plants in containers need more water than those in the ground. The watering schedule depends on the size of the pot, the type of plants and the number of plants per pot. It can be daily during the hotter months. All this this washes out the nutrients so don't forget to fertilize monthly during the growing season. We recommend Dr Earth's All Purpose for most containers and Dr Earth's Bud and Bloom for those with heavy blooming perennials. You want to have healthy plants in these showcase containers you are creating.

Watch MJ on Garden Time showing some containers filled with perennials.

The japanese maple 'Mikawa yatsubusa' is perfect for planters because it is a dwarf tree. It grows slowly to a maximum of 6 feet tall and wide over 10 years. This allows the tree to remain in a large planter for a long time.

What makes this acer palmatum unique

What's Blooming 5.16.2016

So much color at this time of year!

                Daylily 'Stella de Oro'                                Campanula 'Catharina'                

          Hydrangea 'Endless Summer'                            Double Knockout Rose

                Rose 'Julio Iglesias'                                        Coreopsis 'Jethro Tull'

                     Fringe Tree                                                  Black Lace Elderberry

What's Blooming 5.10.2016

Enjoy Twice

These Clematis Bloom Now

And Rebloom Later

                             Clelsea                                                  Barbara Jackman

                     Ernest Markham                                                Nelly Moser

                             Moonlight                                                   Daniel Deronda

How to plant and care for clematis.

Caring for your Hanging baskets

Hanging baskets look beautiful when you first bring them home. To keep them that way you need to follow an almost daily routine of watering - especially for those baskets out in full sun. They could need watering twice a day on those extremely hot summer days. During rainy or cooler times, you might want to reach in and feel the soil before watering.


Why do baskets need more water than those plants in the ground? The hanging baskets are full of densely planted flowers. This is why they look so lush and beautiful. Their roots fill in the comparatively small basket. They drink up that water!

To keep your hanging baskets blooming, a regular fertilization regime is necessary. If the plants are not fed, they will not continue throwing out new buds. Deadheading helps with some of the baskets - epecially the fuchsia and geraniums. This not only keeps them neat and tidy looking, the plants won't put their energy into producing seed heads.They will continue flowering.

What else do you need to do?

Just ENJOY them!