Winter Damage

It’s spring and you may be wondering why we are talking about winter damage. It is because we have had unusually lengthy cold spells this year during periods of little rain.

How has that affected the plants? Plenty! You may be seeing a lot of die-back on plants you have had for years. The shrub that you put in late last year is not budding out. Some vines don’t seem as vigorous. The plants in your pots are more brown than green.

brown tipped leavesPlants needed time to acclimatize to the winter weather. We had sudden drops in temperature that lasted for two or more weeks at a time, and it happened early in the season! This caused damage to plants that had put out new tender growth late in the fall. It also did a number on the early blooming shrubs like the Camellia, particularly the sasanqua. Those buds froze and you will now have to wait while more are formed for next year’s flush of blossoms. Daphne, evergreen clematis, and some rhododendrons fall into this category.  Pay extra attention to them this year to ensure strong growth.

Even some of the broadleaf evergreens are showing damaged top leaves of a choisiadamage. The dry, cold winds sucked the moisture from them. This was most evident in the choisia but luscious new growth is coming out now. You can remove any damaged leaves. It won’t hurt the plant and on some, may aid new leaves to form at that spot.

The lack of rain early in the season also left some plants dehydrated and less able to cope with the stress from the cold. Remember plants need regular moisture in warm temperatures as well as cooler ones.

The air temperature was much colder than the soil temperatures. Because of this, potted plants lose about two temperature zones of hardiness. If the pots were small or the plant roots close to the outside edges, there was a good chance the roots froze. Time to start anew.

Some shallow rooted perennials were also killed by the cold as were some plants marginally hardy to our area, especially in the higher elevations. These can be removed.

What else can you do about this?

At this point, wait and watch for new growth coming from the ground as with the hardy fuchsia. Your Kaleidoscope Abelia may look dead but be patient. It may surprise you.

Test the viability of any shrub by making a tiny scratch on the bark with your fingernail. If there is green underneath, there is a good chance of it coming back. If not, prune back any dead branches. Prune any evergreen vines back to new growth.

Once your patience has worn thin, it may be time to take the opportunity to try new and different additions to your garden. Change is good.

This is a great time to plant trees and shrubs. Their roots can be established before the dry of the summer and definitely before the cold of the next winter!


What's Blooming 10.06.2016 Fall Color

Shrubs with Great Fall Color

'Sunshine' ligustrum

'Red Elf' pyracantha

'Orange Rocket' barberry

And to add to the season, try some of these...

It’s Fall…Should I Be Doing Something with My Lawn?


Although fall is known as a time when plants start to go dormant, it is usually a time when our grasses come out of their summer dormancy and begin to grow again. Mowing may pick back up if you didn’t irrigate throughout the summer. Mowing 3-4 times a month is recommended for keeping a lush, healthy lawn. 


What's Blooming 9.30.2016

The changing season brings out fresh new blooms and color.

     Camellias are just starting to bloom.            Enjoy the blue centers of Bloomstruck -

                     Appleblossom                           Rebloom of Endless Summer hydrangeas.


          Supreme Cantaloupe Echinacea        Golden Ruby barberry has a yellow edge.

The flowers of the Wild Swan anemone have strong mauve/purple stripes on their back.

Plants and color for your Fall displays.

Pruning Japanese Maples

When can you prune Japanese maples? Is there a difference between pruning weeping maples and upright maples? How much can you safely prune without damaging the form and health of the tree?

Join Lou while he goes over these questions and more. He will demonstrate the pruning of a Japanese maple while giving tips and tricks to shaping the tree for years of beauty. So much better than trying to follow a diagram!

Tour our display garden to admire mature Japanese maples and all they have to offer.

This is a popular class and quickly fills up. Sign up early!

 What: Pruning Japanese Maples

 When: October 29th, 2016  @  10 AM
             October 30th, 2016  @    1 PM
             October 31rst, 2016 @ 10 AM

 Where: Farmington Gardens
              21815 SW Farmington Rd, Beaverton OR 97007
 Cost:     FREE but please register
 Phone:  503.649.4568


See Lou on YouTube

Garden Buddies: Fall Rains and the Water Cycle

Let's learn all about water, the water cycle and some tips for conserving water in our gardens and daily lives.
Then we will work on the scientific method for keeping track of how much rain falls.
We'll make rain gauges out of real test tubes! Take home a notebook for collecting rain data though the winter.

 What:   Fall Rains and the Water Cycle
 When:   October 22nd, 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.

Garden to Table: Fall Soups


 What:   Fall Soups

 When:  Saturday, October 8th, 2016 from 10:30AM -11:30AM

 Where: Farmington Gardens

              21815 SW Farmington Road, Beaverton OR 97007

 Cost:     Free but please REGISTER

 Phone:  503.649.4568





 FACEBOOK:  Bird’s Nest Bites

 PINTEREST:  Bird’s Nest Bites

 INSTAGRAM:  birdsnestbites

Customer Appreciation 2016

Organic Composting

Compost is the key element to creating healthy soil in organic gardening.

Join Malibu Compost's founder for this fun and informative class focusing on types of compost, composting methods, uses of compost - including compost teas, enhancing compost with dry amendments and how much or how little compost is needed to create beautiful and healthy organic soil in your garden.

What:   Organic Gardening
When:  Sunday, October 2nd, 2016 @ 1PM                                                       
Where: Farmington Gardens                                                                                               6735 SW Farmington Road, Beaverton OR
Cost:    Free but please call or email to register
Phone:  503.649.4568

Fall Gardening Tips from Jenny

When your sunflowers are in full bloom,
it’s time to plant your fall garden!

The mild Pacific Northwest fall and winter make it possible to grow and harvest fresh vegetables long into the holiday season. Cool weather gardening is different from warm weather growing, as plants tend to grow slower and extra effort is needed to protect plants from any harsh weather.

There are some great benefits to fall gardening!