Dig it in, pot it up

Apologies for not updating our website newsletter for over 2 weeks. It isn’t only the weather that has been brisk lately – business has picked up and we are in “go” mode at the Depot: helping customers, planting seeds & shifting up seedlings, participating at the master Gardener spring seminar in Redmond, bringing in more good plants from our vendors and then caring for it ALL! This of course has left an energy deficit whereby our brain cell’s are clearly seeking sleep, not more computer time…

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Spring lettuces in the coldframe

Here’s an image that will inspire you to sow some lettuce seeds. ‘Spreckles’ and Red Romaine, happily growing side by side in the cold frame. The ‘Spreckles’ lettuce is sometimes referred to as”deer-tongue” lettuce, and it re-seeded itself with abandon out in the veggie garden so we transplanted a few seedlings into the cold frame to speed up growth and in under 2 weeks we’re ready for the first fresh salad! (We carry the Botanical Interests seeds for these 2 varieties as well as some yummy salad blends.)

Now onto some fragrant photos…clockwise from left, these perennial Dianthus are hands down our fragrant favorites in the greenhouse this week. Next, a ‘Lemon Lights’ hardy azalea. It is softly fragrant and because these Azaleas are hardy to zone 4, with a little extra mulching they’ll do even better. The sweet little pink flowers on the ‘Cocodile’ ivy geranium are the icing on the cake. The leaves are really unusual. They are available in a 4″ size and we also have some growing-on in Down-Under Pots that will be ready next week (a great Mother’s Day gift, hint, hint!) The last image is of  some ‘Daddy’ petunias (don’t ask us, we didn’t name them!) but they are really fragrant (especially the dark blue one.) These are available in 4 packs along with many other colors.

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Container and hanging basket alert!

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Getting ready for the Planting Party!

Get a head start on summer at our annual Container Planting Party in our greenhouse, Sat. May 2nd from 11am -2pm. Bring your baskets, pots or whatever containers you love and we’ll provide our special container mix and if needed, we’ll provide some design guidance as well. Plant up your containers using gorgeous annuals from our greenhouse. The cost is the cost of the plants and any containers you buy from us (if you need them). Remember this is a party, so bring a friend! Light refreshments provided. PLEASE RSVP by calling 541 475-2068 to reserve a space at the potting table!

April is not for sissies!

No foolin, here it is April and yesterday we thought the weatherman was foolin’ us as we did manage to dodge a 25F° prediction, phew, it was only 30F°…however this morning, it was 24F° at 6am, and through Sunday the  temps are supposed to remain below 30F°, so if you have starts or lush growth to protect, do so! (Psst – we have some nice medium weight row cover available in our store too.)

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It may not feel terribly springlike outside temperature-wise, but Daphne ‘Eternal Fragrance’ surely can make your nose believe  in spring – it’s fragrance has been described as ‘delicious’. We have one left in a 3 gallon pot, and more on order, coming in with our pink rock daphne. Here is the information page from the plant breeder:  http://www.planthaven.com/dapheter.html

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Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) is for for sale in gallons & 4″ pots.  The seed was collected from plants happily growing in a garden on the NW side of Juniper Butte ad we propagated it. They are doing well outside here at the nursery. This is the food plant favored by the Monarch butterfly. There is quite a bit of confusion “out there” about the correct type of milkweed to use to ‘feed the Monarchs’. Just know this: make sure the type you are planting is zone hardy to our zone 5 and that will eliminate the ‘tropical’ varieties being sold. This will keep you out of trouble and more importantly help make the butterflies thrive!

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Guess who arrived on our loading dock at 5:15pm yesterday? An ‘Angels Choir’ (well a full flat of them anyway!) These poppies (which will self sow a BIG bonus!) are described as “an  award-winning combination of silken-petaled, double poppies featuring]shimmering watercolor shades including cream, apricot, peach, coral, lavender, pink and bicolors and picotees. It took breeders years of selection to develop these absolutely magical forms and lustrous soft colors”.

I say, hooray for the choir of spring! ‘Angel’s Choir’ Poppy (Papaver rhoeas) In 4-paks, $2.50 each.

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Clematis alert! Our first bunch of clematis vines will arrive next Tuesday, and we are super excited to be working with a new grower with many outstanding new selections…if you have any special requests, please let us know before Monday as we will pull the order ourselves.

Cue sunrise….SPRING is here!

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Looking out the east facing window on the first day of spring… at 6:25 am

It’s official, time to get really excited about getting dirt under your fingernails and stretching your lower back, because “they” are beckoning. You know, the cute little pansies and violas beaming their little faces up at you, the thin and wiry little onion starts, the rhubarb plant that looks like dinosaur food. They want you to get going, now! And they’re right because even though your calendar thinks were about 2 weeks off from thinking seriously about gardening, the soil is telling us: ” it’s time, folks!”

If you happen to live near Madras, last Sunday morning at 10 am it was almost 48F° (measured at 4 inches beneath the surface of your garden soil.) lot’s of plants are not just budding, but leafing out.

Could it freeze again in the next 3 weeks? maybe. But remember, the worst is far behind, like  way, way back in mid November 2014. That’s when it reached  -11F°  here at the nursery. We are tossing the last of the poor plants that succumbed, even some very hardy ones, that because they were not in the ground or greenhouse, they had their roots freeze hard, then thaw and then “stew” in overly moist pots & eventually rot out.

But fear not, as Swiss gardening author & photograper Marina Schinz says:  gardening is a exercise in optimism. Sometimes, it is a triumph of hope over experience.  

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So there you have it! If you need to have your optimism encouraged, we are offering a super limited supply of ‘Spring Beauty’ tulips in 6″ pots. Normally $7.75, now to all of you who utter the magic password spring optimismyou can have one of them for $4.25!

Time to mention something about our sweet “baby” spring veggies – they are about ready to be released into the world! Tomorrow is the big day” when we move them from the un-heated greenhouse to a table on the E side of our building. Here is a glimpse of them, taken last week:

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Veggie start varieties include ‘Baby Romaine’, ‘Spreckles’ and ‘Oak Leaf’ lettuces, ‘Bloomsdale’ & ‘Lavewa’ spinach, ‘Copenhagen Market’ cabbage,  Yellow and Red storage onions, leeks, 3 types of kale, broccoli and broccoli raab and kohlrabi! Priced from $2.50 – $3.25 depending on size of container. These starts were grown organically and we included ‘Cascade Minerals‘ basalt re-mineralizer in the seedling mix, and today, we just gave them their 1st dose of liquid kelp fertilizer!

A shout out for the many Walla Walla onion lovers out there – they should be here this Friday, shipped in from you-know-where :-)

…Springing Along!

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This past week has seen daytime temps reaching almost to 70F°, and even though officially we are 9 days away from “spring”, folks, it’s HERE!

These images were taken over the past couple of days. On the left, is a ‘Texas Scarlet’ Flowering Quince, in the middle,one of our many pansy varieties. and on the right, a unusual Primula auricula (we grew from plant division!)

We have part of our asparagus order in now, ‘Jersey Knight’ and wow are they large crowns! There are some real whoppers in the bin we have them stored in. Later this month, on Sat. March 28th we’ll have a free class on planting out asparagus, onions and potatoes (see the events calendar on the right sidebar).

This weekend we will be a vendor participating at the trade show at the LOAFA event on Sat. March 14th from 8-5 pm at the Deschutes Co. Fairgrounds in Redmond. If you have a small farm, or are interested in farming on your land, this is the place for you. It has some great classes, here is the flyer: http://www.swalley.com/LOAFAposter.pdf

Our bulk landscaping materials have been refreshed and added to! We currently have in stock, sold by the yard:

  • 2″-3″ river rock, $35/yd.
  • Pea Gravel, $35/yd.
  • Hemlock bark, $32/yd. (special price)
  • “Airport” or Walk-On bark, $42/yd.
  • OMRI organic all plant based compost, $36./yd

It’s sowin’ time again!

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Pansy ‘Fizzy Lemonberry’

Seed sowing, that is. Spring is not being gentle but rather is pouncing on us this year. Many experienced gardeners think we’re almost 2 weeks ahead of schedule planting-wise, so yes, it’s high time to get your indoor sown seeds growing so you can get a jump on our short high desert growing season!

We have a few ways to get you in the spring gardening mood…

One, we’re offering a free Seed Starting class tomorrow, Sat. March 8th at 11am-12:15pm.
Two, we just received our initial order of seeds from Botanical Interest Seeds (https://www.botanicalinterests.com/) and we are sold out of a couple of varieties already (yeah, the 63 ‘Buttergold’ se corn is a HIT!) , but, not to worry we can re-order your favorites in short order.
Three, Plants!! Our greenhouse has some lovely cold-hardy spring herbs & flowers that will really lift your spirits; most of the bare root trees are here, and lastly, come check out the ‘Jersey Knight’ asparagus crowns. They are H-U-G-E and will surely get some asparagus on your table next year.

We’ll see you soon down the garden path!

~ Karen & Marilyn

PS: We’ll be participating as vendors in the Trade Show at the ‘Living on a Few Acres’ (LOAFA) event on Sat. March 14th from 8-5 pm at the Deschutes Co. Fairgrounds in Redmond. This event consists of 3 tracks of seminars going all day and it encompasses everything one could encounter on a small farm in Central Oregon, from alpacas, to hay, to wine!  For more info call (541) 548-6088 

We’re Open for the Season!

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Madras Garden Depot is now open for the season.  We’re open from 9 AM – 5:30 PM Tuesday – Saturday, Sundays by appointment, and closed Monday.

Madras Garden Depot, serves the gardening and landscaping needs of Central Oregon from our Madras location. We specialize in horticultural solutions for the high desert, offering a wide selection of drought and cold resistant plants and expert advice.

We’re located at – 1665 N US Hwy 26 – We will be expanding our offerings in 2015to a range of landscape materials to include: decorative rock, bark and compost as well as locally manufactured cement products such as wall block, pavers and stepping stones.

 

Seasonal Close Nearly Over! Reopening Tuesday, March 3rd

ThankYouOMadras Garden Depot, serves the gardening and landscaping needs of Central Oregon from our Madras location. We specialize in horticultural solutions for the high desert, offering a wide selection of drought and cold resistant plants and expert advice.

We’re located at – 1665 N US Hwy 26 – We will be expanding our offerings in 2015to a range of landscape materials to include: decorative rock, bark and compost as well as locally manufactured cement products such as wall block, pavers and stepping stones.

Please take a minute and sign up for our email newsletter so we can keep you posted as to our sales and garden “happenings” at the Depot! (Note: we do not sell or share your info)

We’re looking forward to gardening with you soon, we will re-open on Tuesday, March 3rd!

– Karen & Marilyn