The Land of Awakening

 “Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.”  Lewis Grizzard

 

Spring will be here soon!
Spring will be here soon!

Being a good gardener, but a wretched typist, I make doubly sure that each of my cold fingers carefully touches my keyboard so I don’t have to go back and make (yet another) correction…yes, it’s very, very cold out, but we’re still planning on opening up tomorrow as we have been getting calls, visits and messages about bulk soil and bark, fruit trees and of course, dormant spray for that last window of opportunity to spray before the buds swell on the fruit trees and shrubs…

It has been a “good” winter here for us at the nursery. All of our outdoor’s over-wintered perennials, shrubs and trees have done so well! Last fall’s temperature’s gradually fell, inducing them into a perfectly cozy dormancy. I can count the losses on one hand. Our newly planted mound fared very well too considering the snow they were under for weeks. Amazingly, the most robust looking plants coming out of the winter were all of the little 4″ lavender plants and one of the wormwood varieties, ‘Powis Castle’ doesn’t even show a hint of stress. However, the viability inside our greenhouse was another story. Plants that should have been protected were not (I simply was not there to help them, due to family health issues), some plants were watered when they should have remained dry (oops, communication error!)  We also had a winter visitor, a cute cottontail “wabbit” who helped (her/himself?) to quite a few clematis vines, groundcover plants and hardy iceplants, so while they are not dead, let’s just say they were pruned within a centimeter of survival. So, we move on!

Red truck coming out of winter
Red truck coming out of winter

When you come visit us during the first week or so, please don’t be surprised to see just a few spring flowering plants. They will be coming in small orders until we get closer to April, and then BOOM! Speaking of orders, we are very happy to find plants for you, and asking us now will certainly increase the odd’s of finding them on someone’s list, so yes, ask away!

Our first event of the season will be ‘Wake up your Garden’ this Sat. March 11th, 11am-12:30pm. Come join us to get a great start in planning out your gardening season with some basic tasks and tips for improving soil, growing ornamental plants, fruits and veggies to THRIVE in our high desert. Your questions are always welcomed! If you are new to our nursery, please come meet us & find out what we do here at Madras Garden Depot. While here, you can’t help but get inspired! This will be a FREE event… Light (warm!!) refreshments served.

Wind Flower, Pulsatilla vulgaris, always laugh's at the cold!
Wind Flower, Pulsatilla vulgaris, always laughs at the cold!

 

Our next class will be: Seed Starting’, Sat. march 18th, 11am-12:30pm …learn about the joys of growing vegetables + flowers from seeds started indoors. This class will cover which types of vegetables grow best in our area, timing seedling starts, when to harden them off and how to plant and care for your seedlings, what seeds are better ‘direct sown’ and much more. We’ll give you tips for growing both vegetable and flower seeds. Using good techniques, you’ll be successful at growing your own produce and blooms from start to finish.This will be a FREE class with a limit of 15 participants. Please RSVP by Fri. March 17th. Warm refreshments served.

Tulips and Daffodils in our demonstration bed
Yes, tulips and daffodils in Madras!

Let’s keep in touch! To keep up to date with the going’s on here at Madras Garden Depot, and in the central Oregon gardening community in general, please consider “liking” us on our Facebook page (link below, or on R sidebar). You can check the Facebook page from time-to-time to see what’s new & wonderful and even send us messages, which we often see sooner than emails sent in to our work address. You can also sign up for our newsletter ( R sidebar.)

Holy snowflake, what a winter!!

Vintage print of peach & flower
Vintage print of peach & flower

….And the good news is that we had a very gradual fall with temperatures that gently eased our plants into a nice dormant state. Hopefully, if you noticed snow dumping off of roofs and piling up on perennials, vines or shrubs, that you attended to them before too much damage ensued. If not, be aware that some rehabilitative pruning could be in store. Except for “emergency” pruning, it’s usually best to wait until the first buds start to appear before you start cutting. By waiting, you will help keep that plant from further insulting frost damage on newly pruned branches. We’ll be sure to have a mini pruning clinic early in March to address these issues – please keep an eye out for the date.

A reminder, if you haven’t done any dormant spraying of fruit and deciduous trees and shrubs (such as roses & lilacs), it’s a good idea to get ready to do so. Optimally, its best to have a window of time where temperatures are above 40° for 24 hours, so we still have a few weeks to prepare. If you are looking for dormant oil/horticultural oil we have it in stock. We’re currently working in the office & nursery getting orders in and plants straightened out ,etc, so  don’t hesitate to reach out with an email or leave a voice message & we’ll get back to you for a time to meet up.

Our opening date for the 2017 season is Tuesday, March 7th. We’ll have our spring hours in effect, Tues- Sat, 9 am – 5 pm, closed Sunday’s and Monday’s. Please contact us with your requests as we are still sourcing many plants and can easily fit your request into an order. Please note, we will be bringing in our dormant fruit tree inventory in a bit later this season in an effort to get a wider variety of peaches and apricots which seem to be wildly popular these days.

Finally, we’re happy to once again be a part of Eagle Watch Feb.25-26, from 9-4 at PGE Round Butte Overlook park. We’ll have our own heated yurt and will be helping to identify helpful ways homeowners can support wild bird and pollinator habitats in their own yards with plants and flowers… we’ll have a few tempting spring flowering “treats” as well such as ‘Bellarina’ primroses, Checkered Fritillary Lilies and pansies & violas. These can be safely planted in containers on your porch or placed in pretty baskets or pots on cool windowsills.
If you have never attended Eagle Watch, you are in for a local treat, DO bring the kids +grandkids!
See you soon!

Twilight Open Garden – this Friday!

This Friday, August 5th from 6 – 8 pm there will be a free ‘Twilight Open Garden’ at the Moran residence in Yarrow, co-sponsored by the Madras Garden Depot & the Madras Garden Club. This garden is about 3 years old and was intentionally designed to display very hardy, but beautiful native and adapted ornamental plants that typically do not require as much water (and maintenance!) as a lawn. Besides using less water, the garden is maintained organically and many of the plants used also encourages and support pollinators, there is even an area set aside and dedicated just for bees and butterflies.

Looking west from Moran garden, Madras 2016
Looking west from Moran garden, Madras 2016

We have been helping the Moran’s for a few years now (well mostly Beckie, though Mike is a super-good sport hauling all the landscape rock & bark!) through every step of the development of this landscape, from the initial design and approval from the HOA, then providing on site guidance and plant selection. Along the way we somehow managed to become good friends, and Beckie, who was a certified Master Gardener before arriving in Madras, is currently the president of the Madras Garden Club.

penstemonopt
Yellow Pineleaf Penstemon (Penstemon pinifolius ‘Mersea Yellow’) This is a low growing, sun loving, deer resistant, EVERGREEN perennial!

Please come enjoy a warm summer evening out among your fellow gardeners from our community. There will be light refreshments available. Many of the plants will be identified with plant markers, but Karen from Madras Garden Depot will be there to lead the informal tour & answer questions at 7 pm. NOTES: If you do need to bring young children, please supervise them at all times during your visit; do not bring dogs; there are gravel pathways on some hillsides that are not accessible to the handicapped, but the garden is very easily viewed from paved sidewalks & alley that surround it on 3 sides; lastly, please do not park in the alley (there will be a sign identifying this ‘No Parking’ zone.)

- For details & directions to the Moran residence please call the Madras Garden Depot  or send us an email message.

*If you enjoy this type of event and would like to open your garden (vegetable gardens as well!) to a tour or would like to “nominate” someone you know who has an exceptional garden to share, please don’t be shy, go ahead & contact us ;)

 

Hypertufa? What??

Planted Hypertufa containers
Planted Hypertufa containers

Hey Central Oregon gardening fans! Do you like interesting , all weather planters for tabletops and patios?  Please consider joining the gang at Madras Garden Depot for our 5th annual August Hypertufa container classes, Saturday, August 6th and Saturday August 20th from 10am-1:30pm  Each participant in the class will make up to 3 hypertufa rock-like planters, which you can take home an plant up! They make perfect gifts too. We have scheduled 2 classes as some people really get hooked & want to make more containers, or bring friends and share the experience with them.
..So, just what is hypertufa you ask??

IseliTrough_opt
A large hypertufa container planted with evergreens

Hypertufa is a recipe of cement and other inorganic & organic additives and the final product greatly mimics quarried stone. Rectangular stone troughs have long been used for planting small, often hardy alpine plants, but more xeric (water-thrifty) rock garden plants such as sedums & sempervirens can also be used. Each hypertufa container is uniquely different & beautiful!

Our cement mixer makes mixing the recipe’s a breeze, we have a huge inventory of forms to use, as well as different tints and stains. We will have light refreshments on hand. Do wear grubby gardening clothes and please bring your own sturdy rubber gloves. Be prepared to get dirty & have FUN!

Cost: $35 fee includes all materials & lunch.  This is a very popular class, please rsvp to 541 475-2068 or email: info@madrasgarden.com

Time for…A Summer Sale!

640px-Aesculus_carnea_BotGartenMuenster_PurpurKastanie_6685
Need an awesome shade tree? Check out our ‘Ft. McNair’ red horse Chestnut (in spring bloom) just one of our trees now on sale.

For those of you not off on a summer adventure somewhere, you might want to check out our pretty cool Summer Sale. Our sale will be in effect  through July 26th, and yes, there are a couple of exclusions.  All planted “on-the-ground” containers and begonia hanging baskets are not included in the sale, as are some new arrivals, which are marked NET on the price tag.

Time to shop & plant!

  • $1 OFF all 4” & “Pak” Annuals
  • 50¢ OFF all 4” Perennials + Herbs+ Grasses
  • $2 OFF all 1 gal Perennials+Annuals+Herbs+Grasses
  • $10 OFF all of our 12″ & 14″ hanging baskets!
  • $3 OFF all 2+ gal Deciduous Shrubs+Grasses
  • $3 OFF all 1+ gal Vines
  • $5 OFF all 2+ gal Evergreens under $50
  • $10 OFF all Evergreens over $50
  • $5 OFF all 2+ gal Roses
  • $5 OFF all potted Fruit Trees
  • $5 OFF all Shade Trees under $80
  • $10 OFF all Shade Trees over $80

Come to the Holiday Market!

1-IceWindow

Things are in full ‘Holiday’ swing up at the Madras Garden Depot. Our handmade wreaths are leaving us for mantles and doors all over central Oregon. We even received an inquiry about shipping a wreath out of state! Our lovely ‘natural’ un-sheared Noble firs are leaving us as well, to grace living rooms with family ornaments and fragrance too! There is still a nice selection of cut Noble firs as well as about 12 varieties in different sizes of “live’ trees, either potted or ball & burlap. We’re happy to give you tips on how to best keep them happy indoors and how to plant them outdoors after Santa has come.

20151201_105531
Handmade 26″ mixed evergreen wreath with wired bow

Tomorrow we are taking a trailer-full of goodies to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds for an indoor Madras Holiday Market, from 9 am-4 pm. There will be 40 local vendors selling everything from handmade jams and preserves to carved wooden figures. There will be live music and food & beverages available. You will find our booth just inside the front door of the main building, so come say “hello”!

A certain Mr Claus was in yesterday looking for the prefect gift for Mrs Claus!
A certain Mr Claus was in yesterday looking for the perfect gift for Mrs Claus!

 For the perfect last minute gift for all of your gardener’s on your list, don’t forget one of our gift certificates, good for a full year after purchase!

We have the local cheer!

Freezing fog & Christmas trees
Freezing fog & Christmas trees

When you decide to ignore the cold fog do some Holiday shopping, consider a visit our nursery where you will find a nice assortment of indoor flowering plants such as cool-weather loving Cyclamen and Zygo (Christmas) cactus & Rabbit’s Foot Fern to bring on Holiday cheer!

HolidayFlowering2015

There is also a small group of hanging glass mini-terrariums containing little air-plants called ‘Tillandsias’ starting at $12.

Teardrop terrarium with Tillandsia
Teardrop terrarium with Tillandsia

Unusual varieties of winter-blooming Amaryllis are getting ready to bloom in a warm room and are available potted in various clay pots starting at $15  Pointsettias will arrive soon on Dec. 8th!

We just set out the fresh-cut Noble Fir Christmas trees. These are “naturally grown” trees (un-sheared & un-sprayed) that have been hand selected by us from 2 family farms in Oregon City & Boring. Want a tree to really show off your ornament collection? These are the real ‘old fashioned’ trees! Prices start at just $8.00 for a table top sized tree!


And on the wreath theme…Our handmade wreaths composed of (legally) hand collected greens from the forest are now available as we make them here inside the store. Know that they can be made up “just for you” by special order…please contact us soon to find out more & get on the wreath list!

2015-11-29 12.09.10

Lastly…a surprise! We have some really cool new garden & nature inspired jewelry items in our indoor gift area – all made “locally” in Oregon & California.
  • Vintage lockets made by Verabel, each one different and unusual starting at $36
  • Made in Madras: earrings and necklaces of semi precious beads and crystals starting at just $10
  • One of a kind Enamel Bluebird pins by illustrator Elizabeth Graeber to make anyone happy, $10

We have also added a line of artisanal soaps made in small batches with all natural ingredients and scents by a great little company, Three Sisters Apothacary. We picked our order up in person and had a nice chat with the owner about the trials, tribulations & joys of operating a small business. For something different , included in the offerings are 2 different kinds of shampoo bars for dogs!


 On Saturday Dec.12th, we will once again be participating as vendors at the Madras Saturday Christmas Market being held indoors from 9 am-4 pm at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. All of the vendors are truly local, so please support YOUR local economy by doing a little or a lot of shopping at the Market, and please come ‘bye & say “hello” to our booth.

Please tell your friends and neighbors, thanks!

Brrr! ‘Tender’ plants, what to do?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGot “tender” plants outside you’d like to save?

There have been at least 2 “good” frosts reaching down to 25° over the past 8 days – brrrr! In plant-geek technical terms this is referred to as a “killing frost” and if you have plants that are on the tender side, i.e. dahlias, tuberous begonias or some of the less hardy gladiolas, or any annuals you’d like to overwinter indoors, now is the time to dig them up and move ‘em in.

The first freezes really doesn’t severely damage the roots and growth potential, but it  will burn back much of the excess top growth, which ‘bye this time for many plants, was looking pretty tired before the freeze. We  like to lift & save many of the fancier begonias, geraniums and hardy fuchsias that we appreciate and have spent good money for. Here’s what we do:

We bring them in the potting area, take them out of their pots, cut back all but about 1/3 of the plant, divide & root prune if called for and re-pot them in fresh potting soil, adding in only about 1/2 of the usual slow release fertilizer into the soil. After watering them in, we then either wrap them in about 3 loose layers of frost fabric and place on an upper shelf in our unheated greenhouse, or if really tender, they will travel to one of our attics with windows, to sit in a cool but sunny location for the winter. Over the next 4 1/2 months they’ll only getting a few sips of water and some pot rotation so any  growth stays more uniform.

In spring, when the night time temps are reaching just over 38°, we’ll bring them out of their winter hibernation into our greenhouse for more light and observation, only watering if really necessary. Once the new growth starts appearing, then we water and again lightly fertilize, and they’re back to being beauties again!

Am.JewelDouble
Fragrant Amaryllis ‘Jewel Double’

Amaryllis!

Soon, (hopefully ‘bye Nov 14th), our Amaryllis bulbs will arrive @ the nursery! They are top size commercially available bulbs (much larger than what is generally seen at retail stores). Our Amaryllis  deliver a sensational winter display, most with 2 stems or more bearing up to 4 blooms each. The bulbs have been conditioned at the proper temperature to bloom in about 8-9 weeks after planting in your home. Our staff will coach you on how to care for them before and after blooming so you can get years of enjoyment from your Amaryllis. To differentiate ourselves from what is typically offered at a box store, we are stocking some new and unusual types of  Amaryllis, sold pre-planted in our decorative containers or just as bulbs. To help with your gifting needs, know that we can help fulfill requests for larger orders if you contact us before Nov. 23rd.

Am.RapidoRed2
Amaryllis ‘Rapido Red’, a new dwarf multi-stemmed variety
  • Rapido Red’ – This mighty miniature has many extravagant deep red blooms per stem, on stems about 16″. Perfect for a smaller space. It is noted as a prolific bloomer.
  • ‘Jewel Double’ – Fragrant! Exquisite is a perfect description for this variety. Its pure-white, double blooms glow with the luster of pearls and possess a rare light, sweet fragrance, unusual to Amaryllis. Stems are full size, to 26″ tall.
  • ‘La Paz’  – The narrow, ‘spidery’ petals of ‘La Paz’ have red and green stripes that lead your eye right to the center of its striking blooms. This is a new type of ‘Cybister’ Amaryllis, often produces three stems per bulb reaching about 24″.
Am.LaPaz2
Amaryllis ‘La Paz’ – a new dwarf ‘Cybister’ variety

 

Coming (Holiday) attractions!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our Holiday offerings at the Madras Garden Depot start this weekend, Nov. 14th!

  • Holiday Wreath-making workshop: Bring your friends & hop up to the Garden Depot for a morning of fun creating your own gorgeous holiday evergreen or mixed wreath. We provide a mix of boughs, twigs, cones,  moss, vines, seasonal berries, frames, ribbon and guidance. Feel free to bring any embellishments or greenery, or add one of our glass bird ornaments to suit your taste or décor. Refreshments served. (Note: if you have them, please bring gloves, pruners and needle nose pliers). This class fills up fast, so sign up now & save the date! $30
  • Well be expanding our conifer inventory with unusual “living” Christmas trees that you can plant outside after the Holidays. Conifers such as Baby Blue, Siberian & Norway Spruce, Vanderwulf Limber and Bosnian pines and Arizona ‘Corkbark’ sub-alpine firs to name a few. In the greenhouse you will find a nice assortment of indoor flowering plants such as cool-weather loving Cyclamen and Zygo (Christmas) cactus to bring on Holiday cheer!
  • The day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 27th we’ll start our cut tree sales. Again, we’ll offer “naturally grown” Noble Fir trees (un-sheared & un-sprayed) that have been hand selected by us from 2 family farms in Oregon City & Boring. Want a tree to really show off your ornament collection? These are the real deal! Prices start at just $15.00
  • And on the wreath theme…A few handmade wreaths will be available after Nov 15th & can also be made up “just for you” by special order…please contact us soon to find out more & get “on the list”!

Please note: we are open through Dec. 24th, 9-5 Monday-Saturday & 11-2 Sunday’s, as weather permits!

 

 

 

❤ pears? A recipe for you…

After the two Pear & Apple tastings this week, look what we made from some of the extra pears – poached pears! So yummy, and easy.
We altered the ‘Maple Poached Pears’ recipe from perfectpantry.com by adding in about a 1 Tbsp. “chunk” of crystallized ginger. We used Seckel and Red Anjou pears that were ripe, but not overly so. These are pears that we actually have trees of at the nursery. Seckel pears are hard to find, but we have 2 of them left!
One last thing about this dessert, the syrup from the reduction was THE BEST!! We saved the left over syrup for future french toast or pancakes.
Here’s the recipe, enjoy!

Poached Pears

This simple, yet elegant, dessert serves 4; can be multiplied.
4 pears
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Peel the pears and, from the bottom, remove the cores, leaving the stems on. Place in a nonreactive pot with lemon zest, lemon juice, and maple syrup, plus enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat until tender when pierced with a knife. Allow pears to cool in the poaching liquid. (This can be done several hours ahead.) Remove pears to serving plates, and bring the liquid to a boil. Stir in sugar, butter and vanilla, and reduce the sauce to desired consistency. Drizzle the sauce over and around pears, and serve.


 What’s new …

cobane 4

  • Our fall sale continues: 20% off on all plants & trees,  25% off all tools, sprays, bagged fertilizers etc.
  • We’re getting excited about the Holidays! This year we’re adding some nice garden themed gifts like glass bird ornaments, botanical soaps and fine paper goods along with a larger selection of “living” Christmas trees, hand made* wreaths and again our popular “natural” (un-sheared) Noble firs, that have a wonderful old-fashioned Christmas look.  (* If you need a custom wreath or 2, please contact us so we can make exactly what you desire.)

A taste of fall

Please join us up at the Depot for a free sampling of apples and pears. These are all the same cold hardy varieties we stock at the nursery as both potted and bare root trees. The trees include heirloom as well as modern types. We will discuss basic fruit tree location, planting and culture, including winter care. There will also be a sign up sheet for early discounted ordering of 2016 bare root fruit trees!

We’re offering 2 opportunities to sample, Thursday Oct 15th at 6 pm and again Saturday Oct 17th at 11 am. Here is a partial list of some of the varieties we’ll be sampling:

  • APPLES: Arkansas Black, Cortland, Golden Russet, Jonagold, McIntosh, Spartan, Winesap Winter Banana
  • PEARS: Anjou, Bartlett, Bosc, Red Anjou, Seckel
  • ASIAN PEARS: Shinseiki, 20th Century

20151008_1525302015-10-08 21.21.40

Red Anjou pear
Red Anjou pear