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!

Wild & Crazy Weather!

Today we’ve decided to abbreviate our hours for the next 2 days, opening at 11 am and closing at 2 pm Saturday and Sunday Oct 15 & 16th. 

Hopefully some of you will see this post here, or on our Facebook page, or call ahead and listen to our phone message or at last resort see the sign posted on our gate. if you really need something earlier or later call or email us and we’ll do the best we can to accommodate.

We just need a little break from this wind-whipped storm frenzy. Normal 9-5:30 hours will resume next Tuesday, Oct 18th.  Thanks for understanding!

 

Capture

 

Here are a few new things at the nursery worth checking out:

*PS: Please check out our upcoming Field Trip event on Facebook, or on our Google calendar feed to the right > a ‘Mini Parkdale Fruit Loop’ coming up this Monday Oct 17th – it’s going to be a blast! 

 

Welcome back to green, (aka spring!)

1-1-20150427_212222On Tuesday March 1st we will re-open for the season, yay! It has been a very mild winter compared to 2014-15 and all of our plants are pushing new growth, some, like our hybrid (safe) Butterfly Bushes even getting a bit carried away with themselves so they’ll have to have a date with our pruners a little sooner than later.

So, how did your garden & landscape fare over the winter? If you haven’t done so already you can still get a dormant spray on those deciduous shrubs and trees – fruiting or ornamental. It’s also a great time to tidy up perennials by cutting back old, dead growth to within 3″-4″ of emerging new growth. If you didn’t apply any compost last fall, here is a perfect opportunity to do it before the foliage on your plants takes off. We have organic compost in bags and by the yard. Our plant based compost sold by the yard is also a perfect topdressing for your lawn. Apply about 1″ over the lawn and rake it in. You’ll be surprised what a difference it can make.Recently the days, and yes, even the nights have been over 50° but it does appear we’re headed back for some more normal mild frosts – yes, it is still February everyone!

eaglewatch1And February in Jefferson County also means it’s time to celebrate the eagles during the annual Eagle Watch Celebration weekend, coming up soon Feb. 27th & 28th from 10-4 at the Round Butte Overlook Park about 10 miles west of Madras. Madras Garden Depot has once again been asked to participate, and we’ll be set up inside a warm yurt prepared to share ideas about how to make the outside environment around your home friendlier to birds in particular and wildlife, (including pollinators) in general. So come say hello, and don’t forget, this is a very kid-friendly event!

1-eaglewatch2  Eagle Watch Celebration   

To get right into the swing of things up at the nursery, our annual seed starting class with Karen will be held on Sat. March 5th at 11 am inside our greenhouse. Learn about the joys of growing vegetables from seeds started indoors or sown directly in your garden. This class will cover which types of vegetables grow best in our area, timing seed sowing for optimum growth, when to harden them off and how to plant-out and care for your seedlings, and much more.
Karen will give you tips for growing both vegetable and flower seeds. Using the proper techniques, you will be successful at growing your own produce and blooms from start to finish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…And now for the Wait There’s More” message:  Every attendee who purchases seed propagation equipment or 2 or more packets of seed will receive 2 quarts of ‘Black Gold’ organic seedling mix & a sample packet of Cascade Minerals Soil Re-Mineralizer, absolutely FREE!

A New Year’s inversion diversion!

 

Capture

We acknowledge that even we are getting a bit weary of the gloom outside. It’s been like this for a week or more, argh…

We welcome you to the world of the temperature inversion…So in light of that, (or really due to the lack of light!) if you would like a “diversion from the inversion” please check out this neat-o coloring book from our seed supplier: Botanical Interests Coloring Book

Hope you enjoy the coloring book and if you are thinking of spring and all things seeds, we’ll  have our seeds ready to purchase in our store at the beginning of March. If there is a particular variety you are looking for we can easily get it for you – just send us your wish list.

Stay warm out there!

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!

 

 

 

The best time…to Fall back!

20150808_175339
Red Zinnia

 

Its 46° at 7:30 am and the NOAA weather display on the computer looks a bit boring: azure blue skies, dark, clear nights, all across the screen, every day the same…yeah!

Happy Fall Equinox!
For newly planted roots, this weather couldn’t get any better: cool nights, calm, warm days. Why are we mentioning this? Well, it’s time to get planting, to take advantage of this “gift”! We also want to offer you, our customers  who read this website and our newsletter, a “thank you” in the form of an additional discount during our Fall Equinox Sale which begins today. Just mention the password ‘equinox’ when you check-out and you will receive an additional 10% off your most expensive single item you are purchasing. So…if you buy 3 perennials and a tree, you will receive the additional discount on your tree purchase!  Here is a breakdown of our Fall Sale you can take advantage of:

20% off all perennials & shrubs, including evergreens and ground covers

20% off all fall annuals including pansies, violas and decorative cabbage & kale

20% off all pre-planted fall themed containers

20% off all ‘edibles': berries, grapes, rhubarb, perennial herbs etc.

25% off  our colorful pottery & statuary, including fountains!

25% off all “imported” trees, deciduous & evergreen (trees we did not pot up from bare root stock)

30% off all *our* potted deciduous & fruit trees (trees we planted from bare root this year)

50% off rack for “ugly duckling” plants that are still viable but need a little TLC

75% off all annuals (yes, you can overwinter that begonia, geranium or dahlia you love & we’ll tell you how!)

So, what’s “hot” in the nursery right now? For starters, we just updated our supply of fall color which includes annual pansies, violas and decorative kales and cabbages. The perennial asters and mums are really looking good We have several newer varieties of both, varieties that don’t get so tall and leggy so you won’t have to remember to cut them back earlier in the season.

Our amazing staff have potted up some spectacular fall planters composed of both annuals and perennials that should carry right into Thanksgiving, making your entry areas really pretty.


pumpkin+botanical+vintage+graphicsfairysm

 Upcoming event:  Customer Appreciation Day, October 3rd!

Please join us on Sat. October 3rd from 10 am until 3 pm for:

  • A fall wreath demo at 10:30… how to make a seasonal wreath from what we have right in our own yards
  • Free hot dogs with all the fixins’ plus lemonade, from noon until 2 pm
  • How do you plant that tree or shrub? A class in BMP’s (best management practices) for successful planting, from 1-2 pm
  • Door prizes including free plants and gift cards
  • A fall gardening round-table discussion from 2-3 pm: how did your garden grow & how to prepare it for next yearacorn+oak+vintage+image+graphicsfairy002b

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…

20150424_133521
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.

20150424_163054 20150424_16310620150424_16303620150424_163211

Container and hanging basket alert!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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.)

daphne-etern1

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

HTC_0536

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!

angels choir poppy

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.

Clematis1_opt

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.