Late Summer happenings….Hypertufa, again!

 

 

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Upcoming class….Come join the gang at Madras Garden Depot for the 2nd of our annual August Hypertufa container classes,  Saturday August 20th from 10am-1:30pm. Each participant  will make up to 3 hypertufa rock-like planters, which you can take home an plant up – for class participants we’re offering 20% off on 4″ succulents the day of the class!

..So, what is hypertufa ??

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12″ x 4″ Hypertufa planter with miniature Delosperma (Hardy iceplant) and an Alpine Primrose. made in 2013, it is kept outside 24/7.

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, 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! They are made to withstand freezing temperatures and reside outdoors, but you can bring them inside on a sunny windowsill and plant with tropical cactus and succulents – think of what a neat Christmas gift this would be!

Our cement mixer makes mixing the recipe’s a breeze, we’ll use different tints and stains in the mixes and we have an abundant inventory of forms to use, and, if you want to bring a form along to use, feel free to do so.  Remember to wear grubby gardening clothes and please bring your own sturdy rubber gloves and 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 – we have 3 more spots available!


…And from the Madras Garden Depot Dept. of Wildlife:

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‘Hilda’ the resident Praying Mantis devouring her (ex) beau one one of the Panic Grasses in our Ornamental Grass section of the nursery. Photo: Horst Meister 8.17.16


 

Seen at the nursery:

 


 

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.

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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 ;)

 

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.

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…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!

 

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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!

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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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″.
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Amaryllis ‘La Paz’ – a new dwarf ‘Cybister’ variety

 

Coming (Holiday) attractions!

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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!

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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.


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 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…

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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!

…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