With as much rain, flooding and gray skies that we have had, it has been hard to keep a positive outlook. Yes, we needed the rain, but so much in so little time? Even a native Oregonian like myself is daydreaming about the sunny, warm desert or a tropical isle (the dry side, of course). What is a gardener to do?
At the nursery, we have been busy painting and setting up for spring. The crew has changed the look of the annual house by painting the posts gray, one wall a continuation of the nacho cheese yellow next to it, and the doors and accents hot pink. It actually turned out quite nicely. You’ll have to check it out and see what you think. Inside, we used Pantone’s color of the year, Tangerine Tango, to brighten the room in between the registers and the bonsai area. That room now contains the books, thermometers, clocks and pond products. We received a shipment of new herbs, primroses (including the double Belarinas), and budding bulbs.
Since the primroses had arrived, at home I took the opportunity to pull the greens and twigs out of the pots on my front porch and added primroses. What is left of the spring flowering bulbs are 75% off until they are gone or the summer flowering ones arrive, probably around February 1st. So I took advantage of that and planted some Frittilaria and Anemones in the pots. Also, I added Alliums to my rose bed and stuck a few in pots since I want to add to some existing ones but I’m not sure exactly where they are. My crocus and daffodils are popping their noses out of the ground, but the Alliums won’t appear for a little while yet. I did see some sweet violets in bloom and the crocus were showing color. Spring is just around the corner. What a sweet thought.
January and February are the months to plan and educate yourself. The new seed racks have arrived, including Territorial Seeds. Their catalog is a steal at 25 cents and full of great information on seed starting and cultivation. I’ve begun looking over the racks to see what new varieties are available this year. For those wanting to grow a lot of Stevia, the natural sweetener, Botanical Interests has seed on their rack. I have my eye on
mounding, yellow Nasturtium called Cup of Sun on Renee’s Garden seed rack. I’ll need to check out the Sweet Peas, too. To help you get educated, we are offering a monthly class called “What To Do In the Garden”, or WTDITG for short. The first Sunday of each month at noon, one of our experts will explain just what to do each month to get the most out of your garden (and landscape) each month. The first class is February 5th at noon. This class should be valuable for both the novice and experienced gardener.
There are two educational opportunities outside of Garland Nursery that feature two of our experts. The first is “Insights into Gardening” on February 11. Karen Hopson will be speaking at 11am. Her class is “Creating Interest in Your Garden Every Month”. Garland Nursery will also have a table there selling blooming plants and plants with late winter interest. There is a fee for a full day of gardening classes and pre-registration is required. To check out all the classes and pre-register, go to http://extension.oregonstate.edu/benton. Lee Powell, co-owner of Garland Nursery and licensed landscape architect, will be speaking at the February 21 “Gearing up for Gardening”. His topic is “Not tonight deer”. He will explain how to design plant combinations to thwart those pesky deer. This is a free class held at 12:10 at the Corvallis Public Library’s main meeting room. This is a series of classes, the next on Tuesday, January 31 and running weekly through February 27th. You can check out all the topics at the above listed extension webpage.
Finally, if you just need to get out of the house, we’re giving you a good place to go on Saturday, February 4th. The Mary’s Peak Orchid Society is hosting it’s Annual Orchid Show and Sale from 9am to 5pm at Garland Nursery. There will be exhibits and judging of an array of incredible orchards. Shop the beautiful and unique orchid varieties, receive expert orchid advice, and bring your own orchids in to be repotted for a fee. This was a really popular event last year and we’re excited to be hosting it again.
For information on this event and other classes and events this spring, check out our website at www.garlandnursery.com. While you’re on our home page, scroll down to find the “days to spring” calculator. As I’m writing this, there are 56 days until the official start of spring, March 20th this year. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait!