November 30, 2011

Winter Travel to "Amazing Costa Rica"

Tired of the cold winter weather? Join us for an armchair trip to Costa Rica on January 14, 2012. Herpetologist Paul Freed will return to The Oregon Garden to speak about the amazing flora and fauna of this beautiful tropical locale. 

This small Central America nation is full of natural riches.  Lush rainforests, spectacular cloud forests, as well as beaches on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans highlight some of this country’s most sought-after destinations.  The wildlife in Costa Rica is exciting and diverse and there are many opportunities for people to see them up close and personal.  Travel with Paul as he explores Costa Rica’s natural wonders.  Gaudy poison frogs, raucous monkeys, and magnificent bird life punctuate the adventure that he will share with you.

Strawberry Poison Frog - Costa Rica

Amazing Costa Rica
January 14, 2012
1 p.m.
Education Center at The Oregon Garden
Tickets: $15 General Admission (includes Garden admission); Free for Oregon Garden Members

Call 503-874-8100 for tickets

October 31, 2011

The Oregon Garden announces a limited time offer on tickets to the 2012 Garden University speaker series! Between November 1st and December 31, 2011, we are offering Garden University tickets at the following prices:

One admission to ANY 2 lectures in 2012 - $18 ($30 value)
One admission to ANY 4 lectures in 2012 - $25 ($60 value)
One admission to ANY 6 lectures in 2012 - $32 ($90 value)

A great gift for the garden enthusiast, arm chair traveler or the person who has everything - give the gift of education and entertainment. Each Garden University admission comes with admission to The Oregon Garden on the day of the program.

This special lasts only through the holiday season - get yours today! Buy two and bring a friend to enjoy the program with you...

Purchase this deal online at GU Holiday Special or by calling 503-874-8100. If it is too hard to pick just some of the Garden University lectures, consider becoming a Garden Member - all Garden University lectures are free to Garden Members. Membership can be purchased at

We hope to see you at a Garden University program soon!

September 22, 2011

                           2012 Garden University
                    Schedule Announced

The Oregon Garden is proud to announce the 2012 schedule of speakers for Garden University. In its third year, Garden University is expanding to over 20 programs in a mix of lectures, workshops, and demonstrations. Gardeners of every level will find something to enjoy with the new schedule.

Lectures and demonstrations are free to Oregon Garden members and are just $15 for the general public. The ticket fee includes Garden admission on the day of the lecture. Workshops have program fees specific to the materials needed. Tickets to 2012 GU programs can be purchased by calling 503-874-8100 or at the Visitor Center. Members can order tickets by calling the Membership Department at 503-874-2533 or emailing

Schedule overview is below - follow our blog for more information about each program.

January 14, 2012
Amazing Costa Rica with Paul Freed
Education Center at 1 p.m.

This small Central America nation is full of natural riches. Lush rainforests, spectacular cloud forests, as well as beaches on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans highlight some of this country’s most sought-after destinations. The wildlife in Costa Rica is exciting and diverse and there are many opportunities for people to see them up close and personal. Travel with Paul as he explores Costa Rica’s natural wonders. Gaudy poison frogs, raucous monkeys, and magnificent bird life punctuate the adventure that he will share with you.

January 21, 2012
Rain Gardens Made Easy with Amy Whitworth
Education Center at 1 p.m.

Take storm water and turn it into a garden feature! Learn how, when and where to create rain gardens that are both functional and beautiful while benefiting wildlife and the insect population. Note: Rain gardens are not appropriate for all locations. Come and learn more.

February 11, 2012
Herbaceous Cooking with Kris Wetherbee
Education Center at 1 p.m.

Come discover the magic of culinary herbs as Kris Wetherbee imparts her passion and knowledge on using herbs from garden to table. Learn how you can turn ordinary dishes into something extraordinary through the use of fresh herbs. Wetherbee will share her top tips for growing herbs along with how to store fresh herbs and prepare them for cooking. Then taste for yourself the difference fresh herbs can make as she prepares and shares a recipe or two.

March 30, 2012
Herb Garden Favorites with Sue Goetz
Oregon Garden Resort at 6 p.m.

A five senses discovery in the herb garden. Herbs in the garden for fragrance, culinary, healing and more. Get to know the top ten favorite herbs as well as the many ways to grow and use them. Show and tell ideas and tips for harvesting, preserving, culinary and crafts all using aromatic herbs. Also included; Sue’s recipes that use “any” herb, recipes that personalize crafting, care and culinary items.

March 31, 2012
Herbal Lotions & Potions Workshop with Sue Goetz
Oregon Garden Resort at 10 a.m.

Grow your own lotions and beauty potions. Tips and recipes to soaps, bath salts, fragrant herbal waters, household and beauty products all using fresh herbs from the garden. Topics include herb varieties to grow, their qualities, harvesting and preserving tips.

March 31, 2012
Deciduous Divas with Roger Gossler of Gossler Farms Nursery
Education Center at 1 p.m.
Join us as local nurseryman Roger Gossler takes you on an exploration of truly incredible show stopping shrubs and trees. Some plants are fillers, but these are the stars of the garden.

April 7, 2012
How to Grow Warm Season Crops in Cooler Climates with Willi Galloway
Education Center at 1 p.m.

The Pacific Northwest has a long frost-free season, but our temperate summers make growing warm season crops like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and basil a challenge. In this lecture Willi will discuss strategies for getting your best harvest ever, including how to warm up the soil earlier in spring and how to build a hoop house. She’ll also discuss the pros and cons of different season extension tools like cloches, Wall-O-Waters and cold frames and offer detailed growing plans for the most popular warm season vegetables. You’ll also learn the best tasting and most productive vegetable varieties for our region.

May 12, 2012
Garden Gems with Dan Heims of Terra Nova Gardens
Education Center at 1 p.m.

Dan has been exposed to more plants, in more places “than your average bear”. This talk is a fun compilation of some of the newest, most exciting perennials, tropicals, and woodies seen today. Dan pulls together these plants from world-wide trips, botanical gardens, plant shows, and nurseries. Satisfy the plant nerd within!

May 19, 2012
Garden Up! Vertical Gardening with Rebecca Sweet
Education Center at 1 p.m. 
Vertical gardening is the latest, most talked about garden trend. Whether you’re interested in edibles, ornamentals or a little of both, taking advantage of vertical spaces is an easy way to take your garden to the next level. Filled with inspiring photos and innovative approaches, Rebecca’s presentation will highlight a range of vertical gardening ideas, from vegetable towers made of recycled PVC pipes to stunning succulent walls.

June 9, 2012
Dirt Cheap Gardening with Marianne Binetti
Education Center at 1 p.m.

A fun and creative approach to enjoying your garden more while spending less on maintenance, art and new plants. Learn kitchen cupboard remedies for slug control, aphid control and cheap ways to improve your lawn, dress up your landscape and boost your home's curb appeal. Handout included with class and book signing immediately following class.

June 23, 2012
Wicked Plants: The Deliciously Dark Side of the Plant World with Amy Stewart
Education Center at 11 a.m.

In her new bestseller, Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities, Amy Stewart takes on Mother Nature’s most appalling creations. It’s an A to Z of plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend. Drawing on history, medicine, science, and legend, Stewart presents tales of bloodcurdling botany that will entertain, alarm, and enlighten even the most intrepid gardeners and nature lovers.

June 23, 2012
Wicked Bugs: Fearsome & Ferocious Creatures in Your Backyard & Beyond w/Amy Stewart
Education Center at 1 p.m.

Join Amy Stewart for a darkly comical look at the sinister side of our relationship with the insect world. You’ll meet creatures that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs. From the world’s most painful hornet, to the flies that transmit deadly diseases, to millipedes that stop traffic, to the “bookworms” that devour libraries, to the Japanese beetles munching on your roses, Wicked Bugs delves into the extraordinary power of six and eight-legged creatures. It’s a mixture of history, science, murder, and intrigue that begins—but doesn’t end—in your own backyard.

July 14, 2012
Clematis Myth Busting with Linda Beutler
Education Center at 1 p.m.

For every rule you may think you know about growing clematis, there is at least one exception, and sometimes many, many more! Not all clematis climb, not all clematis want their feet in the shade, and there isn't a single clematis that never needs or wants pruning. Join Rogerson Clematis Collection curator Linda Beutler as she untangles the snarl of misinformation about clematis cultivation.

August 11, 2012
Carnivorous Plants: Murderous Vegetables with Barry Rice
Education Center at 1 p.m.

We are used to a world where plants sit still and humans eat them. This is comfortable to us. But the world is a much stranger place if you look closer. There are several hundred species of plants that have taken a hankering to flesh. And in case you are complacent, you might want to know that several species live in Oregon! Learn about these murderous vegetables—how they kill, how they digest, and where they live. Carnivorous plants are amazing hunters—and we barely understand them!

September 21, 2012
Create your own bouquets using local and seasonal ingredients (WORKSHOP)
Debra Prinzing
Silverton Market Garden from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Debra will introduce you to new ways to grow, glean, and gather floral design ingredients – in every season. Her hands-on demonstration presents eco-friendly floral design ideas and techniques you can use again and again. Learn how to design with and prolong the vase life of your ingredients – flowers, branches, berries, pods and foliage. And gain design inspiration for filling your vases with backyard ingredients, farmer’s market flowers, and even the “weeds” gleaned from wild places. Debra will review a wide variety of sustainable design techniques, resources, and a recommended plant list for growing a cutting garden. The projects are adapted from The Five-Mile Bouquet, her recently published book with photographer David Perry (

September 22, 2012
Garden Photo Magic: Mastering your Point-and-Shoot Camera (WORKSHOP)
David Perry
Education Center/Oregon Garden from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

As you might imagine if you already know his work or have followed his blog, this amply illustrated lecture/workshop by David E. Perry promises to be a surreal combination of Dr. Phil type lets-get-real, truth-telling and Jerry Springer-ish nonsensical hype, all while entreating you to go ‘Barry White’ (slow hands, baby, slow eyes), on your underappreciated little point-and-shoot cameras. (OK, just kidding about Jerry Springer.)

Targeted at all levels of gardeners and photographic hobbyists who are still a bit intimidated by their digital point-and-shoot cameras, and/or single lens reflex cameras, this presentation assures a certain amount of laughter while learning, through playfully illustrated examples, dozens of anecdotes and more than a hundred groovy photos, all shared with generous dollops of irreverent fun.

Following the slide lecture portion of the workshop, David will work with you individually and in small groups, within the garden setting as you experiment with this fresh, new foundation of information, helping you learn to compose better storytelling shots and practice accessing many of those previously hidden little secrets within your camera.

September 22, 2012
The Five-Mile Bouquet: Seasonal, Local, and Sustainable Flowers
Debra Prinzing and David Perry
Education Center at 2 p.m.

In this lecture, popular photographer and garden blogger David Perry and outdoor living expert Debra Prinzing will share their passion for local and seasonal flowers in an illustrated presentation. Their evocative storytelling approach introduces you to the many inspiring flower farmers and floral designers who are pioneering the "Green Flower Movement." Learn about the eco-friendly growing and design approaches taken by these innovative individuals. The stories and projects are adapted from their new book, The Five-Mile Bouquet.

September 29, 2012
Falling into Autumn: Plant Combinations for the Season of Decadence
Lucy Hardiman
Education Center at 1 p.m.

Autumn is Mother Nature's last hurrah—the season when the garden is at it's apex—delicious, dynamic and decadent. Against a fiery backdrop of flaming foliage perennials and shrubs display bloom and berry before the inevitable transition into winter. Join us as Lucy discusses how to design expressive plants combinations for the fall garden with a focus on color and orchestrating colors schemes, maximizing textural effects and cultural compatibility.

October 6, 2012
The Buzz about Bee-Keeping
Mark Thompson
Education Center at 1 p.m.

November 10, 2012
Bringing in the Greens with Sue Goetz
Education Center at 1 p.m.

Playing upon the holiday tradition of bringing fresh cut greenery in for the winter holiday season. Harvest tips, favorite plants to cut from cedar and holly to unusual shrub cuttings , berries and the leftovers of a bygone season like dried hydrangea heads and alliums. Plus a how-to demonstration of an easy handwrapped wreath technique.

September 2, 2011

Cooking Green with Chef Justin of Vitality

What is your favorite fresh summer dish? Fresh produce is one of the very best things about summer in Oregon. The variety of fresh fruits and vegetables allows us to experiment with new and exciting recipes.

Chef Justin, of Wellspring’s Vitality restaurant, will take you on a culinary adventure that dives in to healthy cooking and eating choices—healthy for you and healthy for the environment!

Join us for this cooking demonstration and taste Chef Justin’s amazing creations as well.

Cooking Green: Reducing Your Carbon Footprint in the Kitchen with Chef Justin Huff of Vitality
Saturday September 10, 2011
Founder’s Square
1:00 p.m.

$15 non-member, includes Garden Admission
Free for Garden Members

Call 503-874-8100 or email for tickets.

August 8, 2011

Plants of the Bible program August 20th

Coming to Garden University on Saturday August 20th, Professor Lytton Musselman will be speaking about Plants of the Bible - enlightening participants on the actual fruits and flowers of biblical times. Was Eve really tempted by an apple? Is mustard mentioned in the Bible? Why are trees so prominent in the Scriptures? Why it is difficult to make bread like that of Bible times. And why no one would eat “Ezekiel’s bread”.

Lytton Musselman is the Mary Payne Hogan Professor of Botany at Old Dominion University and has lived with and studied Bible plants for more than three decades. His most recent book is Figs, Dates, Laurel, and Myrrh Plants of the Bible and Quran published by Timber Press.

A book signing of Figs, Dates, Laurel, and Myrrh Plants of the Bible and Quran will follow the program as will a guided Plants of the Bible tour of the Garden.

This program begins at 1 p.m. in the Education Center at The Oregon Garden

Tickets are available by calling 503-874-2533 by August 19th or at the Visitor Center the day of the program

$15 General Admission (includes Garden admission & tour)

Free for Oregon Garden Members and Volunteers

July 8, 2011

Garden University announces addition to 2011 schedule

The Garden University series is adding a program to the schedule for 2011.

On Saturday September 24, 2011, Marianne Binetti will be speaking about "Gardening for Four Seasons." This program will occur at 11 a.m. in the Oregon Garden Resort.

Celebrate all four seasons of the Northwest Garden Style. Learn to love the rich colors and textures of the Autumn garden and the contrasts of our wild and wet winters by adding plants that celebrate these forgotten garden seasons. You'll learn how to use bark, berries and birds to add more delight to late Fall and early winter landscapes.

Showstopping color in spring and summer from the best easy-care shrubs and using groundcovers, sedums and succulents to save water as well as add beauty year round.

Some of the inspirational images that will be shown are from show gardens around the world as Marianne has been leading garden tours to the most spectacular places on the planet. Inspiration from Italy to Australia but purely practical advice on what grows best in the Western climate of the Pacific Northwest.

About Marianne Binetti:

Known for her light-hearted and fun approach to gardening Marianne graduated from WSU with a degree in Horticulture and is the author of 10 gardening books including "Easy Answers for Great Gardens" , She writes and award-winning, syndicated newspaper garden column, appears on local and HGTV. Now that their children are grown, Marianne and her husband Joe lead tours see the most beautiful gardens in the word.


$15 for non-members, includes admission to The Oregon Garden

Free for Garden members

Tickets available at the Visitor Center or by contacting the Membership Department at 503-874-2533 or

June 18, 2011

Gardens just right for four-legged friends

Coming June 25th to Garden University: "Pet Friendly Gardens" with Anne Taylor and Melinda Frey

Join landscape designers Anne Taylor and Melinda Frey for a discussion on adapting your garden so that it can be a safe and inviting space enjoyed by your family - including your pets! We’ll address frequent challenges that occur with pets and offer solutions.

Saturday June 25th at 1 p.m.

NOTE: the location of this lecture has been changed to the Education Center

Tickets: $15 non-members (includes Garden admission); Free for Garden members

About our speakers:

Anne Taylor is originally from Wisconsin with an in-born interest in nature. This interest is the reason she started her company Living Elements Landscape. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin. After moving to Portland, she received an Associate of Applied Science in Horticulture. Anne is a licensed landscape contractor, a certified arborist, landscape designer, an organic gardener and animal lover. Through her business Anne shares her skills, beliefs, and obsessions with everything green.

Melinda Frey established Raindrop Garden Design in 2006. A gathering of influences have led Melinda to garden design. Growing up in a family where art and the creative process were encouraged as a means of expression, each member took a slightly different route. Countless hours playing and exploring in her childhood home’s garden left a lasting impression on Melinda beginning a lifelong passion for plants and a love of gardening. A healthy respect for nature also developed early on, exploring the wonders of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

After studying photography at Brookes Institute, Melinda spent many years in the photographic industry developing a strong sense for composition, color, texture and flow, and now borrows from this skill set to visualize and design gardens.

As a lifelong pet owner, Melinda has shared her garden with numerous dogs over the years, implementing pet friendly gardening techniques. Her home garden has adapted to their best friend’s needs as well as being beautiful and inviting surroundings for all who use the garden. In 2009, Melinda launched a collaborated project with friend and associate Anne Taylor to share information and techniques that have worked well in our personal gardens with our own pets. The presentations we offer become as much of a learning experience as a teaching format.

More ideas about designing pet friendly gardens:

May 26, 2011

Conifers to fit any location

Up next in the Garden University series:
Small Trees for Small Spaces

June 11, 2011 at 1 p.m.
Education Center
Tour of Conifer Garden to follow

The Lecture:

Exciting new conifer cultivars provide designers and garden enthusiasts with a whole new palette of textures, shapes, and colors for creating year-around garden interest.

As a professional garden designer and current President of the Association of Northwest Landscape Designers (ANLD), Anne Marsh will show through slides some of these new and unusual conifers being used in Portland gardens, discussing issues such as placement and objective. At the same time, Dave Leckey, a grower of mature small conifers, will discuss and have examples of these same conifers on display. Between Anne and Dave, the audience will be able to see the plants, learn of their characteristics and growing needs, and get ideas on how to successfully place them in garden situations.

The Speakers:

Anne Marsh has over 35 years of experience in plant selection and garden design and is the President of the Association of Northwest Landscape Designers (ANLD). Anne’s company, Marsh & Fear Garden Solutions was created by Anne and her partner, Gary Fear, about 9 years ago after transforming their own garden in SW Portland. They welcome the public to visit their garden each month from April to August. Open garden dates are available at For more information about the ANLD, visit

David Leckey has put his lifelong passion for energy conservation and earth-friendly practices into use in his business, Oregon Small Trees Nursery. The nursery, located west of Wilsonville, specializes in mature, slow-growing, low-maintenance, container- grown conifers and Japanese maples. David has also either written for or been featured numerous times in publications including Fine Gardening magazine, The Oregonian, and Digger magazine. Dave’s nursery is open to visitors by appointment at

May 4, 2011

Ciscoe Morris speaks at The Oregon Garden this week!

Don't miss this opportunity to get some great garden design ideas and to ask your gardening questions! Ciscoe Morris will be speaking at the next Garden University program May 21st at 2 p.m. at The Oregon Garden.

Learn more about Ciscoe at his website, Gardening With Ciscoe

Another garden project from Ciscoe:

Spuds taste best when you grow them in a garbage can.

Kids and adults both love growing potatoes in a garbage can. Begin with a clean 15 gallon can and punch lots of holes for drainage in the bottom. Locate the can in full-sun and fill it with 6 inches of potting soil. Plant the seed potatoes just below the surface and make sure they are completely covered with soil. Either mix in an organic vegetable fertilizer or feed every two weeks with a soluble houseplant fertilizer. Water the spuds and in no time the vines will begin to grow.

When the vines grow about 4 inches, cover all but the top inch with a growth medium such as soil, compost, woodchips or straw. Water as necessary to keep the soil moderately moist, and continue the process of covering the vines until they grow out of the top and the can is completely full. Soon the potatoes will bloom. At this point you can reach and feel around for potatoes. If you find some good sized ones, bring them in and cook them up.

These are new potatoes, not long lasting, but they taste great, especially if you follow Julia Child's advice and add more butter! If you wait until the vines die back in fall, you can store your potatoes for a long period. This is the real fun. Make sure the kids are present before you dump the can to check out the bounty. It's always a surprise. Once I only got 8 potatoes, but the biggest one was the size of a Volkswagen bug! Another time I harvested 55 delicious, good-sized spuds. Buy an extra big plate, just in case you grow a Volkswagen.

Garden tips from May speaker Ciscoe Morris

On May 21st, radio and television personality Ciscoe Morris will be speaking at Garden University program "Spice Up Your Garden with Environmentally Friendly Design Ideas" Join us at 2 p.m. in the Education Center to hear Ciscoe's fun and interactive talk. Book signing to follow.

Here are a few tips from Ciscoe:

Outwit apple pests

When you bite into an apple and a worm smiles back at you, the extra protein is complements of a codling moth. If, on the other hand, you’re greeted by the smiles of several half-maggots, you’ve just snacked on apple maggots. My best efforts at using environmentally friendly methods, from sticky traps to spraying clay, to control these pests have failed miserably, and every year most of my apples end up a gourmet treat for my neighbor’s horse. Now there’s a new, natural way to control these pests and That is 100% effective against apple maggot and fairly successful at preventing coddling moth as well. You simply place a pantyhose footie around each apple when you thin your fruit in early spring. You don’t need to tie a knot.

Simply stretch it over the fruit making sure the apple ends up in the middle. Footies won’t harm your apples. They breathe, don’t absorb water and expand with the apple as it grows. The only problem I've found is that you get slightly more apple scab on susceptible trees. To prevent expensive visits to the relationship counselor when your better half discovers that all the feet have been cut off her nylons, buy them by the box from your local nursery or at

April 1, 2011

Berry Pruning Demonstration April 9th

Garden University presents "Twigs & Berries: A Pruning Demonstration" with Dawn Hummel on Saturday April 9, 2011.

Raspberries, huckleberries, blueberries, strawberries - oh my!
Dawn Hummel will teach you how to take care of cane bearing fruits in small, urban gardens.

Class begins at 1 p.m. in the OSU Room of the Pavilion. Tickets and Will Call are located in the Visitor Center.

$15 non-members, includes Garden admission
Free for Garden Members

Contact Beth Maurer at 503-874-2533 for ticket information.

March 21, 2011

Tips on Container Gardening from Ellen Zachos

Container gardening isn't any more difficult than traditional, in-ground's just a little different. All those differences make sense when you stop to consider the reduced volume of soil in which you're asking your plants to grow. Think about it: in the ground roots have almost unlimited space to reach out for water and nutrition, not to mention plenty of insulation from extremes of heat and cold. In containers the volume of soil is greatly reduced. It's the gardener's responsibility to make up for that shortfall by increasing attention paid to watering, fertilization, and climate extremes.

Some plants grow better than others in containers, and while limiting their root size may inhibit top growth, that's not always a bad thing. For example, you can have a perfectly happy crabapple tree in a container. It may never get to be 20 feet tall, but a crabapple in a 30" square container can easily grow to 10 feet with excellent flower and fruit production. Don't let the lack of a big yard hold you back. You can pack a lot of punch into a container garden.

March 7, 2011

Ellen Zachos coming to The Oregon Garden!

Don't miss this great opportunity to make your garden containers stand out!

Author and gardening professional Ellen Zachos will be at The Oregon Garden on Saturday March 26th. She will be conducting a hands-on workshop in the morning, then presenting a lecture in the afternoon. A book signing will follow the lecture.

Workshop: Annuals for an Indoor/Outdoor Show

Many of our best loved houseplants and favorite summer annuals are actually tropical plants, so why not make the most of this happy coincidence? Plant a mixed container of gorgeous tropicals that looks great indoors, when the weather is cool, and is equally happy outdoors when the temperatures get up into the fifties. Learn about the thriller-filler-spiller principal and how to care for your container garden throughout the growing season. Participants each take home a planted container.

10 a.m., J.Frank Schmidt Jr. Pavilion
$35 non-member; $30 member

Lecture: Professional Tips for Impressive Containers

Not every plant grows well in containers. This lecture focuses on perennial and annual plants, as well as trees and shrubs that are especially well-suited to container growing. We'll also discuss container construction materials, light-weight potting mixes recommended for containers, and their unique fertilization and watering requirements. Book signing to follow.

1 p.m., OSU Room, Pavilion
$15 non-members (includes Garden admission); Free for Garden Members

Ellen's book, Down & Dirty: 43 Fun & Funky First Time Projects & Activities to Get You Gardening, will be available at the Visitor Center Gift Shop.

About Ellen:

Ellen Zachos is a garden writer and photographer, a garden designer and an instructor at the NY Botanical Garden (NYBG), where she teaches classes on perennials, annuals, container gardening, rooftop gardening, tropicals, and orchids. She is a Harvard graduate, and has received certificates in horticulture and ethnobotany from the NYBG. Ellen is the author of three books: Down and Dirty: 43 Fun & Funky First-Time Projects & Activities to Get You Gardening, Tempting Tropicals, and Orchid Growing for Wimps.

Ellen is the proprietor of Acme Plant Stuff, a garden design, installation, and maintenance company in New York City. She is also a former Broadway performer and recently released her first CD, entitled Green Up Time. On this recording, Ellen combines her two passions, plants and music, for a Botanical look at Broadway.

February 24, 2011

Madagascar Program in Two Days!

Don't miss the February 26th presentation of Garden University! Paul Freed will guide us through this marvelous island in "Madagascar: The Real Treasure Island"

1 p.m.
Education Center
The Oregon Garden

$15 non-members, includes Garden admission
Free for Garden members & volunteers

February 11, 2011

Vote to help the Garden win a $10,000 grant!

Hey Oregon Garden fans, we need you to help The Oregon Garden win a $10,000 grant from Rain Bird.

The project with the most votes by March 22, 2011 will win the grant for the most Intelligent Use of Water. Our grant proposal is for funding for the Wetlands at The Oregon Garden.

The wetlands at The Oregon Garden represent a unique partnership between The Garden and the nearby city of Silverton to recycle treated wastewater from the community. Treated water is piped to The Garden where it charges the wetland area and provides The Garden's irrigation water. These man-made wetlands also help replace naturally occurring wetlands that have been lost to recent development. Here at The Oregon Garden we have created almost 25 acres of new wetland area.

The most prominent wetland feature in The Garden itself is the 4 acre site consisting of 15 linked ponds. These ponds are flooded with treated wastewater from Silverton. After the wastewater goes through secondary treatment, it is pumped through 16" pipe to The Garden. Depending on the time of day and irrigation needs, between 100 and 400 gallons of water are pumped per minute.

Not only does this innovative water feature provide irrigation for The Garden and wetland mitigation for the city, it also offers educational experiences for more than 100,000 annual visitors to The Oregon Garden. Each year 6,000 5th Grade students learn about “Amazing Aqua Life” with the wetlands as their living classroom.

Help us win this grant by voting every day! You can vote once per day per computer.

How to Vote:

1. Go to

2. Click on "find and vote on the project you want funded"

3. Put "Silverton" in the city/state search field

4. Click on the Thumbs Up symbol for the "Wetlands Treated Waste Water" project to cast your vote.

5. Come back every day and vote!

We'll let you know if we win the grant...Thank you for your help!

January 18, 2011

Marvelous Madagascar

Madagascar...the topic of Garden University's February lecture conjures images of an exotic location. Paul Freed will be our speaker and will show amazing photos of the flora and fauna of this mysterious island. He will give us a chance to be an armchair traveler during this cold, wet time of year - dreaming of warmer, sunnier climates. Don't miss this chance to get to know Madagascar without having to travel half-way around the world!

About our speaker

Paul Freed is a herpetologist who travels the globe seeking opportunities to photograph reptiles and amphibians. He retired from the Houston Zoo as the Supervisor of Herpetology after a 25

year career and moved to Oregon where he and his wife found paradise in the Pacific Northwest.Conservation and research projects have taken Paul to 35 countries where he has photographed over 2500 species of reptiles and amphibians. He has amassed an extensive photographic library documenting animals, people, and environments which surround and affect the lives of these interesting creatures.

His images have been published in National Geographic Explorer, Ranger Rick magazine, numerous scientific journals, popular reptile magazines, text books, and many others. Paul is frequently a guest speaker at many herpetological and nature-oriented societies around the country and lectures on reptile and amphibian natural history and travelogues from his research expeditions. In 2003, Paul wrote a book Of Golden Toads & Serpents’ Roads which chronicled several of his journeys and featured his photographs.

Yellow Spotted Reed Frog Chameleon Pair of Brown Lemurs

A few things about Madagascar:

There are eight National Parks with additional dozens of ‘strict nature reserves’, ‘special reserves’, and private reserves.

80% of the plants are endemic (of 12,000 species, 1000 orchid species alone).

There are 150,000 species of invertebrates – 300 butterflies, 4000 moths (many are endemic as well). [Endemic = found nowhere else])

There are 375 species of Amphibians (all but 2 species are endemic); 425 species of Reptiles– (95% endemic); 270 species of Birds, (40% endemic - including five endemic families & 36 endemic genera); and 120 species of Mammals (90% endemic).

Garden University: Madagascar, the Real Treasure Island
Saturday February 26, 2011
1 p.m., Education Center at The Oregon Garden
Tickets: $15 non-members (includes Garden admission); Free for Garden Members
Call 503-874-2533 or email to reserve or purchase tickets.