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.