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