snippersJune            Garden Clippings   j0436341                        

McMinnville Garden Club

                                    PO Box 386, McMinnville, OR





Hillside Retirement Community “Activity Room” at the Manor

900 N. Hill Road McMinnville, OR  97128

$15 RESERVATIONS due to Stephanie J. by Dec. 15th.


Barbara Blossom Ashmun:    How I’m Changing my Garden and Attitude, in Older Age

         If it weren’t for the garden, Barbara might still be a social worker. Luckily, she moved to the City of Roses in 1972. From the minute that she stuck a shovel in the earth, she was smitten by the garden. Swept away by floral Prozac, she became a designer, a personal estate gardener, a teacher and a writer.

         The garden inspired her to write six books, so far, most recently Married to My Garden. She writes “Garden Muse,” a Thursday garden column for the Portland Tribune, and has written for many garden magazines, including Fine Gardening and Better Homes & Gardens.   She will be bringing copies of a book to sign and sell.  YEAH!

         Barbara gardens on 2/3 of an acre in Southwest Portland and enjoys opening her garden to interested gardeners. And yes, Blossom really is her given middle name—she was named for her great-grandmother.

“In order to keep gardening into older age, I’ve made changes in my attitude, life style and in my garden, sometimes willingly, sometimes kicking and screaming. I’ll share my tips for gardening sensibly in older age, and how I’ve been editing the garden so that gardening will remain a pleasure and not turn into an unmanageable burden.”



j0436281Don’t miss our annual Holiday Wreath making!  December 4th.  Meet at 9:30 AM at Bethel Baptist Church with your CLIPPERS, decorating supplies, any greens you can bring from your yard, gloves, wearing warm clothes and bring a lunch. We’re headed to Jacci R.’s barn for a FUN time!!!!  No rain or snow invited!



December President’s Message:  DIG IN, not OUT!?


As we look ahead to turning the corner to 2010, it is time to reflect back on the 2009 growing season.  I’m anxious to DIG IN and move a few plants around when they are dormant, watch my new yard continue to mature, try some new techniques and learn more about gardening from the many sources available to us. 

           We have two special learning opportunities readily available for us to DIG INto at the start of 2010.  One is to apply for the Yamhill County Master Gardeners’ program.  Applications are due in December.  Coursework is a combination of onsite and online. The other one is from the National Garden Clubs of America. ( is now offering Gardening Study School’s session #1 online.  Visit  Click on the course tab in the main menu.  Follow the page to the NGC online school GARDEN TIME.  Then click on the link “take course”.  The cost is $100 payable by credit card on this secure site. Course time is about 4-6 study hours plus exams.  You have 3 months to complete the course.  They are working on converting the other 3 courses to online.  For more information contact:  Bonni L. Dinneen  978-937-7933

Don’t forget to get your luncheon reservations in by December 15th to Stephanie J. for our salmon/roast beef luncheon on December 21st at 10:15!  I’m really looking forward to DIGGING IN to a fabulous spread.  Our luncheon speaker will share her thoughts on modifying garden tasks as we mature.   I’m looking forward to seeing the decorations that our Holiday committee is working on.  I’ve heard rumors of Candy Canes?

I hope you all DIG IN and enjoy family times, holiday celebrations and the promise of some days of sunshine during Oregon’s winter season.  Let’s hope we won’t be DIGGING OUT from another snowstorm this December!!!!

Develop Skills, Increase Civic Service, and Grow Friendships by Involvement & Nurturing

Patty Sorensen


Thanksgiving Floral Arrangments

Were Gorgeous!

Thanks to Lynne for sharing her expertise!







Christmas 2009 001

Rakettes A Big HIT!!!

Sunny skies and a huge crowd welcomed the annual Christmas Parade in downtown McMinnville.  Thanks to Julie H. and Norma for all their work getting us RAKING!!









Marilyn Coats     Backyard Habitat



There are many different owls such as western screech, great horned, snowy, spotted, to name a few that call Oregon their home.  The most common backyard owl is the screech owl, which ranges from southern Canada throughout most of the United States.  There are three different types—eastern, western and whiskered. 

The western species can be seen in suburban gardens, parks, forests, orchards and swamps in the western third of the United States from Alaska to Arizona.  It is about 7 to 10 inches tall and has a wingspan of 1-1/2 to 2 feet.  They are the smallest owls with ear tufts.  The tufts lie flat unless the owl gets excited.  These ‘ears’ are actually feathers—the bird’s real ear openings are hidden on the sides of its head. 

j0407217A screech owl’s call, heard most often in spring and fall, is actually not a screech at all.  The two-part call is a series of quavering, mournful whinnies or whistles, descending in pitch, followed by a long, single trill. 

They have unusually keen sight and can see 100 times better than humans at night.  Like humans, but unlike most other birds, an owl’s eyes look forward, so it can watch an object with both eyes at once.  But because the eyes don’t move in their sockets, they turn their heads to follow moving objects.  It is a myth that owls can swivel their heads all the way around.  When following an object, it rotates its head as far as it can go in one direction, then swivels it back so fast the other way that, to us, it appear to rotate 360 degrees. 

Owls will often tear their prey before eating.  But if the prey is small enough, the owl will swallow it whole and later cough up pellets of bones, fur, feathers and other indigestible items.  If you spot these pellets on the ground, you are probably under a nest or roosting site. 

They nest in natural cavities, abandoned woodpecker holes or nesting boxes.  Typically, no nesting materials are used.  The female lays four or five white, oval-shaped eggs and incubates them for 26 days.  Both the male and the female feed the young, which will start flying about 28 days after hatching. 

I have never seen an owl in my backyard but that doesn’t mean that one wasn’t there watching me! 


(Note:  Great Horned Owls have been seen and heard in the trees on the Michelbook Golf Course.)


Norma Parker – Successful Digging Tips          with assistance from Cindy Flake


                        Last winter was a stern reminder of the importance of preparing our gardens for the upcoming season.  First of all, it is important to wean plants off nitrogen (N) fertilizer by the first of September, although Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) addition in the fall can help plants build strong root systems.  Nitrogen applied too late encourages shoots of tender new growth that can easily be damaged during an autumn cold snap.  In the fall, most plants should be sending food downward to build roots, not upward for shoot production

                        Applying a shovel of mulch to berries and tender perennials in fall for protection from hard freezes is prudent.  But  it’s important to Avoid Applying mulch directly against woody stems, as it can encourage  rot or insect infestation

            Appropriate pruning of certain plants (differs by plant variety) helps prevent damage from wind whipping.  Although we don’t prune our roses until after President’s Day in February, I cut all wind-exposed roses down to waist high before the worst of winter sets in.  (also remove and destroy all diseased leaves)  If you have newer landscape plants, they may require staking or some form of wind breaks.   Tie limbs of upright evergreens to help prevent breakage by snow or ice.  Gently brush snow off limbs before they begin to sag or split.

            I  keep a couple of old lightweight blankets & some bubble wrap in the garden shed which I can use to encircle and tie around tender exposed plants when  extreme weather  is forecast providing protection from harsh, drying winds as well as cold.  Dry plants are much more susceptible to freeze damage. I avoid draping blankets over  the tops of plants because the weight from freezing rains & snow may cause breakage.  

            Yamhill county is listed as zone 8 (cold hardiness/10 to 20 degrees)   Plants that are rated for warmer zones need to be potted and moved to the north side of your home or to another protected area.  Of  course, our micro climates vary by elevation, surrounding buildings, even the slope of our terrain.  Higher elevations  are commonly as much as ten degrees colder than the valley floor.   Our plants will live  or die by our consideration of these factors.  The right plant in the right place makes for happy gardening!  

              Let your ornamental grasses stand through the winter (for birds and for landscape texture); no need to cut them back till early spring.  Also, now is a good time to plant trees and shrubs.  Elderberry, flowering current,  crabapple (Sugar Tyme) are attractive and provide food and shelter for birds.    Then each time you hear the chip of a chickadee, you can think of what you have done to encourage their happy sound. As Patty reminded us, we do need to bait for slugs during rainy periods.  

            A busy fall clean up season means you can rest easy by the fire browsing your gardening books while winter rages.                                                    

Remember, Gardening is more than a work of art, it’s a work of heart.!  Happy gardening!



Meet Amy Eads

By Roving Reporter: Jacci Reed

amyeadsAmy Eads was born in Santa Rosa, CA.  A year later her parents, John and Ada Carmen, moved the family to Chico, CA.  After high school, Amy attended junior college in Eureka and at a later date received her degree in physical therapy from Humboldt University.  Amy married Rand and together they raised a daughter, Stephanie, who has given them three wonderful granddaughters.

Amy enjoys cycling, hiking and backpacking.  She works out at the gym 3-4 times a week.  She listens to opera and jazz.  While their daughter’s husband was stationed in Germany, Amy and Rand took the opportunity to tour several countries in Europe.

Amy and Rand moved to McMinnville in 2006.  For the last two years they’ve been building a new home and landscaping two acres of land on Mineral Springs Rd. in Lafayette.  They’ve just recently moved into their new digs.  They enjoyed a large vegetable garden this summer and have planted some interesting trees and shrubs in their yard.  Perhaps it will be on our tour in a year or two.

Amy has served in our club as a worker in the Habitat for Humanity, post office and the library and downtown clean-up groups.  She has worked in morning activities and helped find chairpersons for different committees.  Amy was club secretary in our 2007-08 season.  She’s a real inspiration for all of us!


Internet Links

Pioneer District Newsletter


State website 


Improving Clay Soil


Overwintering Begonias


Poinsettia Care