Garden Clippings

McMinnville Garden Club PO Box 386, McMinnville, OR         
                                                                              December 2010


Way to Go Rakettes !!!!

Typical Oregon showers didn’t slow down our members!!!  Fifteen Club Members participated in our annual Christmas Parade in downtown McMinnville.  Our members strutted their stuff, passed out bird seed bags and waved at parade goers.  Smiles were actually seen on all faces along with a bit of wet hair.

A huge thank you to Norma Parker  and Judy Wilkerson for their leadership.  AND a big thank you to Elmer for driving his antique fire truck and to Chuck for his decorated pickup.  We were also supported by Buchanan Cellars for the birdseed and to Kraemer’s for the loan of the live Christmas tree. 


December 20, 2010 – MEETING and LUNCH

$17 payments/reservations need to be to Stephanie by DECEMBER 13th.
Hillside Retirement Community “Activity Room” at the Manor

900 N. Hill Road McMinnville, OR  97128


9:30a.m.  - 10:00a.m.  - Social time

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. - Business Meeting and FUN:

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. -  All Aboard!!  Our December Program will include two technology stops.  First is Victoria, BC for their gorgeous light/plant displays and another one in Leavenworth, WA to enjoy their Holiday Cheer.  AND a photo journey thru our year.  All passengers will be treated to additional holiday fun activities.  Dress in a holiday spirit but remember, you don’t need to dress warm for this train trip!  We will be taking the journey right from our seats at the bruncheon…..

Season of Giving           Season of Giving

At our November meeting we decided to again this year support Henderson House as our Season of Giving donations at our December meeting.  Their needs this year have increased due to their numbers and less donations.  We hope you’ll bring items from the list below or gift cards to WalMart, cash works too.  Please mark the gift cards with the amount of the card via pen.  Employees take their clients to WalMart to purchase personal hygiene needs and medications under supervision.  The shelter is allowed to buy food from the Oregon Food Bank (cheaper than the grocery and by the pound), however sugar* & coffee* are typically unavailable.

Shelter clients can always use:


Ibuprofen and other pain relievers

Cough, cold, & flu meds & syrups for babies, children, & adults

Deodorant (don’t have any right now)

Toilet paper

Paper towels


NEW ladies socks & underwear

Wal-Mart gift card (helps with prescriptions)




December 6 and 7 - Wreath and Hanging Basket Making Workshop

Don’t miss our annual Wreath Making workshop on MONDAY, DECEMBER 6th.  We will meet at Bethel Baptist Church at 9:30 to carpool to Jacci’s.  She has said that if it is too cold, she’ll set up for us inside so we can keep warm!!!  What a gal! Dress appropriately for barn work if we are able to stay outside.  Bring your clippers, gloves, decorative items and holiday spirit. Snacks are always welcome.  Cost is about $3 for the wire frames.  Hope so see you all there.

Then on Tuesday join Jean and Georgia in the creation of large hanging baskets made from the leftover greens of our wreath making workshop.  Cost is about $3.50 for each basket and hanger.  Bring the same supplies as you did for Monday PLUS potting soil.  We will once again gather at the Bethel Baptist Church at 9:30 to carpool again to Jacci’s.             

December President’s Message

This year has been an incredible year for our Garden Club.  I’ve enjoyed even our business meetings, great speakers, fun arts and crafts, learning more about our common interest of gardens, our field trips, our SUPERB tour/faire, the Rakettes and the camaraderie that abounds with our members.  All your energies put together create one fabulous group of people. It has really been a pleasure to participate in the garden club for the past seven years.  I look forward to many more!

I’m also looking forward to ending this calendar year with a big bang at our Christmas Bruncheon on the 20th.  Since we’ve already experienced snow and cold, I’m sure it be will sunny and dry on the 20th???  Sure hope to see most of you there for the merriment and companionship.  I thank you all for your energy, attendance, smiles and participation in club activities.  A club is only as good as its members and you folks are the BEST…… the way, that is the secret word…..


THE Next Blackberry Vine??????

INVASIVE WEED -American Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

Threat: Poisonous and invasive • Has disrupted the migration patterns of certain bird species in Britain by producing large amounts of fruit at a time of year when few native plants do • Considered aggressive and invasive, but is new to the NW • With vigilance, we can stop or slow this weed before it becomes

established and causes damage.              
Description: A large, smooth-leaved, branching herb from a large, perennial rootstock, with green, red, or purple stems • Leaves alternate and simple; flowers white, on a long stem, more or less erect; fruit a dark purple berry composed of 5-12 segments fused in a ring, the stem drooping • P. rigida differs by having shorter, erect fruiting stems.

History: This plant is native to southeastern US and has the potential to become very difficult to eradicate in the Pacific Northwest’s moist, moderate climate • This plant was likely brought to this region for landscaping interest • Many parts of this plant are highly toxic and may cause death if eaten.

Spread: Birds and humans spread berries • Commonly found in disturbed areas.

Control: Pokeweed is a perennial plant, which means the stems, leaves, and flowers die each year, but the roots (and therefore the plant) live through the winter • In Spring, each plant will send up new stems and leaves • The large tuberous root system must be dug out and disposed of. This plant has sometimes been mistaken for Japanese knotweed, another invasive species in northwestern Oregon, due to its hollow red stems and large ovate to lanceolate leaves.

For more information:

Prepared by Kathy Shearin, EMSWCD Program Coordinator, Sustainable Urban Landscapes,


Member Profile            

MEET JUDY WILKERSON  by Rosemary Vertregt

Judy Wilkerson may be petite, but her contributions to our club are many and varied. My first encounter with Judy occurred when several of us were on “ Bag Lady”duty on Third Street -- here was a fresh new face! She had not yet paid membership dues, but she joined in with clippers and broom, and her enthusiastic personality, and became one of us right then.

Judy is a native Northwesterner, having lived in several places in Washington and Oregon. She and her husband Chuck raised their three children in Boring (yeah, we’ve heard those comments) and Gresham area, where, for a few years, they had a horse and a “pet” cow. (She has a good “cow story”) They also owned a home in Lincoln City, which they rented out in the summer. As retirement neared and a desire for life with less heavy lifting grew stronger, Chuck and Judy began to do serious “researching”. They visited many small towns and talked with anyone and everyone. McMinnville was nearly crossed off their list, since they had only seen areas along Hwy. 99 and Baker/Adams. They had seen nice residential areas, but were missing the charm they were looking for. One day, stopped at Third Street, Judy took a good look up the street, and there it was! Tall trees, charming shops, interesting architecture, happy folks -- “Mayberry” -- Oops, no! It’s McMinnville! Judy decided that the best way to meet new friends would be to join a compatible group and to volunteer. Sylvia Sproad, who had also moved here from Lincoln City, suggested that Judy come with her and “try us out”. Finding that we are not all about tea parties, Judy has found plenty to do. Her contributions include: Habitat Committee Chairman and the Post Office garden, which she especially enjoys because of the after-work coffee klatches!

Judy and Chuck also volunteer at Henderson House; she helps with organizing and sorting donations, and Chuck works as All-round Handyman. They are fortunate to have their family nearby: a daughter in Oregon City, son in Gresham, and daughter in Camas. Of course, these families include their five grandchildren and their 4 ½ great grandchildren. The Wilkerson family also includes one extremely fluffy Maine Coon cat named Cy, who was formerly the Henderson House cat-in-residence.


Who Is Singing In Your Backyard?               June Benson

            When I first moved to my McMinnville home, I often heard frogs singing, although it puzzled me that I never saw a single frog. At times I would walk slowly toward the sound I heard, but the sound stopped if I came too close. The frogs made such a loud noise that I assumed I was hearing bullfrogs.

They are so large; why couldn’t I see at least one? One day, while walking on our lawn, a small green blob jumped away from my foot. Could this tiny thing be the singer?

Yes, it was and if you hear frogs croaking in your garden, they are likely the Pacific tree frog, the most common frog in Oregon. According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Pacific tree frog is one of three native frogs in our area. (The bullfrog is an invasive species.) During breeding season, huge numbers of male tree frogs can create an incredible din. The males hide in grass and shrubs and fill up their throat with air to make their calls. Their call is so distinctive that ever since the days of the first talking pictures, Hollywood movie makers have used recordings of their voices in movies.  This frog is sometimes referred to as a Pacific chorus frog. Just imagine a chorus of frogs all singing together in your backyard!

“Tree” frog is not an appropriate name anyway since this frog has the ability to climb trees but rarely does. They are the smallest amphibian on the west coast, growing to ¾”-2” as adults. Mating season can last from early winter to early spring.  In fact, I have been hearing just a few of them singing recently in my neighborhood, although November doesn’t seem like the right time, does it? (How long can eggs survive in a rain puddle?) A female lays 500-1,200 eggs each year. Usually she lays eggs in groups of 10-70, and to us it would probably look like slimy jelly attached to grass or stems in the water.

This tiny frog is unusual in so many ways it seems almost magical. It is extremely adaptable and lives from British Columbia down to Baja California, from sea level to over 10,000’, and from deserts to redwood forests. It comes in different colors—bright green, brown, red, or gray. It can change color to match its background in less than 10 minutes! It is instantly recognizable because it has toe pads (if you can see them), and it has a distinctive dark stripe that extends from its nostril, through the eye, and past the ear and looks like a mask. This frog seems magical for other attributes as well. As a tadpole, it can detect if ponds are drying out and accelerate its growth rate. Pacific tree frogs go through another amazing process, metamorphosis; they grow legs and lungs but lose their tails and gills. They even change from herbivores to carnivores! Tadpoles start out eating plants but, as frogs, change to eating bugs and other living creatures. Tadpoles develop into frogs in only two months.

How do you provide habitat for these native frogs? You probably already do. Any garden that provides water, plants and cover will meet most of these frogs’ needs. Frogs can use logs, rocks, and brush piles. If you want to help them out even more, the OSU Extension Service provides information on building a simple pond at

Do you have uninvited guests in your garden? (I am thinking of the four-footed creatures although I have had birds I wish stayed away.) Who is coming to visit? What problems do they cause? Drop me a note at 

Internet Links:  
Pioneer District Newsletter

State website 

Club Calendar of Events



Tidbits About Mushrooms:


December Garden Tasks:


Keeping Xmas Trees and Greens Fresh