Garden Clippings     

McMinnville Garden Club

PO Box 386, McMinnville, OR


February 15th – MEETING


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. - Speaker: Vern Nelson

A Walk through a Gourmet's Kitchen Garden

Join us to learn what Vern’s garden includes and how we can duplicate the creation of a gourmet kitchen garden.


Vern’s BIO:  Garden columnist for the Oregonian nearly 25 years; Owner of A New Leaf Edible Landscape Design; Special interest in kitchen gardens/espaliers;  taught at many colleges and nurseries in the NW; Scientific botanical water colorist; Sea kayaker for 37 years; Viet Nam veteran, US Marines; Avid marathoner; Enthusiastic chef:

*Remember:   “The Making a Difference Campaign” is a national garden club project.   Our Pioneer District is collecting inkjet, laser printer cartridges and cell phones that will be recycled.  If you have any that you wish to contribute to the project please bring them to a meeting and we will forward them to the Pioneer District.  They take clean bottle caps, the plastic ones. No medicine bottle caps.  *Also bring your magazines to share with others.


Flowers to Share

Don't forget to bring your yard cuttings!  This can include flowers, branches, bulbs, etc.  There will be a flower container for you to add your finds to and help arrange.  During the meeting, we’ll select someone to take home the great bouquet all ready for their house.


February 11 - 13 - 9am—6 pm - The Yamhill Water and Soil Conservation District's native plant sale

2200 SW 2nd Street, McMinnville

Pre-order forms and plant descriptions available for sale available at the

OSU Extension office, the SWCD offices or online at:

Feb. 13OUR Field Trip, Yard, Garden and Patio Show
We are meeting at the Bethel Baptist parking lot with a departure time of 9:30 AM.  Wear comfortable shoes, consider bringing a sack lunch.  We’ll divide up into cars according to return times.  Hope to see you then!!!

Feb. 24-28 - Portland Home and Garden Show, , Portland Expo Center
We don’t have a field trip to this show organized.  If there is enough interest, we can add it to our schedule.  Check out more information at:

Feb. 26-27  - Yamhill County Master Gardeners’ Bare Root Tree and Shrub Sale
The Yamhill County Master Gardeners will hold their annual tree and shrub sale at the Yamhill County Fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday, February 26 and 27, 2010, from 9 am until 3 pm. 100% of net proceeds go to fund scholarships for students at local schools. 

Senior Center - NW Garden Tour Opportunity

3 day tour of gardens from April 28th – May 1 starting at Portland’s Crystal Springs Garden and working the way to Seattle’s Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden, Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, and the Olympic Sculpture Park, our privately led tours provide beauty, insight and information.  Tacoma is abundant with interest and color, and here we visit the 102-year old Victorian Seymour Botanical Conservatory, Point Defiance Park, Union Station, the Chihuly Glass Bridge and Museum of Glass.  The European formal-style Lakewold Gardens feature dogwoods, cherry blossoms and a stunning Georgian-style mansion, and is a favorite among garden enthusiasts.  And no tour of this area is complete without the piece de resistance: Thornewood Castle, a Tudor-Gothic castle nearly 100 years old, where our private tour of the residence and sunken Secret Garden ends with High Tea in the Great Hall.  Throw in a musical performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic Flower Drum Song, and we have a trip not soon to be forgotten.  From spectacular rhododendrons and azaleas to colorful Chihuly blown glass tulips, this trip is a must for nature, architecture and art lovers.  Don’t forget your camera and your most comfortable walking shoes. 
Tour price includes:  three nights of hotels including roundtrip baggage handling, three breakfasts, four lunches including High Tea at Thornewood Castle, one dinner,  admission to Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, private tour of Hiram M. Chittenden Locks and Fish Ladder, private tour of Olympic Sculpture Park, admission to the Museum of Glass, private tour of the residence and grounds of Thornewood Castle, ticket to Tacoma Musical Playhouse’s Flower Drum Song, admission donation to Seymour Botanical Conservatory, admission to Lakewold Garden, all Experience Oregon motor coach transportation and sightseeing per the itinerary, taxes and gratuities for the above mentioned, and services of an Experience Oregon Tour Director.  $672 per person double occupancy  $798 per person single
Contact Cindi Miller  971-237-2512

February 26th - 27th - Master Gardener's bare root sale.

Yamhill County Fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday from 9am until 3pm.  100% of the proceeds to fund scholarships for students at local schools.


February President’s message

“Dig In”

Develop Skills, Increase Civic Service, and Grow Friendships

By   Involvement & Nurturing 

Is spring coming? At the beach this past weekend, I saw daffodil buds that were almost ready to bloom.  My Daphne is close to opening up its gorgeous blooms and filling my deck with sweet smells. 

How about the end of the winter rain?  In my yard, I almost feel like I must be lakefront due to the “squish” factor when walking across it.  Moss is growing in the lawn, on the trees, concrete and most of my wooden outdoor items. BUT I see plants reappearing in the ground even where the water puddles.  Guess I’d better get my tools cleaned up and sharpened. (Especially my rose pruners.)  Before I know it, I’ll be pruning back my roses on President’s weekend and then planting my sweet peas.  YIPPEEEE

At our January meeting I was inspired by Ann Nickerson to look closer at the plant design element of my yard and at our February 15th meeting I’m hoping Vern Nelson will share tips on vegetable gardening.  I’ve got a lot to learn about that type of gardening.  I did get a ground cover planted where I grow my veggies.   Hopefully the soil will benefit from the hydrogen fix and my veggies will grow healthier than they did last year.

AND there are two special plant sales this month!  The Yamhill Water and Soil Conservation District’s native plant sale Feb. 11-13 AND the YC Master Gardeners’ bare root sale Feb. 26-27.  Next thing you know I’ll have purchased a few too many plants to get in the ground.  BUT remember, this year my resolution is to plant them in the ground before two weeks go by…..


            Winter is our time to relax by the fire and dream of next summer’s gardens.  We long for their beauty, and wish there were a magic way to produce their glory with less backbreaking work. Sharon Gunter recommends Low maintenance Gardening by Valerie Easton as an excellent resource. For example, wouldn't it be great if there were no weeds! Ms. Easton and I agree the fundamental step in reducing weeds is to build healthy soil.  Healthy organically rich soil will produce healthy, disease resistant plants that will crowd out the weeds.  Time spent soil building always pays dividends.  Next, remember nature abhors a vacuum. Bare soil is an invitation to weeds.  Mulch, pavers, and landscaping cloth are all effective in eliminating the problem of bare soil.  Another low maintenance approach is to simply cover the ground with whatever it is you want to grow there.  A vigorous ground cover either allows no space for weeds to start, or if they do sprout, hides them and soon chokes them out.

The time and money saved by purchasing disease resistant plants will outweigh the effort required to pull out and dispose of the unhealthy ones.  Before replanting, make sure you are putting the right plant in the right place.  Did the old plant have problems because it was not in the right micro climate, or was it an inferior cultivar?  Decide which plant will be best suited for your space and look specifically for that plant, rather than simply buying what catches your eye at the nursery (a mistake of which I have been guilty)

            Shrubs and trees provide structure and variety to the landscape and are much easier to care for than perennials or annuals.  Careful research before plan selection will save a lot of digging up and replanting.  Remember anything you plant will grow approximately one foot taller and one foot wider than what is shown on the plant label.  

            Winter is a good time for maintenance and repair of gardening tools, pruning and training grapes, and applying dormant sprays to roses and fruit trees, but also for exercising patience if you are tempted to being gardening too soon.  Disturb wet soil as little as possible and remember gardening too early can cause more harm than benefit.  Browse the nurseries, but be reluctant to buy.  Plan and prune, but leave the planting for later with the exception of bare root trees and shrubs.

            Remember our upcoming field trip to The Yard Garden and Patio Show February 12th.   With 40 hours of informational  seminars scheduled this year, it is an ideal place to get fresh ideas and enthusiasm.

When winter comes, spring cannot be far behind! 

This and That - Cathy Burdett

            Is the McMinnville Garden Club just a social club that meets once a month to share gardening information?  Absolutely not!

            A welcoming atmosphere, and a group of giggling, laughing and friendly fellow gardeners, openly smiling and sharing hugs sets the tone of each meeting!  The garden club is a FUN event for members.

            But there is more!  There is always an assortment of delicious, mouth watering treats in an endless variety of choices.  Hand dipped chocolates, superior tasting “made from scratch” selections that are provided each month by the club members.  The FOOD choices are so wonderful that sometimes I enjoy a “breakfast” at the club and coffee and tea is always available.

            But there is more!  Developing FRIENDSHIPS with fellow gardeners is a natural progression as we stand around before the meeting eating food and having fun.  After all we share a common bond – gardening!

            But there is more!  Members work together on innovative, creative projects and programs that benefit the community in which we live and love.

            But there is more!  Members have access to the club newsletter, and educational resources, tours, field trips and events.  Especially invaluable is the EXTRA BONUS of listening to interesting speakers on educational gardening topics.     

            I have been enriched and intellectually challenged by being a member of the McMinnville Garden Club! 


Backyard Habitats – Marilyn Coats


I was looking out my window one day last week and saw some really bright yellow birds at my feeders.  I thought ‘it’s too early for goldfinches’.  So I checked my handy bird book and came to the conclusion they were lesser goldfinches, which are relatives of the American goldfinches but a little smaller with different color variation.  They are about 4-1/2” tall versus 5” tall for the American goldfinches.  The entire crown is black on the adult western males with a greenish back.  Most adult females are dull yellow and lack the white undertail coverts typical of the American goldfinches. 

Even though they resemble the American goldfinches, the lesser variety breed early in the year and have young in their nests well before their late-nesting relatives.  Family groups join up in the fall and winter, sometimes flocking with the American goldfinches and the pine siskins. 

Their nests are located on an outer portion of a small tree or shrub, woven with plant fibers, grass stems, bark and moss with plant-down linings.  The females incubate 4-5 pale blue eggs for 12 days, and the young fledge at 12-15 days and then join the family flocks. 

Their diet consists of the fruits of deciduous trees, plants and grass, plus seeds and insects.  They like to visit backyard feeders and are especially attracted to the niger thistle sock feeders. 

It is so much fun to watch the antics of the birds; and it can really brighten your day when you see these pretty, bright yellow birds feeding at your feeder. 

Internet Links

Pioneer District Newsletter

State web site 


Moss in your lawn?

Rose Pruning

Planting Sweet Peas

South Australian Horticultural Calendar