Garden Clippings

McMinnville Garden Club PO Box 386, McMinnville, OR   January 2011   503-434-4344


January 17, 2011 – 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. -  Deborah Topp - Rain Gardens

Have you had enough rain yet?  If we continue to have typical Oregon winter weather, you can expect much more.  That's why you need to attend our January Garden Club meeting on the 17th.  Deborah Topp will present a program on Rain Gardens.  She is the City of Salem's Natural Resource Outreach Specialist.


Her presentation will address the need for alternative rain gardens while showing their beauty and function.  Rain gardens are a beautiful feature to protect water quality and provide wildlife habitat.


Deborah's presentation will show you what rain gardens are, how to size them to your property, and help identify what plants are appropriate.  She will also cover other types of water conservation and pollution prevention ideas as well as address the needs of wildlife.


You won't want to miss this meeting.  Remember Monday, January 17, come to learn what rain gardens are all about.

January’s speaker will count for ONE hour of Master Gardener educational recertification hours.


January President’s Message

What fun was had at our December meeting: great food, great company and time to enjoy each other.  A big thanks to everyone who helped create a PERFECT meeting!!!  I’m really looking forward to our speaker in January.  I’ve always wanted to learn more about rain gardens.  After all, Oregon is the perfect place for that type of gardening! And it is a bit too muddy to do much in the dirt. 

As I sit here typing this note, I’m looking at all the Christmas decorations I need to organize then box up and store for next year; it reminds me of the seasonal Fall chore of putting the garden to rest.   Now that I have another seasonal pile to stow away, I remember  the joys of January, February and March.  Those are the months when I can curl up with a book, plan new gardening adventures, focus on my indoor plants, enjoy the outbursts of weather, and all within my warm, cozy house.  Oh, but I think it is time for a nap before I tackle that last task of December.  And then maybe a trip to Kraemer’s for some additions to my indoor garden……..After all, January will arrive whether things are put away or not!!!  Just like the Fall rains arrived before I had my gardening chores done. 

Winter Garden

 By Jane Morrison - printed in December, 1948 issue of The Home Garden

Think not that they are barren now of growth,

That beauty flowers no longer from their seed;

These borders, ghosts of bloom, have still a need

To clothe themselves in loveliness; how loath

They are to eat of winter’s bitter feed!

Passed on, and left a faded overgrowth

For winter winds to shatter without heed.


But gardens find a way to bloom again;

They know that flowers are never out of season

As winter gives them loveliness to show:

Stark branches, petal-etched by frost, and then

Across these borders, without thought or reason,

A thousand starry flowers of shadowed snow.


      Cindy Flake’s Winter Garden!        


Wildlife Habitat

June Benson

How Much Do You Know About Backyard Birds?


Decide whether each statement is True or False.




1.  You should take down hummingbird feeders in the fall so the hummers know when to migrate.

2. You can’t keep a hawk from killing birds at your feeders.

3.  Birds seek shelter in thick, dense shrubs without thorns.

4.  Birds that fluff their feathers, huddle in a row, or tuck their heads under their wings are probably frightened.

5.  If you are on vacation and stop feeding the birds, they will not starve.

6.  Some trees attract insects and therefore will attract birds.

7.  Well manicured lawns attract birds.

8.  Native plants are likely to appeal to resident birds.

Answers on back page!



All of the above adjectives apply to Jacci Reed --- and then some! Many of us have enjoyed Jacci’s hospitality (and that of her good-natured husband, Clyde) recently, as they welcomed us to their home for a holiday wreath-making workshop. This was scheduled to be a one-day event, but because Jacci knew that some members couldn’t join us that day, she kept extending the invitation --- through the entire week!

We have been having these workshops for a few years now, but since the weather was extremely cold this year, we were invited to set up in the house, rather than the barn! We all learned techniques, shared experiences, and helped each other, taking turns on the three machines; some of us learned to construct hanging baskets of greenery, sparkly decorations, and huge ribbons, but none of us worked too hard, as

Jacci was born in Nebraska, but spent only a few months there before the family moved on -- and on. They lived in California, Idaho, Montana, Washington, and Oregon, as her father worked for the highway department, and that means “on the road again”. Jacci attended six high schools, graduating from Sherman County High School near Rufus, Oregon. By necessity, she had learned to be outgoing and friendly, since she didn’t have time to wait for people to come to her. As a young girl, Jacci learned to sew, making many of her school clothes, including Pendleton skirts, buying the fabric at Pendleton Woolen Mills, matching plaids, and thereby bypassing the super-expensive retail store. She even made wedding dresses and coats.

Jacci and Clyde met while both were working for the Post Office in McMinnville, and were married in l984. They are delighted to live right where they are, on acreage on a hillside with a gorgeous green view of valleys and hills, and have enlarged and improved their house, doing most of the work themselves, adding a sunroom with wrap-around windows for the views and light. They also added an apartment sized area for Jacci’s mother to live in, when Jacci became her care-giver.

Jacci and Clyde have two daughters living in the Portland area and a son in Bellevue, Washington, so that wonderful gift, grandchildren, are nearby! The kids especially enjoy the above-ground swimming pool, which comes out in summer, and is surrounded by a beautiful deck and Adirondack lawn chairs, built by Clyde. Each of the grandchildren slept in a cradle designed and built of special woods by their clever grandparents; one is made of black walnut from Linfield, alma mater of the baby’s father; one from cherry from a family farm; one from a special yew tree, etc. Other interests inspired Jacci to take classes at Chemeketa, including oil and water-color painting, calligraphy, ceramics, and stained glass, and lovely examples of all of these can be enjoyed throughout her home. But Jacci admits that there is one craft she did not take to at all: even though she loves to sew, the fun of quilting seems to elude her!

But there is a new adventure in store for Jacci. In the last few years she has been the primary care-giver for several close relatives, and has decided to begin volunteering at Rock of Ages Nursing Home. Any of us would be fortunate to have her as a friend and a care-giver. She’s a natural!

        Christmas Wreath and Basket Making
Jacci provided her homemade soup, breads & jams, coffee and miscellaneous goodies. (Cindy Flake brought a huge container of spiced cider for us to enjoy. “spiced”, not “spiked”!) Jacci, ever the good hostess, insisted that we take frequent breaks to visit, exchange ideas, and get better acquainted.  We also enjoyed seeing all her “nature collections” -- beautiful rocks and minerals, pottery, woods. It was a relief to find that the “nature collections” that we dragged into Jacci’s and Clyde’s home (prickly holly, seed, cones, tree boughs of every description, wires, boxes and bags ) had vanished! Not without a great deal of work on the part of our kind hosts!   We’ll have to ask Clyde just how many holes he drilled in all those baskets!


Internet Links:  
Pioneer District Newsletter

State website 


Club Calendar of Events


Wanting to spend some time this winter studying how to better garden?  Check out this tutorial on deep soil prep, composting, companion planting, etc.  Great resource


New York Botanical Garden site is not only beautiful but helpful too!!



A site full of great information for novice gardeners. Be sure to try their search function.


A guide to environmentally friendly gardening.


Answers to Bird quiz!!

1.  False. Instinct and hormonal urges are what drive birds to migrate, not what we do. The Anna’s Hummingbird is a year-round resident and would appreciate you leaving the feeder up during the winter.

2.  True. both literally and legally. Birds of prey are protected by federal and state wildlife laws.

3.  False. Thorns deter predators so birds will seek shelter in thorny shrubs too.

4.  False. These are ways birds stay warm.

5.  True, although your birds may be disappointed! Feeding stations are like McDonalds, more of a convenience than a necessity.

6.  True. Trees that attract insects include maple, birch, oak, and dogwood.

7.  False. Neat lawns have no seeds and do not provide concealment from predators.

8.  True.


5 or fewer questions right: backyard birds would like you to learn more about them.

6 or more questions right: your garden must be a bird paradise!