Garden Clippings

McMinnville Garden Club, PO Box 386, McMinnville, OR

January 2012    503-434-4344

Monday, January 16, 2012 – 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. – 10:45 a.m. - Business Meeting

11:00 – 12:00   Speaker, Norm Jacobs   "Color and texture from small conifers in woodland and mixed border gardens"              12 – 12:15 Closing


President’s Message                                                                                                                                   by Merle Dean Feldman

Are you enjoying this winter as much as I am?  Some of us still have roses blooming!   We know rain is on the way, but it has been fun to have all these extra gardening days in. It has been many years since I have seen the bloom linger on so many plants.  I noticed lots of worm activity when I was planting bulbs this last week.  They love this weather as much as we do.  But most of my plants know it is winter.  Some of the conifers have acquired their beautiful plum, bronze, or orange shades.  The Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweetgum) tree still has leaves.  It also is having a hard time letting go of autumn.

Did you realize we also had our longest night and shortest day on December 21?  Talk about light at the end of the tunnel.   So, celebrate the return of light.  Get out those seed catalogs and start ordering. 

Thanks again to all of you who made our holiday luncheon such a wonderful affair.  The room was decorated so beautifully, food was great and we had such a good time together. 


Mark Your Calendars:


January 16, Monday:  Club Meeting, Speakers:  

Norm Jacobs and Deb Zaveson, Arbutus Garden Arts, “Conifers in the Garden.”


Many of you remember Norm from several years ago when he came to speak at our Garden Club and many requested that he return.  Norm and Deb own Arbutus Garden Arts, just outside of Yamhill,  Their nursery specializes in noteworthy, (meaning notable for unique features and worth growing in your garden) Japanese Maples, dwarf conifers and Epimedium.  They also focus on understory plants that thrive in woodland dry shade.  They grow many cutting-edge and unusual varieties.


January Arts & Crafts & Field Trips None scheduled (unpredictable weather)


February 9-11   Native Plant Sale: Yamhill Soil, Water, and Conservation District,                                    McMinnville, Oregon.  Pre orders due February 3rd.  Visit them on line at                   For help with your order, call 503-472-6403.


February 20      Club Meeting, Speakers: Truls Jenson and Emma Elliott from Wild                                            Ginger Farm, “Success with Rock Garden and Alpine Plants”


February 23      Field Trip?, TBA, weather permitting


February 27      Arts & Crafts: Tea Cups and Mosaic-Trimmed Clay Pots (Doris C.)

Bring your cups/saucers to a meeting prior to this for Doris.


Horticulture                                                                                by Cindy Flake


U.S. Nurseries have had as much difficulty staying in business as any other organization during the economic downturn.  So where do wholesale nurseries turn when U.S. markets are in such a slump?  Some have found a niche by supplying existing and emerging world markets.


In 2005, Japan’s economy was down, but people were still gardening.  Many U.S. companies met the demand, even though there was plenty of competition from the Netherlands and New Zealand.  Shrub and tree shipments were focused on China, in preparation for the 2008 Olympics and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.  Many believed that as China’s middle- class grew, another new market would emerge.  However, most of this populace lives in apartments. The wealthy, on the other hand, live in villas and have more available growing space, but they are too few in number to drive sales. While Oregon’s current major export market is China, it is the result of large construction projects, rather than from individual consumers.  It appears that China’s purchases are more event-driven, as nursery sales have flattened between each notable event.  In 2000, nursery exports were valued at $100,000.  By 2010, it had increased 30%, but has only grown 2% in 2011.


Mexico has been the most recent buyer of U.S. fruit tree rootstock, as aging apple orchards are being replaced.  Fruit buying preferences have driven the demand for new apple varieties, thus out with the old and in with the new!  Shipments have increased from $7.4 million in 2000 to $19.6 million in 2010.  The U.S. Trade Commission has verified that the trend has continued in 2011.  While these events don’t fill the Ag economy gap, it is encouraging to see progress!



Wildlife Habitat:   Protecting Backyard Birds                               by June Benson

I recently added two bird feeders to our backyard and almost immediately the local songbirds found them. The following day, however, I glanced outside to find a very large bird in our Dogwood tree and no smaller birds at the feeders. It was probably a Cooper’s Hawk which lives in western Oregon year-round. These particular hawks not only come to bird feeders, they even run on the ground in pursuit. Oh, my! After doing some research online, it looks like I have two choices: stop feeding the birds or continue to feed all of the birds (and I do mean all).

First, I can temporarily stop feeding the seed eating birds. If I take down the feeders for at least two weeks, the hawk may give up and look elsewhere for food. Once I resume filling the feeders, the small birds should return. And I shouldn’t worry about starving any of the seed eating birds. Feeders are the McDonalds of the bird world, fine for a fast snack, but not intended to provide the bird’s entire diet. Seed eating birds are still getting the majority of their food from natural sources, even in winter.

Second, I can choose to continue to feed all of the birds. There are many recommendations for protecting backyard birds--some practical and some not. Suggestions include putting feeders in sheltered areas where there are dense trees or shrubs, avoiding ground feeders altogether, and using bird feeders with wire cages. Unfortunately, none of these recommendations are fool proof, so some of the small birds at my feeders may still get caught. In other words, the hawks will be fed too.

What if I make the second choice? Will I be a bad person if I allow those sweet tiny birds to become lunch for a predator? I am trying to see this situation from a hawk’s point of view. We humans can eat a wide variety of foods, but birds of prey, on the other hand, are carnivores that must eat other animals to survive. Moreover, the hawk faces a variety of hazards, like being shot or trapped, being hit by a car, eating poisoned food, and flying into windows. Its meal is mobile and usually trying to make an escape. Thus the hawk is just another creature struggling against great odds to survive. To see this situation from a scientific viewpoint, the Delaware Valley Raptor Center website reminds me of Darwin’s theory (which I do remember from science classes taken long ago). If a small bird is successfully captured, it may have been an older bird whose reaction time was no longer quick enough to save it, or it may have been a young bird that was ill or perhaps had yet to learn how to evade a predator’s strike. Whichever the reason, the small bird was not the best of its species. Their deaths leave only the fittest animals to survive and to reproduce. All of this seems very reasonable. I am left with one nagging thought: Although I do watch the Discovery channel from time to time, am I ready to see reality television in my own backyard?   And what have I decided to do? Nothing.  My feeders are still up.

Roving Report:  Meet Stephanie Janik                          by Rosemary Vertregt

Many of us who know Stephanie have a picture of her with her hand raised as she once again volunteers to accept a task, a responsibility, a chairmanship, or even a position as an officer. She has spent two years as club treasurer, a job opening that would cause many of us to attempt invisibility! In past years she has taken on a serious amount of work on the Habitat for Humanity Committee, digging holes and spreading compost in our landscaping efforts for Habitat homes. She is now in charge of the group looking after the plants at the Library, having previously shared that job with her close friend, Jan Hudson, another member who was always ready to help. Stephanie has served on the Post Office Garden Comm., tour/faire treasurer 2012 and recently volunteered to join Les Buchholz as a Hospitality Assistant!

Iowa was home to Stephanie until her junior year in high school, when her family moved to Illinois, where they had about ten acres and ran a dog kennel, which meant that Stephanie had plenty of chores to do. But, she loved horses and eventually had one of her own. Along with Judy Wilkerson, she now volunteers at a shelter for mistreated horses. Her memories of Iowa and Illinois are fond ones---except for the frigid winters! Graduation in Home Economics from Southern Illinois University, and then marriage, and then husband Michael’s Air Force Basic Training took them to Biloxi, Mississippi during the beginning of desegregation of the schools. Stephanie taught third grade there for three years, during which she became aware of the extreme poverty of some of the students. Attendance was excellent, she says, partly because of school lunches, and partly because of strict parents who wanted their children to behave and learn.

Upon their return to Illinois, the family increased by three: a boy (who now lives in Hillsboro), then a girl (still in Illinois), then another boy (now in Forest Grove). For three years, Stephanie had an “interesting” job selling wigs! Later, she taught Home Ec in a Chicago high school, where she was chairman of the department, then in a suburban high school. She had visited son #1 at OSU, becoming aware of the mild climate and beautiful scenery of Oregon, and, since retirement was imminent, the decision was: Go West! Since she and Michael bought a brand new house, they had to begin from zero with landscaping. Good thing Stephanie met our Cathy Burdett, who impressed upon her the importance and the wisdom of becoming a member of our club! And Newcomers’ Club! Stephanie is a fast learner and also has graduated from Master Gardener Training (credit for enrolling: Cathy Burdett), and is busy with plant preparation for the big Master Gardener Plant Sale. Oh, one more thing----she has volunteered to be an assistant mentor for the new series of classes.

Websites                                                                       by Patty Sorensen

Pruning Chores:  

January Chores:

New Year’s Resolution for Garden Journaling? Here’s some tips.

Burpee Seeds’ Online Catalog:

Comcast Cable has Victory Garden episodes on Channel 185. RLTV   If you search for “Victory Garden” you will find many different shows to view.  Enjoy!


Beautiful holiday tables decorated by members.







Red was the favorite color of the day!