snippersJune Garden Clippings      November Calendar                     

McMinnville Garden Club

                                    PO Box 386, McMinnville, OR

thanksgiving3                                                                                503-434-4344

November 16– MEETING


Hillside Retirement Community “Activity Room” at the Manor 

900 N. Hill Road McMinnville, OR  97128 



*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.


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: Laura McMasters - Naturescaping for Birds


Laura is an interpretive naturalist who leads hands-on nature workshops for kids, loves birds and is also a local author. Her parents were well-known in scientific circles, at Linfield College and beyond.  Her father, the late Kenneth M. Fender, was an entomologist - someone who studies insects. She spent her childhood immersed in the natural world of the Willamette Valley.  Laura can recognize a pileated woodpecker by its call, long before it wings overhead. And she knows where to look for the rare red-legged frog.  Her lifelong experiences in the outdoors impelled her to form Nature's Way, a business designed to encourage stewardship of the Earth through education and consultation.    She has worked with the Yamhill County Parks Department to develop an outdoor educational program.  This led her to co-author and co-illustrate "An Educator's Guide to Teaching Nature and Ecology - Featuring Six Yamhill County Parks," which is available in local school libraries.  Her aim is to introduce people of all ages to the wonders of the natural world and to mentor a new generation of guides.  She is also the co-author of the book, Kaleidoscope; An Introductory Guide to the Yamhill River Watershed. A self-described Yamhill Valley interpretive naturalist, nature guide and storyteller, she combines a passion for native plants, birds, learning, and learners with science and art and her enthusiasm is contagious.


November Canned Food Drive

Please bring canned food to our NOVEMBER meeting to share with the local food bank. 


santa 09After the November meeting we will be filling small Ziploc bags with birdseed to hand out as part of the Rakette’s activity.  If you can stay after the meeting for a bit, please do and help us fill LOTS of bags!!!

November 27 - HO   HO   HO – DON’T MISS THE FUN


christmas 2008

Come join the Santa Claus Parade and become one of the famous (infamous) Rakettes.  We’ll hit 3rd Street at 1PM on November 27th (the day after Thanksgiving).  Outrageously decorated rakes and hats are de rigueur.

Bring your decorated rake to share at the November meeting ...  inspire





Flowers to Share

At the October meeting a new meeting project was announced.  For each meeting, members are asked to bring along cuttings from their yards.  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.


December 4th – Christmas Wreaths – Craft Group

The Arts and Crafts interest group is going to create Christmas wreaths using the wreath machines of several members.  These were used previously by the club when we sold wreaths for fund raising. Meet at the Bethel Baptist parking lot at 9:30.  Dress warm; bring lunch and any ornaments you want to add to your wreath.  Cost will be between $3-4 per wreath depending on the size.   If you have evergreens or bushes with berries to prune, please wait until right before this activity so we can use your greens for the wreaths.


October Field Trip


Oct field trip1

About twenty of our members braved the rains on October 26th and had a great visit at Bailey Nursery in Yamhill.  Thanks to Patti Gregory for organizing this fun field trip. It was pretty amazing to see plants grown on that large of a scale!!  And greenhouses FULL of healthy starts for next Spring!








October President’s message

“Dig In”


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


 I can’t believe we are already doing the November newsletter!!!  Wasn’t it August just yesterday?  The recent rains are reminding us that it is time to DIG OUT the gardens, annuals, and move our plants around.  Consider leaving some of your plants in place for the birds.  They need additional protected areas to survive winter.  Before we know it, we’ll be having lots of rain and freezing temperatures.  Then it will be time to DIG IN to the idea books and catalogs.  Be sure to check out the websites section for some great online catalogs.

I’m trying several new things in my yard this Fall.  I planted a cover crop in my veggie garden area, bought decorative purple Kale for some of my outdoor containers and I actually got my bulbs DUG IN before Halloween.  Last year I got them in mid-December….. I even have some bulbs in the process of being forced for Christmas. Yeah for retirement!!!

Plan to DIG IN to our fun activities this month:  November 16th we’ll enjoy learning more about naturescaping for birds at our monthly meeting, the 23rd we’ll be creating our own Thanksgiving centerpieces and we can’t forget that the RAKETTES will be having a great time raking away at the McMinnville Christmas parade on the 27th, which starts at 1 o’clock.

Every year we collect cans of food for the Yamhill County Food Bank.  Since our luncheon is so close to Christmas this year, we are going to collect cans at our NOVEMBER meeting.  Please bring some cans of food to our meeting this month to share with others who are not as fortunate as we are this year.

Christmas?  Yep, Stephanie is already taking reservations for our Christmas Luncheon on December 21st.  We’ll be having roast beef and salmon for $15.  Hopefully this year we won’t be snowed out! Paid reservations are due by December 15th.  If you love decorating, be sure to volunteer at our November meeting to help us decorate for the luncheon!



Backyard Habitats – Marilyn Coats

Cloud Callout: Well I’m not gray BUT I am a squirrel           squirrel   Oregon’s Native Western Gray Squirrels


Western gray squirrels are the largest tree squirrels in Oregon.  They are silvery gray with a white belly.  White tips on their gray hairs give them a silvery appearance with a bushy, silvery gray tail enhanced with black hairs.  They can be as long as two feet, including their tail. 

Autumn is a great time to watch and learn about the gray squirrels because they don’t hibernate, but spend much of the fall gathering and storing food for the coming cold months.  They are listed as a sensitive species as their numbers are declining.  Competition with other species and loss of oak woodlands and older trees may be contributing to their decline. 

Squirrels eat a variety of foods.  They prefer fungi, acorns and seeds from trees such as Douglas fir, true firs, spruce and pines.  They are beneficial in helping new trees grow by storing nuts and seeds in the ground, hoping to eat them later.  If they forget where they hid them, the seeds sprout into new trees.  Squirrels also help plants by eating aphids.  It is best not to feed squirrels.  Feeding squirrels can attract the nonnative eastern gray squirrel rather than the more shy native western gray squirrels.  Too many squirrels in one area can drive away birds and other desirable wildlife. 

Active in the daytime, the squirrels sleep at night.  The best time to watch these native squirrels is an hour or two after sunrise.  As the day warms up, they spend more time resting by sprawling on their belly on tree limbs with their legs and tail dangling. 

Preferring wooded areas with lots of oak trees, they may also be found near streams and in forests.  They also live in urban parks and orchards near forested areas and visit the backyards with many trees. 

Enjoy watching the antics of the squirrels if they visit your yards.  Sometimes they can be pests but they can also be a lot of fun to watch. 


Norma Parker – Successful Digging Tips


Healthy soil is the foundation of successful gardening!  Effective Fall garden “shut down” is key to healthy soil.   Healthy, happy plants happen when we learn to feed the Soil, rather than the plants.  Remember, soil is a living thing - Not a chemical sponge!  Organic matter (compost) is the best answer to all soil problems. So as leaves begin falling, remember they are a great source of free organic matter.  Spreading a layer of leaves on your garden plot will increase the soils health by adding organic matter, and also reduce soil compaction during the winter storms.  So if you want someone to take away your leaves, call me! (503-474-7349) and I will gladly take them to my garden.  ;-)

            Healthy plants depend upon the soil’s ability to quickly drain away excess water.  If water fills all the pores in the soil, oxygen cannot get to the plant’s roots and it will drown.  Very few plants tolerate boggy soil conditions.  So if you have noticed puddles remain in your lawn or garden long after a rainstorm has ended you may have a drainage problem.  To be sure, perform this drainage test:

            1. Dig a hole in the ground about the size of a gallon jug. Record your start time, then fill the hole with water and let it drain. 

            2. As soon as the water has drained immediately fill the hole with water again.  If it takes more than 6 hours for both fills to completely drain, you have a drainage problem that needs attention.

            The best answer to a drainage problem is to work Lots of organic matter into the top 24 inches of soil.  You may also need to move plants to a better location.  

            Yellowing plant leaves are often the result of lack of oxygen to plant roots either from over watering or poor drainage.  Healthy soil produces healthy plants and actually requires less water because it utilizes and distributes the water more effectively.  Ideal soil has a large population of microorganisms (because it is not over-tilled) and is composed of at least 5 % organic matter.



Meet Virginia Klein


On February 5, 1916 McMinnville Garden Club’s Honorary Member, Virginia Klein was born –right here in McMinnville.  In 1852 her great-grandfather came West by wagon train to the Carlton area.  One hundred years later in 1952 Virginia’s family had a big centennial celebration.  Many members of Virginia’s family went to Linfield


Virginia herself became a teacher of math, English and physical education.  While teaching in Portland she met and married her husband, Don Klein in 1946.  They moved back to McMinnville in 1947.  They had two sons after raising them to elementary age Virginia went back to work.  She taught for a total of twenty-four years.  She has been retired for thirty-five years.


Virginia was always feeding her family with fresh or home-canned fruits and vegetables from their mammoth backyard garden.  Her Vgarden is smaller these days as her husband and both of her sons have passed away.  She has one granddaughter and one grandson to feed occasionally, though.


Virginia has always known her plants and served as our club’s horticulturist for many, many years.  She is not sure what year she joined, but is probably our longest serving member.  She was our club President from 1977-79 and was very instrumental in our club’s supremely successful fund-raiser of assembling and selling Christmas wreaths for so many years.  She has so successfully lived her life that she still drives herself from her home of almost sixty years to our club meetings every month and frequents as many other club functions as she can manage.

Maybe all her success comes from her inKLEINation to:




In the


Roving Reporter:  Jacci Reed


Internet Links

Pioneer District Newsletter

State web site 


Favorite mail-order websites:   


Plant your own Pumpkin Bouquet 


Mike Darcy’s radio show, In the Garden.  You can actually listen to past episodes too!                               



Curious about blogs?  Check out these Oregon gardening blogs.