Garden Clippings

McMinnville Garden Club PO Box 386, McMinnville, OR           503-434-4344              November 2010


November 15, 2010 – 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. -  Dani Ferguson - Ferguson's Fragrant Nursery

Winter is on its way and some say that it may be a very cold and harsh one.  Now is the time to make final plans to ensure your garden survives, and that it looks its best throughout the winter months.

Come to our November meeting as Dani Ferguson from Ferguson's Fragrant Nursery will provide us with information on "Winterizing our Gardens".  Dani is a very lively and popular speaker and this topic is among her most requested. She will be giving lots of tips on just what to do and what plants look the best in the winter.     She may even bring some plants for members to purchase!


  • FIELD TRIP - November 17 at 9:30 at the Bethel Baptist Church’s parking lot. 
    Willamette University’s botanical display and then stopping at the Wild Bird Shop in Salem.
  • Since we have no field trip scheduled for December, you might want to consider this!!!

                The Trolley to the Portland International Raceway’s Wonderland Light Show. Looking for a holiday expedition?  Might be fun if some club members did this one together.  Leaves from Ruby Tuesdays here in town.

Date:    December 21st, 2010 - Departure Time:     5:00 PM

Tickets:     $35.00 each. This fee includes admission.

Early Bird Tickets:    $29.00 each. Purchased before November 20th .  This fee includes admission.

The trolley is handicap-accessible with a hydraulic lift and can accommodate up to two wheel chairs.   (Please call ahead for arrangements)

Tickets can be purchased through Embrace Oregon by phoning (503) 474-0762.

November President’s Message      

What happened to September?  It can’t be November already???  Boy, it feels like I got onboard the bullet train this year.  I’d like to request a transfer to the old coal train please so I can enjoy myself instead of watching life whiz by??

Speaking of trains, for those who didn’t join us at the October meeting, you missed an enjoyable speaker teaching us about birds in our yard and plantings to support them.  He even gave us some free bird seed.  Folks enjoyed Chris so much that we’ve booked our November field trip expedition to Salem.  We will be visiting Willamette University’s botanical display and then stopping at the Wild Bird Shop to see some of the new items that Chris talked about.  Plan to get onboard for this one!  See you November 17 at 9:30 at the Bethel Baptist Church’s parking lot.  (And just around the corner from his store are two fun antique/vintage shops!)

November is the jump off month for our winter season.  Do you suppose the weather forecasters are right and we are going to have a stormy winter?  I know I’m planning to get my holiday shopping done early just in case we get another snowstorm in mid-December!  AND our November 15th meeting’s speaker will be helping us prepare our gardens  for winter.  Sounds like a good idea this year!! I’m taking notes since Dani owns Ferguson’s Fragrant Nurseries, she must know what she is talking about.

Looking ahead to Winter must mean it is time for our Rakette’s annual Christmas Parade .  Norma Parker and Judy Wilkerson are in charge this year.  I’m sure they’ll make for a fun time. Make plans to meet at the St. James parking lot by 12:30 on November 26th with your Garden Club aprons on, rakes decorated, and dressed for the weather.  If you aren’t into marching, we need folks to pass out the birdseed to parade goers.  Last year we had very few participants.  This year we are going to ALL GET ON BOARD and enjoy sharing holiday spirit and gardening fun.  Right?  (PS  We are hoping to have a new supply of aprons available by then!)

And as for FUN, once we pass Thanksgiving then it is time for Christmas wreath making again.  You’ll hear more about this at the November meeting. We’ve expanded!  Monday, December 6th we’ll meet at the church at 9:30 dressed for the weather and head to Jacci’s to put together our wreaths.  THEN on Tuesday, December 7th,  we’ll repeat but this time to make Christmas hanging baskets.  Jean and Georgia are going to help us put our creativity together with the remnant boughs.  Be sure to dress warm and bring some energy food if you want.  Coffee will be available.  Brrrr……

Our annual Christmas luncheon is expected to be December 20 at Hillside. (Weather permitting…two years ago we had to cancel due to SNOW!)  Cost is $17.  Reservations need to be to Stephanie by December 10th.  Our program that month is a surprise garden expedition!!!

Whew!  Looks like my wish for getting on the coal train won’t work. We are speeding along with all of our activities right up to the new year.  Hope you come along for the ride!!!  This month I’m going to remember to ask for the secret word.  It is SPEED!!!!!  teehee





One of our newer members, Cindy Flake, is already very involved --- she's our new secretary, you know!  And we are fortunate to be able to add such a capable member to our roster. Cindy was raised on a farm in Indiana, where she was introduced early to hard work.  Her father put her behind the wheel of a tractor when she was seven, and instructed her to "just drive straight and I’ll come and get you in a few hours.”

         After high school in Poneto, Indiana, Cindy attended barber school in Indianapolis -- "not beauty school", she emphatically insists.  She worked for 12 years as a barber-stylist and shop manager, giving haircuts and shaves with a straight razor, with hot towels included!  She attended night school for six of those years to earn a Business Administration degree from Vincennes University. Cindy then worked for the R & D component of Dow AgroSciences, in Crop Disease Management Biology.  Her focus was to test synthesized compounds to bring forward safe and novel fungicides that would benefit wheat, grape, apple, and rice farmers.  It was there that she met her husband, Jeff, who worked as a biologist in the Weed Management group.  Since Jeff is from Wyoming, he found Indiana way too flat, so he and Cindy headed West. In Wyoming, Cindy got a job teaching computer skills to hospital  employees, and earned a BS in Agroecology. But a few years of the cold, bleak weather was enough for Cindy, and, fortunately for all of us, they headed for Oregon!  About 6 years ago they bought a beautiful piece of property WAY UP on High Heaven Road.  The house was in need of a complete "rehab", so Cindy and Jeff have combined full-time jobs with serious "house surgery" and taming of the steep slopes.  They have now finished the upper part of their home (living room, dining room, kitchen, and bath) with cherry floors and cabinets, and large view windows. What a view!  They will now tackle the "daylight" basement, which needs renovation from the studs out!  There will come a day when they finish their richly-deserved master suite. Of course, there are still the enormous terraced planting beds that are beginning to fill -- we can help them with our "extra" plants, when they are ready!  In addition, they have a St. Bernard named Sherman, 6 chickens, and 3 cats in residence.                                       

         Cindy says that she joined the Garden Club because, after several years of work and no play, she happened upon our member Vivian (GG) Peterson, who told her that we are super-friendly and invited her to join us.


Horticulture - Marilyn Coats


I decided to write about cannas because they are the first plants that I notice in my front yard presently.  These tropical looking plants are perennials that are derived from rhizomes.  They have large, lance-shaped leaves that can be rich green, bronzy red or variegated.  The large showy flowers are red, orange, yellow, pink, cream, white or bi-colors that bloom in summer and fall.  The cannas can reach up to 6 feet tall but also include dwarf plants from 1-1/2 feet to 3 feet. 

My cannas are still blooming and are very striking with the bronzy red leaves and bright orange flowers.   They are growing in the ground, but they also do well in pots with regular water and full sun.  Deadhead to promote continued flowering.  The leaves are good in arrangements but the cut flowers do not keep well.  Pests are minimal, such as slugs and spider mites.  Rust, fungal leaf spot and bacterial blight are common.  But I have never had any problems other than a little damage from slugs. 

After autumn frost blackens the foliage, cut the stems down to a couple of inches and lift the rhizomes out for winter storage.  Store in frost-free conditions using barely moist peat or leaf mold.  I usually leave my cannas in the ground and try to mulch them over the winter.  However, sometimes they come back and sometimes they don’t.  I enjoy cannas and try different ones with the colorful leaves.  Gives me an excuse to buy some more next year! 





Don’t Clean Up!! - June Benson

This is my first Backyard Habitat contribution and I would appreciate any suggestions you have. Please send your comments to

Perhaps I should rephrase that….this fall how much yard clean up is good enough? Good enough for your sense of order? It sounds a bit strange, but doing fewer clean-up chores now may benefit the wildlife who visit your backyard this winter.


Natural habitat and natural food sources not only provide food and shelter for wildlife, especially birds, but also attract bees, butterflies, and other critters to your yard. How can you provide habitat and food this winter? One way is to wait until spring for a major clean-up. Once fall has arrived, stop deadheading flowers so maturing flower heads can produce protein- and oil-rich seeds. Leave the stalks and seed heads of perennial plants in your garden through the winter. Kym Pokorny of the Oregonian writes in her blog that she leaves dead annuals alone until spring. She admits they look gross but says annuals like cosmos, marigold, verbena and zinnia produce seeds too. Do you prune back shrubs? Wait until spring because shrubs can provide shelter from predators. In my former garden I planted Buddleia (honest, Oregon didn’t consider it a noxious weed back then), and I left the tall, floppy branches to stand through the winter. The birds seemed to enjoy playing and hiding in the shrubs.


There are other benefits to this approach. Perennials left standing in the garden for the winter can benefit the plants since the foliage and stems protect the plant crown and roots during winter freezes. Certainly you will enjoy the wildlife that visit. And personally I’d vote for some interesting looking plant skeletons over a clear-cut any day!


Of course, there are exceptions to this approach. Diseased plants and herbaceous perennials should always be cut back. (Some of my daylilies already look black and mushy.) But this year let some of your garden clean-up duties wait until spring, and the birds that don’t migrate to warmer climates for the winter will be thankful.



Motions made at the September  20th club meeting.  There were no motions the October meeting.  ~Cindy Flake~

Patty discussed club investment savings and suggested we remove money from savings to make donations to 4-H and other organizations, rather than “pass the hat” at meetings.  The motion was made by Cindi Miller, seconded, and passed.  Along the same lines, Norma Parker made a motion, that was seconded and passed, to allocate $1,000 each year for the MGC President’s Project.  Patty reported problems regarding MGC’s support of Habitat for Humanity homes and proposed to either change the focus or switch support to another organization.  After much discussion, no motion was passed but, due to time restraints, funding was kept and the project to be determined at a later date.  Georgia Queen made a motion to keep the budget as presented.  It was seconded and passed.

Internet Links:  
Pioneer District Newsletter


State website 


Club Calendar of Events


November links:


This is an easy to use  searchable plant database, using either the common name or scientific plant name.  It shows a gallery of pictures of the plant in flower, with seeds, and at various stages of maturity/seasons.  It gives both names and also offers with one click: plant characteristics (morphology/physiology, growth habit…), kingdom classification, and related documentation information.  So if a person THINKS they know what plant they have, they can look up that name & see if it is a match, visually


Now that we are putting our vegetable gardens to bed, time to enjoy cooking some pumpkin recipes!  YUM


Good publication to help you keep on track with your monthly chores.