February 2017 garden clippings

Lori Schanche
February 28, 2017

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This Month's News...

New meeting location for the 2017-2018 Club year:

Falls Event Center (Evergreen Campus in Highway 18)
510 NE Captain Michael King Smith Way
McMinnville OR 97128

(It is located behind the Water Waves building with the airplane on the top.)

Upcoming Events

  • February 13, 2017 – Board Meeting at Elaine’s
  • February 20 – Monthly meeting
  • March 2-4   Yamhill County Soil & Conservation Native Plant Sale  at the Yamhill Valley Heritage Center
  • February 27 – Arts & Crafts Mosaic Fun at Patty’s 10-12  (More info below)
  • March 11 – YCMG Spring into Gardening Workshops (See insert at the end of the newsletter….)
  • March 25 – Community Garden Opening Day

Yes, Cindy Shapton canceled her presentation. But that is not the whole story. Last summer when I needed to find the last guest speaker for February, I found Cindy Shapton online. She had given workshops for the Washington County Master Gardeners and for the Portland Nursery; I found her website and her recent review of a West Linn nursery. She seemed to have a range of interests but had a special interest in herbs. She had written a book on using herbs in the kitchen, for medicinal purposes, and as companion plants in the garden. She once owned an herb nursery. I was excited she was willing to do a presentation for us. (Two local herb specialists–Red Ridge Farms and Barn Owl Nursery–were not interested in presenting.) From Cindy’s website I could tell she had recently moved. I assumed she moved to Oregon. I assumed she lived somewhere in Portland.

Cindy assumed our garden club met down the road, about a two hour drive from her farm, in McMinnville, Tennessee. When I sent her an email recently with more information about our meeting and our location, she was stunned to discover we meet in Oregon, not Tennessee. She responded immediately explaining her circumstances. She had moved back to Tennessee. (When did she move? Did she ever live in Oregon?) Her son and his family live in Washington state but she had no plans to visit her son in the month of February. She said this has never happened to her before; I assured her it had not happened to me before either. She apologized and said she was sorry to cause us any inconvenience. Her speaker’s fee was reasonable, but reimbursing her transportation costs would be a budget killer. We decided it was a BIG misunderstanding. That is the real story!

Two McMinnvilles? Our towns do share a history. William T. Newby, one of our founding fathers, left his beloved McMinnville, Tennessee in 1843 and moved to the Oregon Territory. He was a man of many talents and established our post office in 1855 naming it the “McMinville” post office. Yes, that is one “n”. The name was changed much later to the present spelling. (Source: Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, 1992)

 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE – February 2017   Elaine P.

Contrary to what the calendar might claim, when I lived on the East Coast I thought February was the longest month of the year. It was dark, gloomy and cold. A cold made worse by the biting wind that always seem to be blowing and the occasional blizzard. It seemed to last forever.

February is different in McMinnville. Bulbs push up everywhere and camellias begin to bloom. It is no longer dark by 4:30. One can pop into the garden for a short session of pruning and pulling up a few weeds.  With the leaves gone, it is easier to see what needs to be done and dream of future possibilities. Robins return and occasionally a hummingbird flits by. We can be sure, yet again, Spring will arrive. February is just four short weeks.


Arts & Crafts Mosaic FUN!!! – Patty Sorensen

Feb. 27: Grab a flower pot, bird house, old shovel or whatever creative item you have and head to Patty’s at 1666 NW Medinah Drive from 10 -12 am for some mosaic fun.  We’ll have some tiles, broken plates, etc. for you to use or bring any you have.  $2 will be charged for the mortar to finish off your project.  Wear clothes you can get dirty and bring gloves!  Oh, and maybe a snack?

Spice of Life – by Betty Ballentine

Love Potion

  • 4 t dried jasmine flower
  • 2 T dried rose petals
  • Vanilla pod, split
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 C water

Combine in small saucepan and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, strain. Cool and refrigerate.

To serve hot-warm in a mug.   To serve cold-add some ice and sparkling water.

  • Why jasmine – its sweet scent induces euphoria in both men and women.
  • Why rose – the sensual smell of rose lowers arousal blocking anxiety.
  • Why vanilla – its warm scent and taste is welcoming, sensual, and relaxing.
  • Why cinnamon – it ensures you will get a burst of fiery passion and energy.

Wishing you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!

 Brilliant Uses For Corks –  by Ann Silverthorne

For leftover valentine’s day corks                        

  1. Help potted plants thrive – grind up corks in a food processor and scatter on top of your house plants, mix in and cork will help retain water.
  2. Buff your stainless steel – dip a cork in olive oil, use to buff off smudges and wipe off with a clean dry cloth.
  3. Start a fire in the fireplace – soak corks in rubbing alcohol, place under logs.
  4. Entertain your cats – widen hole in cork with a screwdriver, thread yarn thru hole and hang from a doorknob.
  5. Sore your earbuds – to avoid kinked cords, cut a slit on bottom of cork, plug the jack into the hole on other end. Wrap wires around the cork, secure ends into the slit.

Dust if You Must – a poem by Jan Clay

Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better

To paint a picture or write a letter,

Bake a cake or plant a seed,

Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,

With rivers to swim and mountains to climb,

Music to hear and books to read,

Friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world’s out there,

With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,

A flutter of snow, a shower of rain.

This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,

Old age will come and it’s not kind.

And when you go-and go you must-

You, yourself, will make more dust.

Thank you from the Core Team at the Community Garden!     

Betty Ballentine

Thanks to McMinnville Garden Club’s generous donation, we now have two beautiful flower planter boxes built by Tom Canales that will beautify the garden entrance. 

A Message From Your Tour Chair                                            

– by Marlene Petersen

The 2017 McMinnville Garden Club’s Garden Tour and Faire are planned for Sunday, June 25th. The five gardens are chosen and all owners are getting ready to have visitors to their gardens, in June.

The artist. Sine, is working on her vibrant and colorful art work for the garden club tour. She has a website, Simply Sine.com it has some beautiful examples of her work.

We still need a few more committee leaders but want to thank those who have thus far volunteered.  We need everyone to help make our tour and faire a success.

Field trip to the Oregon State Capital building was a great success – Thank you, Ann!

Christmas Cactus Schlumbergera bridgesii – By Marilyn Coats

How many of you have a Christmas cactus or have had one?  Very popular indoor plant.  My husband brought me my first start in a 2” pot many years ago.  I have since repotted it several times until it got too large for the last pot.  It wasn’t looking very good and I didn’t want a larger pot, so I made some cuttings and am starting all over again.

The plant is not only easy to care for but propagates easily by cutting a short y-shaped segment from the stem tips.  Then plant about a quarter of its length deep in slightly sandy soil (or I just use a potting soil).  Moisten evenly and place in a well-lit area but no direct sunlight.

To make the plant bloom for the holidays–shorter, cooler days (60-65 degrees) and nights (50-55 degrees) for about 8 to 10 weeks are needed to set buds.  Keep soil barely moist but not too dry.  Shriveled, limp stems are a sign that it is too dry.  Changes in light and temperature will cause it to drop its buds and flowers.  Also, keep away from drafty areas.  After it finishes flowering for the season, allow the plant to begin its dormancy cycle by watering sparingly and stop fertilizing until new growth begins.  Regular pruning will encourage the plant to branch out where the stem was cut, creating a fuller plant.

This tropical cactus does not exist in the wild!  It is a hybrid of Schlumbergera truncate and Schlumbergera russelliane that grow as epiphytes (epi meaning upon and phyton meaning plant) in the rain forest of South America.  More than 200 cultivars exist in shades of pink, red, purple, yellow and white.  The newer cultivars bring two colors together offering more combinations.

I have a friend, Sadell, whose cactus has been in full bloom way before Christmas.  She said it was so full of blooms that she can’t see any green.  Then the blooms fell off, but there is a new round of buds again!  She calls me for advice on her plant (as if she needs any).

I now have a red one, a pink one and my newest is orange!  I don’t follow all the rules that are suggested so my cactuses rarely bloom at Christmas.  However, they eventually do bloom–whenever they feel like it, before spring.  I am not sure mine can be called ‘Christmas’ cactuses, but I do enjoy their pretty blooms.

New Sprouts – by Rosemary Vertregt

 Having come to our area from Grants Pass, where she worked as Community Education Coordinator at Three Rivers Hospital, Pam Ealy is one of our newest members. She and husband Randy live in nearby Dayton, on a property large enough for some serious gardening. But their primary reason for moving to our area was that they were missing out on spending time with their two sons and their families. One son is City Manager in Beaverton and the other lives in northeast Portland and works downtown. Grants Pass is lovely, but so is the Willamette Valley — and that’s where their five grandchildren live! The four boys and one girl range in age from nine to seventeen, so their happy grandparents can enjoy a wide range of activities with them. The little town of Dayton has a surprising amount of activities going on, including a Classic Car Club in which they are active, as well as the Dayton Downtown Club in the summer.

 According to her membership application, Pam is eager to “better understand everything outside”, with further landscaping of their large yard as one of her goals. A local landscaping company was invited to give an estimate on a project which would include a fountain and walkway area, but the Ealys regretfully declined upon learning the price.  A few days later, the contractor returned and offered them a chance have the work done as a “before” and “after” project he could use as an example of his company’s work. Are the Ealys just plain lucky……or, did the contractor select them because he knew they would be easy to work with??  Welcome, Pam!

Jeanne Ayala and her husband Bud are still shopping for furniture for their home on Medinah Drive after moving here from the Los Angeles area. They have made many visits to this area over the years, and are delighted to be here, although they may be more comfortable when they have a new bed and a few more places to sit down!  Jeanne calls herself an “outside kind of person”, so what better place to live than the McMinnville area — with the rest of us “aggies”?  For now, their family includes only two cats, but there is a plan to add a dog to the mix. Jeanne has been told that we have wonderful places to walk dogs here, and that dogs can be great “deer police” for serious gardeners!  As far as finding gardening advice   goes, Jeanne is living right across the street from our super-gardener, Patty Sorensen — and that puts her within easy walking distance of Doris Crain, whose garden was on our Tour last year!!  Jeanne and Bud will be adding raised garden beds, which should help them avoid planting in our heavy clay, although there will be some of that going on for sure.  Jeanne loves to cook so she will undoubtedly be vegetables and herbs planted in those raised beds.  Her other favorite activities include sampling and learning about wines, and just enjoying the beauty of the area.  She also loves music, and is teaching herself to play the ukulele!! Welcome, Jeanne!

Lori Schanche: McMinnville Garden Club News Editor


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