March 2017 garden clippings

Lori Schanche
March 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.)

If you need time on the agenda, please let President Elaine know a week in advance of the meeting.

This month’s speaker: James Cassidy

Topic: Soil—What It Is and How It Works!

It’s ALL about soil! Most people only have a vague idea of what soil is and how it works. You will learn more than you ever thought possible from this lecture: the reason you are alive, what nutrients are, how soil stores water and nutrients. These are fundamentals that ALL humans on the planet Earth should know!

James Cassidy has been an Instructor of Soil Science at Oregon State University for over 12 years. The introductory class now has over 200 students each term and is very popular.  James is also the faculty advisor for the wildly popular OSU Organic Growers Club–OSU’s student farm. He comes from a non-traditional background (music industry for over 30 years), is passionate about soil, and is popular with students because of his dynamic speaking style.  The student farm project has over 300 student volunteers on its list-serve and continues to grow.  The farm cultivates over 50 different fruit and vegetable crops and is just beginning its 17th season.

Upcoming Events

  • March 11 – YCMG Spring into Gardening Workshops
  • March 13 – Board meeting at Donna’s
  • March 20 –  Monthly meeting/ Photo contest judging
  • March 25 – Community Garden Opening Day
  • March 30 – Oregon City Field Trip   (Ann Silverthorne)
  • April 28 – May Day Baskets   Arts & Crafts  (Patty Sorensen)

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE  –  October  2017   Elaine P.

SPRING! Every day, more birds, buds and bulbs appear.

Many nurseries will be opening in March. Once again we can shop, happily buying plants which we must then incorporate into our already crowded landscapes. That insatiable plant lust needs to be appeased.

It has been a particularly wet winter. We have seen rain, ice and snow and more rain, ice and snow and then more rain. The ground is saturated. Remember, we don’t want to compress that soil.  Actual planting may have to wait until the end of March. An alternative to getting covered in mud is attending classes.

On March 11, the Yamhill County Master gardeners will present their annual workshop, Spring into Gardening, at the Community Center. This is a wonderful event and we don’t have to drive very far. Several nurseries also offer classes. These are generally free and on Saturday. We just have to drive a ways. Farmington Gardens in Beaverton, Garland Nursery in Corvallis, Egan Gardens in Keizer (our February speaker), and all Al’s locations offer a variety of interesting topics full of useful information. Both Portland Nursery locations offer classes  on Saturdays and Sundays.  Check out their websites. Carpooling road trips anyone?

It is not that long until the Garden Tour and Faire. Most of the committee chairs are in place. Give some thought as to how you can help them carry out their missions. Sign up sheets are coming soon.

Finally, the Garden Club maintains the plantings at the Post Office and the West End entrance to McMinnville. It won’t be long until crews need to begin weeding and trimming.  It is once a month for about an hour or so and then we go for coffee afterwards.  The more hands on deck, the sooner the work is completed. See Elsie Carpenter to help at the Post Office. Judy Eggers has taken great care of the West End for many years. Won’t someone please take over so she can enjoy a well-deserved break?

Spice of Life – by Betty Ballentine

Lavandula – common name lavender is a flowering plant with 39 know species of the mint family.

Native to the Old World, it is found from the Canary Islands, Europe, Africa, the Mediterranean, Asia, India and North America. Cultivated as ornamental plants for gardens; use as culinary herbs, and commercially for the extraction of essential oils.

Culinary use lends a floral and slightly sweet flavor.

For most cooking applications the dried buds are used. Only the buds contain the essential oil of lavender which has the scent and flavor. Lavender greens have a flavor compared to rosemary; used in savory meat and vegetable dishes. Also used to make tea. Dried lavender buds are used to make these wonderful delicate scones.

Lavender Scones

Oven at 400 degrees. Line tray with parchment paper. Bake 13-15 minutes. Makes 8 scones.

  • ¾ C cream
  • 3 T honey
  • 1 T dried lavender
  • 2 ½ C flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • ¼ t salt
  • 6 T butter
  • 1 lg. Egg
  1. Over med/low heat warm cream, lavender, and honey. Cool to room temp. Add egg.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in cold butter to “pea” size crumbs.
  3. Add wet to dry. Do not overmix. Lightly knead dough 10-12 times.
  4. Form square or circle and cut into 8 wedges. Place 2” apart on tray.
  5. Brush with a little cream and sprinkle with a little turbinado sugar.

OSFGC Photo Contest 2017  

Bring your entries to the March meeting for judging!!!

Rules: Photos must have been taken between January 01, 2016 and April 01, 2017 . Photos can be digital or film-no enhancements allowed. Photos must be 8×10 inch and matted not to exceed 11×14 inches. No framed photos will be accepted.


  1. Landscape/Seascape A. Color   B. Black and White  (this A-B code applies to all categories)
  2. Gardens A. or B.
  3. Floral A. or B.
  4. Birds, Butterflies, Insects A. or B.
  5. Pets A. or B.
  6. Wildlife A. or B.
  7. President’s choice – Frogs A. or B.
  8. Special President’s Choice – Ladybugs A. or B.

First place winner from each category will go on to district. Winners at district will go on to the state convention for judging.

  • Must be taken by a current OSFCG member.
  • Place a card on the back of the photo with the following:
  • Name of photographer
  • Contact Info ( phone or email )
  • Garden club name and district
  • Date and location of photograph
  • Make and model of camera used
  • Type of medium ( film or digital )
  • Category of entry – color or black & white

Stands provided for display during voting.

Questions – contact Jeannette Rogers at 541-415-1035 or

 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 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 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 a success.

 New Sprouts – by Rosemary Vertregt

Melinda Milne became a member nearly a year ago and has been actively involved in our club ever since!  She loved being a Greeter during our Tour, and has taken part in Arts & Crafts. She and her husband George, who worked in Michigan for 35 years as an engineer at Dow Chemical Company, are now both retired.  They have settled in McMinnville after spending 21years in Park City, Utah, and are now quite “at home” in our “everything grows” climate. Starting from an empty “canvas”, Melinda has put a great deal of thought, research, and love into designing their garden.  Being especially fond of Japanese maples, she has incorporated several of them into her own design, along with a weeping blue Atlas cypress (which may have “drowned”), and a “Black Dragon” cedar. There are three large iron circles filled with “river rock” and space for plantings, large slate pavers and areas of pea gravel, along with plants in containers. Their landscaper, who also worked on gardens on each side of theirs, installed a curved retaining wall and a little stream for the Milnes, creating a harmonious area. Although Melinda says she absolutely LOVES gardening, she and George are preparing for the imminent arrival of their new love, a Havanese puppy they have named “Alex” on March 8th., which happens to be George’s birthday!  Welcome, Melinda!

{When contacted for this article, Melinda was driving home from a Dog Show in Portland, and she is busily accumulating dog accessories!}

Backyard Habitat- by Marilyn Coats

Woodpeckers – Northern Flicker

These are large woodpeckers (about 12-1/2” long) that you might see in your backyard enjoying a suet feeder.  They are common in open woodlands and suburban areas.

Food can consist of fruits, berries, seeds, nuts and insects.  They have even been observed breaking up cow dung to find insects!  Apparently, their favorite food is ants which form a substantial part of their diet and they are the only birds to eat them in quantity.  After bathing in dust, they will pick up ants and preen themselves vigorously.

They are native to most of North America and are one of the few woodpecker species that migrate.  The ‘Red-Shafted’ (see picture) is prevalent in the West and has a red mustachio stripe whereas the ‘Yellow-Shafted’ is prevalent in the East and has a red nape patch.  However, the yellow-shafted can also appear in Oregon.

Much to our chagrin, the Northern Flickers like to drum on objects as a form of communication and territory defense.  The object is to make as loud a noise as possible and will drum on metal objects.

You can’t help noticing them when they visit as they are such large, unique birds.  I enjoy watching them eating the suet in my backyard.  Usually I only see one, but once in a while two will appear (girlfriend?).

Lori Schanche: McMinnville Garden Club News Editor


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