GardenSmart :: EPISODES :: 2008 show49
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Show #49/1410
Plants With Multi Season Interest


Landscape Design Philosophy
CHARLES LANDSCAPE DESIGN STYLE IS TO UTILIZE MASS PLANTINGS. He likes to plant more than one thing together. With large spaces one can do that. It's very effective. He likes to border things. There are various border materials that can outline a garden, they create little walls to walk through, different pathways to different rooms. Charles then creates rooms in the garden with the definite walls ending in that garden room. The garden room will have a way to get in, usually places to sit, making the space usable and an exit. It all works beautifully.

Click here for more info

Creating Wildlife Habitats
ONE OF THE MOST ENJOYABLE ASPECTS OF A GARDEN IS BEING ABLE TO ENJOY NATURE UP CLOSE. A great way to do that is to create a habitat that attracts wildlife either through moving water in the garden, with water features that attracts birds, or to bring in a food source for different types of wildlife to enjoy.

Click here for more info

Edibles In The Garden
EDIBLES IN THE GARDEN ADD A WHOLE NEW DIMENSION TO THE WAY WE EXPERIENCE THE GARDEN. Ray and Eric look at several that are attractive in fruit and form. Crabapples eaten fresh may not be the most palatable but they are good for jams and preserves. Some varieties have larger fruit. The old fashioned Whitney Crab has a nice fruit and 'Ralph Shay' has golf ball sized fruit and is bright red. Crabapple is beautiful in bloom and many are super attractive from a form standpoint. There are weeping varieties and some have fantastic flowers.

Click here for more info

Medicinal Plants
MEDICINAL PLANTS OFTEN HAVE INTERESTING STORIES although some stories are sheer folklore. Many of Ray's are used for commercial pharmaceuticals, others have actual home applications. Digitalis is used in commercial heart medications. As an example Eric shows us Digitalis x. Digitalis grandifloria has creamy white spikes, Digitalis lutea has dainty cream colored flowers and the old favorite Digitalis purpurea has multi-colored flowers.

Click here for more info

Temperennials
ANOTHER GROUP OF PLANTS ARE CALLED TEMPERENNIALS. They're tropical type perennials but are a little more cold hardy than their true tropical cousins. A great example is Musa basjoo. It is a cold hardy Banana and grows all the way to zone 5. It has a nice tropical, lush look in the garden.

Click here for more info

Consider Foliage
When looking for plants with multi-season interest ONE SHOULD SERIOUSLY CONSIDER THE FOLIAGE aspects of a plant because that's the part of the plant we live with most of the year. Generally, the flowering portion of a plant is extremely short-lived. The greatest impact that a plant makes in the garden on a year round basis is a result of the foliage and the form. One in particular is a beautiful grape, Vitus vinifera 'Brant.' It has little black fruits that are edible, so it's a multi-season plant and it has incredible color. It's about as red as possible in the fall.

Click here for more info

 


LINKS:

Forest Farm Nursery

Lithia Springs Resort and Gardens

Garden Smart Plant List



Complete transcript of the show.


Gardeners are always looking for extraordinary plants, particularly plants that look great during the fall and winter. In this episode Garden Smart visits one of the nation's best specialty nurseries located in Southern Oregon. We look at some old standards, some new ideas, as well as some multi use plants. With so many spectacular plants and a wide range of diversity Oregon is a designer's paradise.
Charles Brooks is a landscape designer and introduces the program. Charles was going to UCLA when he worked with a friend, that was a landscape contractor, on a little project. It was then that Charles realized that this was something he would like to do in life. He had always wanted to have his own business and had a lot of experience gardening. He had always kept a garden himself and had worked in other's yards. One thing led to another and he became a landscape contractor. He was a landscape contractor for 15 years in southern California. But he and his wife had always wanted a large piece of property, something with some space between their neighbors and themselves. It didn't seem possible in southern California, it was just too expensive. They were introduced to Grants Pass, Oregon by his wife's sister in law, they loved it and moved there.
Even though Charles had wanted a lot of space, Charles yard doesn't look spacious, it has a cozy feel. Charles tells us how he created this garden. This area had been stream drainage for a little creek that ran through here until about 30 years ago. Then it was used by a dairy, it was basically a pasture. There were some large trees but for the most part it was blackberries and grass. Charles and his wife wanted shade, they wanted to break it up so it would have the feeling of little rooms. They wanted to use those little rooms at different times of the year. Today it looks like an oasis, it is beautiful. Eric likes the way the areas have well defined borders, the use of lines.
CHARLES LANDSCAPE DESIGN STYLE IS TO UTILIZE MASS PLANTINGS. He likes to plant more than one thing together. With large spaces one can do that. It's very effective. He likes to border things. There are various border materials that can outline a garden, they create little walls to walk through, different pathways to different rooms. Charles then creates rooms in the garden with the definite walls ending in that garden room. The garden room will have a way to get in, usually places to sit, making the space usable and an exit. It all works beautifully.
Charles likes to use natives. The native Oregonian plants were a whole new thing to Charles when he first moved here. He had learned a completely different palette of plants in southern California. When he moved here he saw things he liked, didn't know what they were but did some research, figured out about the plants, whether they could be used in a landscape, etc. Over time he's acquired knowledge of certain native plants. This has been helpful because many of these plants are not normally found in garden stores. It's been particularly helpful to find someone that can provide a lot of information about those plants. Charles was fortunate, when he first moved here he was introduced to Forest Farm Nursery where he met Ray and Peg. They've been friends ever since. Their nursery provides incredible variety. The book they put out is probably 350 pages and has detailed descriptions of the plants. Just by reading about the plants it has opened Charles eyes to a lot of new plant material. Oregon is a great state for gardening. It has a fantastic climate and a tremendous amount of plant diversity. Charles recommends we visit Forest Farm Nursery and talk with its owner Ray Prag.
After Ray graduated from the University with a Master's degree he decided he didn't want to stay in academia so he and his wife decided to start a nursery. They chose Oregon and this spot because of the beauty. It's been a great place to grow plants. They started out wholesale but eventually grew so many different plants that their wholesale customers didn't know how to market the wide range. Thus Ray started putting out a catalogue and direct shipping to gardeners. The catalogue has now become a small book. And they ship all across the country.
Ray feels their specialization is diversity. They grow a wide, wide range of different plants because they like to give gardeners a choice in what they grow. They especially recommend multiple use plants whenever possible because people can enjoy them for a longer portion of the year.
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ONE OF THE MOST ENJOYABLE ASPECTS OF A GARDEN IS BEING ABLE TO ENJOY NATURE UP CLOSE. A great way to do that is to create a habitat that attracts wildlife either through moving water in the garden, with water features that attracts birds, or to bring in a food source for different types of wildlife to enjoy.
Eric notices a plant with beautiful blooms and purple berries. It is a Leycesteria Formosa 'Himalayan Pheasant Berry.' It is a late summer bloomer, develops dark purple berries, then in late fall gets a bit of color, red and yellow together. It has a distinctive trait of having hollow stems which is unusual. There is a golden leaf form that's been introduced in the last several years called Leycesteria Formosa 'Golden Lanterns.' Ray believes that it provides even more contrast between the berries and the foliage.
Eric notices one of his favorites and a favorite of many songbirds in the northern U.S., the Viburnum. Ray first points out 2 selections. The one that's pinkish red is Viburnum dilatatum, another selection is 'Erie,' which gets a very bright red as fall progresses. Ray believes that it is out of the U.S. Arboretum and will develop into a large shrub. Viburnum dilatatum 'Carmel candy' and 'Blue muffin' and 'Brandywine' are other favorites. Viburnum offers many different options and almost every color spectrum under the sun. Ray points out that it is always good to have more than 1 cultivar in a planting to help pollination and to have a better fruit set.
Callicarpa bodineri 'Profusion' is a relative of the native Callicarpa. Ray believes it is from a Chinese species and a cross between the southeastern U.S. plants or eastern U.S. forest plants and the Chinese equivalents. There is also Americana as well as a few other selected forms including a white and a purple fruited variety.
A lot of the best plants for wildlife, particularly native wildlife, are native plants that bear fruits and berries. Sorbus Americana 'Mountainash' is one of the American mountain Ashes. There are 2 decora, this probably does best in a more northernly climate. It comes from the upper midwest and upper New York, all across that area. It has nice white flowers in late spring, pretty compound leaves, nice fall color. There is a lot of multi-season interest with this plant.
Ilex verticillata is one of our native Hollies. Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red' has red berries. Ilex verticillata 'Winter gold' develops more of a coral colored fruit. These are very popular with U.S. songbirds, in fact it is unusual to find them with so many berries because generally as soon as the robins find them, they're picked clean. Ray thinks it important to note that there are specific male pollinators needed to ensure that the females set fruit. One can't just plant one of these and expect to get fruit.
Cormus mas 'Golden glory' has been around for quite awhile. It's distinctive and outstanding because in the very early spring, even before Forsythias, it will become a cloud of yellow flowers. It also has a nice fall color, then berry-like fruits which have a big pit in them. These are really much larger than the Cormus mas grown from a seedling. Ray has been told by interns from Moldavia and Hungary that this plant grows wild in their region of the world and they use it to make a cordial like drink.
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EDIBLES IN THE GARDEN ADD A WHOLE NEW DIMENSION TO THE WAY WE EXPERIENCE THE GARDEN. Ray and Eric look at several that are attractive in fruit and form. Crabapples eaten fresh may not be the most palatable but they are good for jams and preserves. Some varieties have larger fruit. The old fashioned Whitney Crab has a nice fruit and 'Ralph Shay' has golf ball sized fruit and is bright red. Crabapple is beautiful in bloom and many are super attractive from a form standpoint. There are weeping varieties and some have fantastic flowers.
Quince Cydonia oblonga is from the middle east or so Ray thinks. It probably isn't hardy everywhere in this country but still is a durable plant. It has little pinkish white flowers in the spring, almost like an apple flower. It is from the same family. It produces little fruits but seed grown varieties wouldn't produce such good fruit.
Aronia has a tasty fruit. Aronia is native to the eastern part of this country. It develops nice white flowers in spring, then one of the best red fall colors. It tolerates a lot of moisture because it comes from a swampy area. They have been selecting varieties with larger fruit and one can even buy Aronia juice in markets now. Most of the development was done in Europe which can often be the case. Plants from America get taken somewhere else to be improved, then we get them back.
Rhus glabra (Sumac) is a great plant for foliage and it too is an edible. It has wonderful fall color, really nice flowers and a great berry. Lemonade from sumac fruits can be made by using a small amount of Sumac and adding a little sugar. One can stir up the mixture and have instant lemonade, or pour hot water over the Sumac, let it steep for awhile which brings out the color a little better. It is tart thus needs sugar.

Following is the recipe.

Sumac Lemonade (2 Methods): 1.) "Place three berries in a glass. Add a tsp of sugar. Fill the glass with water and a couple of ice cubes and stir. You have your lemonade quickly, ready to drink. 2.) "Clean a large handful of berries, drop them into a pan, and crush them a bit to release the juices. Pour boiling water over them barely to cover the berries. Do not cook but allow to steep until the liquid is colored. Strain through the cloth to remove solids and any hairs that might have remained on the berries. Add sugar to sweeten and serve either hot or cold." (Wild Fruits, Mildred Fielder
Top


MEDICINAL PLANTS OFTEN HAVE INTERESTING STORIES although some stories are sheer folklore. Many of Ray's are used for commercial pharmaceuticals, others have actual home applications. Digitalis is used in commercial heart medications. As an example Eric shows us Digitalis x. Digitalis grandifloria has creamy white spikes, Digitalis lutea has dainty cream colored flowers and the old favorite Digitalis purpurea has multi-colored flowers.
Ray also shows us several different selections of Echinacea. There have been a lot of Echinacea introduced in the last few years from various breeding programs. Echinacea have become a new kind of designer craze perennial plant for the garden. The new development is focused on producing larger flowers and stockier stems so they'll stand up better in the rain. There are now some bizarre flower forms. Echinacea 'Coconut lime' and Echinacea 'Pink double delight' are two of the new, big heavy pom-pom forms. From an ornamental standpoint in the garden they're hard to beat. As a medicinal, Echinacea is used as an immunity booster, there's a compound that they extract out of the root. These aren't the plants we normally grow at home but they do have an interesting story.
Ray's Rosa has finished their bloom and have set brilliant red hips. Rosehips are one of the best sources of vitamin C in the world, they have wonderful antioxidant properties. And, they're fantastic ornamentally.
Hardy Eucalyptus typically comes out of the mountains of Australia. Not many can be grown in very many parts of the U.S. Eucalyptus neglecta is growing here and has beautiful blue foliage. For Ray it is almost a whole zone hardier. He likes the blue foliage and texture. Eucalyptus has traditionally been used medicinally as a decongestant. It has a pungent oil that when boiled can be used for vapor treatments. By just rubbing the leaves, it's quite pungent. It's a nice smelling plant.
Ray next shows us a Hawthorn or Crataegus x species of which there are many in the northeastern U.S. They're great for fall color, for flowering and for setting bright hips. Hawthorn has a wonderful history as a medicinal. It's used as a cardiovascular aid. There's almost no part of the plant that can't be used as a medicinal. The flowers, the fruit, the leaves, all have medicinal properties. Plus they look great in the garden.
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ANOTHER GROUP OF PLANTS ARE CALLED TEMPERENNIALS. They're tropical type perennials but are a little more cold hardy than their true tropical cousins. A great example is Musa basjoo. It is a cold hardy Banana and grows all the way to zone 5. It has a nice tropical, lush look in the garden.
Another is hardy Zingiber officinale (Ginger) which is hardy to probably zone 7. It has beautiful flowers and some varieties have variegated foliage. And, it is super fragrant.
Podophyllum 'Spotty dotty' the May apple has fantastic foliage, a nice tropical look, even has little edible May apples. These are all wonderful plants for bringing a tropical feel to a garden.
Top


When looking for plants with multi-season interest ONE SHOULD SERIOUSLY CONSIDER THE FOLIAGE aspects of a plant because that's the part of the plant we live with most of the year. Generally, the flowering portion of a plant is extremely short-lived. The greatest impact that a plant makes in the garden on a year round basis is a result of the foliage and the form. One in particular is a beautiful grape, Vitus vinifera 'Brant.' It has little black fruits that are edible, so it's a multi-season plant and it has incredible color. It's about as red as possible in the fall.
Cornus florida 'Cherokee daybreak' (Dogwood) is a selection of the native Dogwood. It has variegated leaves that are white and green during the growing season. In the fall they turn a nice pink, then later a rich red that's quite stunning. Of course, in the spring they have beautiful Dogwood flowers which are followed by the little red fruits which are enjoyed by the wildlife.
One of Eric's favorite variegated plants in the garden is Fagus sylvatica, a Variegated Europena Beech. It is tri-color. It has been around for a long time and from a standpoint of foliage and form it is hard to beat. It makes a statement in the garden.
Physocarpus capitatus has purple foliage all through the growing season. Spathe Dogwood, one of the variegated shrub Dogwoods, and the Red Twig Dogwoods have an ornamental quality through the growing season, even in the winter with their red twigs. All are excellent examples of how foliage can make an impact in the garden. Physocarpus makes a strong accent because it has rich, deep black, almost purply black leaves and creamy, pink bundles of flowers in the spring when it blooms and those are followed by some small berries. Thus it has a long season of interest. By seeing all these plants grouped together one readily sees the way plants like these are revolutionizing the garden through the use of foliage and we get a sense of the impact they can make.
Eric thanks Ray for his time and expertise. We've learned about many different plants and some interesting uses for them. It's been an honor to spend time with Ray.
In this show we discussed a number of plants that have multiple seasons of interest, plants with multiple uses and plants that have interesting stories behind them, the medicinal plants and their history are an example. We've discussed plants that attract wildlife. It's exciting to have the sound of chirping birds in the garden, enjoying the garden just like we do. We've discussed edible plants that in addition to their wonderful form and flower offer edible fruit at the end of the season, which is just 1 more treat to have at the end of fall. All of this enhances the experience in the garden. Eric believes that gardening is richer with diversity and that in turn makes gardening more rewarding.
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LINKS:

Forest Farm Nursery

Lithia Springs Resort and Gardens

Garden Smart Plant List


   
 
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