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Monday
Jun292015

Water; The Important Commodity

 

Water is the most important commodity this summer, as always...not enough and we have a drought, too much and we have a flood.  The West is in a full blown drought and the Midwest is in a full bore flood.  Well, we can't have it our way every year.  Both conditions can improve our growing skills as gardeners and small farmers.  A drought teaches us lessons about doing more with less or choosing better landscape plants and more drought tolerant crops to grow.  Flooding reminds us about drainage and how important soil permeability and soil  horizons are along with how topography makes all the difference between a boom or bust year.  In the green industry landscape maintenance always fares better than agricultural production in both floods and droughts; the difference is the ease and availabilty of residential irrigation when compared to the effects of raw nature.  Either way, we hope you all are having a great summer season and spending time with family and friends this July 4th!

Thursday
Jun252015

Summer Heat is Here

Bunch grapes are scrambling up the fence as the temperature approaches the high 90's.  As long as grapes get enough water they don't seem to mind the unbearable heat, but our crew likes to get things done early in the morning before the day heats up...kind of like the work horses back on the farm. A pointer for all you hard core gardeners: drink plenty of water and the heat will hardly bother you.  Water early mornings to keep the fungus and evaporation to a minimum, and enjoy your summer gardening!  

Thursday
Jun252015

Spring 2015

Wednesday
Dec102014

Spring Herb Harvest 2014

Lavender Harvest (lavandula angustifolia)

Shearing

Boxing after dried

Winter Thyme

Sorting Thyme herb before hanging to dry

Random spring beauty: Deciduos Azalea

First roses: Pink Peace Hybrid Tea

 

Monday
Dec012014

Winter is Here Again!

It was a BUSY summer and fall, and now that the leaves have fallen: it's winter again! We picked up quite a few new customers and kept many of our original clients, some going back now over 20 years! Been so busy not enough time to share some great new picures of this last growing season...but hold on, because they WILL be posted! Again, thank you to all of our great customers who made it such a great growing season in your gardens and landscapes!

Wednesday
Feb192014

Eugene, Oregon Spring 2014

Spring is here!

 Before ice storm cleanup

After ice storm cleanup

     The beginning of February sees the first red tinted new shoots bursting forth from Eugene’s rose bushes.  Granted, they may get frost burned anytime as late as the end of April (such as last year as noted in my 2013 Garden Log), but my experience has been that the new shoots of our rose bushes will pull through.  Come spring and early summer our rose bushes here in Western Oregon will burst forth with their beautiful scented blooms.  Some of the best are the wonderfully fragrant Bourbon roses such as Zepherine Drouhan and of course the classic long stemmed hybrid teas such as Peace, Mr. Lincoln, and Brandy.  No guarantees of roses for those of you living in the deer infested foothills unless you install a high deer proof fence or let your large dog patrol your property.  In March comes lawn mowing season!

                Yes, around the first week in March every year like clockwork, area lawns will require their first mowing of 2014.  Oddly enough, considering the record snows and subzero temperatures of our suspected geoengineered winter; our business was mowing as early as February (a first)!  This extra early mowing was great as it was an opportunity to clean up all the ice damage and winter killed landscaping on our area properties.  Rosemary, Escallonia bushes, and Spanish Lavender (lavandula stoechus as opposed to the hardier lavandula angustifolia) were decimated from record lows dropping to below -10⁰ F!  The early December snows helped insulate many plants from the killing cold, but exposed landscaping fared poor from desiccation, freezing, and high wind damage.  Even super hardy English Laurel was affected with frost killed leaves and shoot tip kill.  Then our second storm in February caused much damage to area shade trees with the University area of Eugene being without electricity for four days!  Lessons learned: one thing to note about deciduous hardy bushes such as Exbury Azaleas is that they are immune to the lowest temperatures and most vicious ice storms.  Exbury azaleas do not carry the weight of leaves during the winter to collect the weight of ice and wet snow such as evergreen rhododendrons.  No matter how much rain we get, or even if we receive a late snow, take it from someone with 25 years in the landscaping business; come March 1st winter is in the whole, over.  Yes, it may, and probably will, rain up until July in western Oregon,… but to our long term clients and wonderful customer family: Happy Spring and Good Gardening for the 2014 season!     Douglas Berry

 Frost damage on English Laurel hedge

 Snow covered rose garden

Snow melting from rose garden

 

February 11th, 2014 spring growth on roses