There have been at least 2 “good” frosts reaching down to 25° over the past 8 days – brrrr! In plant-geek technical terms this is referred to as a “killing frost” and if you have plants that are on the tender side, i.e. dahlias, tuberous begonias or some of the less hardy gladiolas, or any annuals you’d like to overwinter indoors, now is the time to dig them up and move ’em in.
The first freezes really doesn’t severely damage the roots and growth potential, but it will burn back much of the excess top growth, which ‘bye this time for many plants, was looking pretty tired before the freeze. We like to lift & save many of the fancier begonias, geraniums and hardy fuchsias that we appreciate and have spent good money for. Here’s what we do:
We bring them in the potting area, take them out of their pots, cut back all but about 1/3 of the plant, divide & root prune if called for and re-pot them in fresh potting soil, adding in only about 1/2 of the usual slow release fertilizer into the soil. After watering them in, we then either wrap them in about 3 loose layers of frost fabric and place on an upper shelf in our unheated greenhouse, or if really tender, they will travel to one of our attics with windows, to sit in a cool but sunny location for the winter. Over the next 4 1/2 months they’ll only getting a few sips of water and some pot rotation so any growth stays more uniform.
In spring, when the night time temps are reaching just over 38°, we’ll bring them out of their winter hibernation into our greenhouse for more light and observation, only watering if really necessary. Once the new growth starts appearing, then we water and again lightly fertilize, and they’re back to being beauties again!
Soon, (hopefully ‘bye Nov 14th), our Amaryllis bulbs will arrive @ the nursery! They are top size commercially available bulbs (much larger than what is generally seen at retail stores). Our Amaryllis deliver a sensational winter display, most with 2 stems or more bearing up to 4 blooms each. The bulbs have been conditioned at the proper temperature to bloom in about 8-9 weeks after planting in your home. Our staff will coach you on how to care for them before and after blooming so you can get years of enjoyment from your Amaryllis. To differentiate ourselves from what is typically offered at a box store, we are stocking some new and unusual types of Amaryllis, sold pre-planted in our decorative containers or just as bulbs. To help with your gifting needs, know that we can help fulfill requests for larger orders if you contact us before Nov. 23rd.
- ‘Rapido Red’ – This mighty miniature has many extravagant deep red blooms per stem, on stems about 16″. Perfect for a smaller space. It is noted as a prolific bloomer.
- ‘Jewel Double’ – Fragrant! Exquisite is a perfect description for this variety. Its pure-white, double blooms glow with the luster of pearls and possess a rare light, sweet fragrance, unusual to Amaryllis. Stems are full size, to 26″ tall.
- ‘La Paz’ – The narrow, ‘spidery’ petals of ‘La Paz’ have red and green stripes that lead your eye right to the center of its striking blooms. This is a new type of ‘Cybister’ Amaryllis, often produces three stems per bulb reaching about 24″.
Coming (Holiday) attractions!
Our Holiday offerings at the Madras Garden Depot start this weekend, Nov. 14th!
- Holiday Wreath-making workshop: Bring your friends & hop up to the Garden Depot for a morning of fun creating your own gorgeous holiday evergreen or mixed wreath. We provide a mix of boughs, twigs, cones, moss, vines, seasonal berries, frames, ribbon and guidance. Feel free to bring any embellishments or greenery, or add one of our glass bird ornaments to suit your taste or décor. Refreshments served. (Note: if you have them, please bring gloves, pruners and needle nose pliers). This class fills up fast, so sign up now & save the date! $30
- Well be expanding our conifer inventory with unusual “living” Christmas trees that you can plant outside after the Holidays. Conifers such as Baby Blue, Siberian & Norway Spruce, Vanderwulf Limber and Bosnian pines and Arizona ‘Corkbark’ sub-alpine firs to name a few. In the greenhouse you will find a nice assortment of indoor flowering plants such as cool-weather loving Cyclamen and Zygo (Christmas) cactus to bring on Holiday cheer!
- The day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 27th we’ll start our cut tree sales. Again, we’ll offer “naturally grown” Noble Fir trees (un-sheared & un-sprayed) that have been hand selected by us from 2 family farms in Oregon City & Boring. Want a tree to really show off your ornament collection? These are the real deal! Prices start at just $15.00
- And on the wreath theme…A few handmade wreaths will be available after Nov 15th & can also be made up “just for you” by special order…please contact us soon to find out more & get “on the list”!
Please note: we are open through Dec. 24th, 9-5 Monday-Saturday & 11-2 Sunday’s, as weather permits!