Attracting Songbirds into the Garden with Nadine Black

We are excited to have Nadine Black teaching our class this Sunday, May 24th, on Attracting Songbirds into the Garden. I caught up with her and asked a few questions about the class.

What are a few steps to attract more birds to your yard?

Like any living creature, birds need food, water and a safe place to raise their young.

A Hummingbird Enjoying Crocosmia 'Orangeade'

A Hummingbird Enjoying Crocosmia ‘Orangeade’

What plants do birds love?

They like plants that provide food such as Aronia, Cottoneaster, Blueberries,and Coneflowers.  Humming birds love any nectar-heavy plant such as Honeysuckle, Fuchsia, Crocosmia, Penstemon, and Lavender just to mention a few.

Are there aspects to attracting birds that often get overlooked?

I think there are two things that may not come to mind readily.  The first is thicket.  There are many song birds that nest on the ground.  They need a dense shrub or a pile of debris, preferably with thorns, to provide protection.  This leads me into the second item.  Being aware of what predators might be in the area is important.  Sometimes, the predators can’t be foiled, but we need to try.

What plant and bird combinations stand out the most to you?

The two that jump out at me are Cottoneasterfranchetti and Robins and Humming birds and Penstemon.  The fruit and nectar of these two plants seem irresistible to the respective birds.

What birds bring you the most joy in your own yard?

I would have to say, the singing Finches and Sparrows.  Although I am delighted by the sight of a zipping Humming bird or the dramatic Flicker and I get a big kick out of discovering something new to me like a Ruby Crowned Kinglet, the pleasure of hearing the songs and how they are often answered from afar, is truly joyful.  All I have to do is go out on my back porch and listen.

Sparrow on Hydrangea

Sparrow on Hydrangea

I would like to thank Nadine for taking the time to answer these questions and assure you that she will have lots more information in her class. She is a wonderful speaker and I highly recommend all of her talks. We hope to see lots of people this Sunday, May 24, but if you can’t make it we hope this still provided lots of helpful information.

Portable Table Gardens – Richie Steffen

Portable Table Gardens – Richie Steffen  Sunday May 17th 1pm

Have you admired our table gardens at the nursery? They are small wonderlands that add interest to shady spots in the garden. Want to know how to make your own? Come on out to the nursery this Sunday at 1 pm for a free class with Richie Steffen.

Inspired by local Northwest Gardener George Schenk, author of Gardening on Pavement, Tables, & Hard Surfaces, Richie Steffen is creating his own unique miniature landscapes on portable tabletops.  Richie will demonstrate the principles and techniques, using small plants, moss, rocks and weathered pieces of wood, to craft a distinctive focal point for your patio, deck, or entryway.  He will also show how to care for them as they mature.

Garden with Saxifraga

Garden with Saxifraga in bloom

Richie Steffen is the Curator for the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden where he manages the rare plant collections and heads acquisitions of new plants for the garden.  He currently serves as a selection committee member of the Great Plant Picks™ program and is always ready to share his enthusiasm for this excellent regional resource. He is also the co-author and co-photographer of the recently published “Plant Lover’s Guide to Ferns” from Timber Press.  He will have signed copies of the book for sale for $25. 

Hope to see you there!

9781604694741 Richie's Book Cover

Tips for Growing Hardy Fuchsia

Growing Hardy Fuchsia

Fuchsia 'Surprise'

Fuchsia ‘Surprise’

Fuchsia’s are out and ready to burst into bloom!  If you’ve never grown a Fuchsia, this should be the year to try. They are great in the ground, in containers, or hanging baskets for uniquely beautiful blooms all season long.  Here are a few tips to keep your Fuchsia’s looking their best:

For the garden: Amend a clay loam soil to a mix of about (40%) garden compost, (20%) ¼-10 gravel and (40%) native soil.  A top dressing of garden mulch of 1” to 2” is always recommended .  NOTE: Be certain that the compost is not directly in contact with the base of the plant.  Fertilize in early spring with a slow release fertilizer that is higher in phosphorous than nitrogen or use a well rooted cow or chicken manure For containers: Use a good potting mix such as “Black Gold” and then add up to (40%) native soil.  NOTE: Good drainage is important, so if you have very heavy clay definitely reduce the percentage native soil) Fertilize either with a slow release fertilizer that is higher in phosphorous than nitrogen or a liquid feed. Soil PH: For best performance fuchsias prefer slightly acid to neutral soil.

Light

Fuchsia 'Display'

Fuchsia ‘Display’

“The importance of light in the growing of fuchsias is not generally discussed when considering fuchsia culture.  The notion that fuchsias are “shade plants” is actually erroneous. Not many fuchsias will tolerate deep shade.”(Fuchsia Culture—The American Fuchsia Society)  In our area fuchsias need at least morning sun and in most cases they perform best in full sun.

 Pruning

Fuchsias bloom on new wood so pruning is an important aspect of fuchsia culture.  Fuchsias are very tolerant of pruning and may be cut back in a way that will make us cringe.

Fuchsia 'Black Prince'

Fuchsia ‘Black Prince’

For the garden: Fuchsias should be pruned after the danger of the last frost.  These plants are photo-periodic and early pruning can delay emergence from dormancy.  When pruning plan on leaving a good framework to support the new years growth.  If fuchsia branches have been frost damaged than prune them to the ground as they will perform poorly if at all. For containers: For fuchsias, heavy pruning is necessary to keep the plant in bounds and to promote the growth of blooming wood.  Pinching of the leading growth tips for hanging fuchsias is important to keep the plants more compact and less straggly looking.  Each year fuchsias should be removed from their containers and root pruned by half.  This is an excellent time to replace depleted soil with new potting mix.

Pests

We are very lucky in our area to have a limited amount of pests that attack fuchsias.  In the garden slugs can be a problem so bait for them especially early in the season.  The fuchsia mite that is such as problem in California is really not a problem here in our gardens but for container grown it is important to keep a look out for it.  An application of dormant oil spray is a good idea to kill any insect eggs that have been attached to the bark.

Fuchsia 'Annabel'

Fuchsia ‘Annabel’

Watering

Fuchsia appreciate and need moist soil during the growing season to perform well.  Let them dry out and they will sulk and in containers the plant can be severely damaged or killed.  For containers drip irrigation is a very good solution for keeping your plants healthy and happy.

Still have questions? Come to our free class Sunday May 10th at 1pm with Will Gibbs, fuchsia expert of the Northwest!

OCTOBER PLANT SALE DATES!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!…

At Joy Creek Nursery, we are having our traditional fall sales before closing for the season and year on October 31st, 2014.

The sale items and dates are as follows:

All Hardy Fuschias On Sale Now: 2 for 1 until gone.

All Shade Plants On Sale for 20% Off from October 1 – 11.

All Dry Border Plants On Sale for 20% Off from October 12 – 18.

All Mixed Border, Shrubs and Roses On Sale for 20% Off  from October 19 – 25.

All Plants On Sale for 30% Off October 26 – 31.

Don’t miss out on some of the best deals of the year!

All Fuschias: Two for the price of one!

Hurry! This sale is on now!

First come first served….

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Lovely, hardy garden fuschias are on sale now.

What a deal!

Containers for Winter Interest ~ with Ramona Wulzen

Sunday, Sept. 28 1:00 PM

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Basic container maintenance and a strong design element are essential to having breathtaking containers throughout the winter. Create a winter container combination that will delight you through the cold winter months and the year ahead. Free and open to the public.

Dress appropriately for the weather.

There is a $10.00 class fee for ‘CEH’ Certification


For details visit
http://www.joycreek.com/education.htm

Autumn Shade Plants – 20% off

October 1 – October 11, 2014

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Cool days and cool nights are setting in as we sale on into winter.

Such choices! Such deals!

Now is the time to update your garden’s over heated summer plants with some new fresh and hardy choices that will spring forward with gusto during the next year.

Send autumn out with the promise of spring.

Let your shovels dig and your pitchforks sing.

Garden Tour of Ornamental Grasses ~ Hosted by Mike Smith

Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014 1:00 PM

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A key ingredient to the structure and vibrancy of the late season garden are the grasses and their allies. Mike will lead a tour highlighting the uses of the many varieties of grasses in our gardens. As individual specimens or used in combination with other garden plants, grasses add a visual punch to small or large gardens.

This class is free and open to the public.

Dress appropriately for the weather.

There is a $10.00 class fee for ‘CEH’ Certification.

For details visit http://www.joycreek.com/education.htm

Fall Shrubs ~ Hosted by Roger Gossler

Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 1:00 PM at Joy Creek Nursery

Photo Credit: Miller Botanical Garden

Photo Credit: Miller Botanical Garden

Many gardeners plan for spring and summer but somehow forget the brilliant colors of autumn foliage and fruit. Come and sample some of the best shrubs of the season. Remember, there is no better time to plant shrubs than the fall. Roger will bring plants from his nursery  (gosslerfarms.com) for sale.

This class is free and open to the public.

Dress appropriately for the weather.

There is a $10.00 class fee for ‘CEH’ Certification.

For details visit http://www.joycreek.com/education.htm

Going Slightly Native ~ with Maurice Horn

Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014 1:00 PM at Joy Creek Nursery

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Not every “native” plant is suitable for or esthetically attractive to Northwest gardeners. Plants from other regions of the world are often more seductive and many of them make ideal additions to our gardens. Yet, more and more, we are encouraged to “go native.” It is easy to feel conflicted as you make your plant choices. Fortunately, striking a balance between the two approaches can offer pleasing results and satisfy both the need to be “responsible” gardeners and the desire for creative freedom and playfulness. There is a broad range of appealing plants that can help make the transition toward a more native garden.

This class is free and open to the public.

Dress appropriately for the weather.

There is a $10.00 class fee for ‘CEH’ Certification.

For details visit http://www.joycreek.com/education.htm