The Oregon Garden Announces Expansion Plans for Rare Conifer Garden


June 13 “Conifer Day” Plant Sale Continues Fundraising Effort

 Silverton, OR— Already displaying one of the largest collections of some of the most rare dwarf and miniature conifers in theUnited States, The Oregon Garden has announced plans to double the size of its current Conifer Garden    

The Oregon Garden Conifer Center

Oregon Garden



     On Saturday, June 13, The Oregon Garden will share artist renderings of its designs at “Conifer Day,” which is centered around a plant sale fundraiser and tours at The Oregon Garden from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The plant sale will feature a wide array of plants including flowering shrubs and perennials, evergreen and deciduous shrubs, and conifers. See more event details below.

      Partnering with the Western Chapter of the American Conifer Society, The Oregon Garden is continuing to explore its “wish list” for the planned expansion.

      “It will have more of a ‘walk in the woods feel’ as opposed to its current formal design,” said Jeff Pera, assistant horticulture manager for The Oregon Garden. He added that The Oregon Garden hopes to incorporate more giant conifers such as sequoia, as well as a meadow expanse and an adjacent educational pavilion. Plans also feature a dramatic gorge with a 12-foot waterfall adorned with Alpine conifer species growing out of the surrounding rockwork.

     “We want this to be an actual flowing body of water that eventually empties into the garden’s wetlands,” Pera said.

      The Oregon Garden’s conifer collection currently features a variety of one-of-a-kind trees that have been collected from around the world. These conifers offer a variety of unique shapes, sizes, textures and colors, including an eight-foot “Chief Joseph” lodgepole pine that turns from dark green in the summer to bright lemon yellow in the winter. The Conifer Garden also includes a variety of companion plants such as Japanese maples, heathers and heaths.

      In addition to showing off its own rare conifers, The Oregon Garden hopes to inspire individuals to see the value of using conifers in home landscaping.

       “People don’t realize the whimsical shapes, textures and vibrant colors that conifers offer,” Pera said. “These evergreens yield year-round color and come in miniature and dwarf sizes that are ideal for containers or small spaces.”

      Indeed, gold, blue, yellow and silver are just some of the hues that these sculpture-like plants exhibit. Meanwhile, their shapes can be anywhere from pointy and conical to full and dangling like fringe.

      “The Western Region of the American Conifer Society helped develop and plant The Oregon Garden’s current conifer garden and has adopted it as the region’s ‘Conifer Reference Garden,’ said Brian Jacob, president of the Western Region of the American Conifer Society. “The expansion project of the conifer garden is the next stage in the development of a world class conifer display garden.”


     “Conifer Day,” happening on Saturday, June 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is a collaboration between The Oregon Garden and the Western Chapter of the American Conifer Society. Admission is free to the public and includes access to the plant sale and educational displays including artist renderings of the Conifer Garden expansion project. The plant sale is a fundraising activity for the Conifer Garden expansion project.

 All those entering The Oregon Garden on June 13 (entrance fees apply) may enjoy complimentary guided tours of the ConiferGarden.


May through September, The Oregon Garden is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and admission is $10 for adults; $9 for seniors; and $8 for students. Entry is free for Oregon Garden members and for children ages seven and younger. For more information, or, to become a member, please call (503) 874-8100 or visit

     The Oregon Garden is an 80-acre botanical sanctuary that showcases the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest with more than 20 individual themed gardens and related attractions. The mission of The Oregon Garden is to welcome and inspire all visitors with an appreciation for the extraordinary ecology of the Pacific Northwest, and to provide a meaningful educational experience for gardeners of all skill levels and ages. Visit or call (503) 874-8100 for more information.





Lakewold Gardens Plant People

   picture-2  Lakewold Gardens is looking great. The cold, wet, windy spring does at least one good thing…it allows the flowers on the bulbs, flowering trees, rhodies and azaleas to hang on a lot longer. No watering needed.

    Almost all the first flush of small grower plant deliveries have been brought to us and we have a lot of finely tuned and obsessive-compulsively grown and groomed plants on hand. We have plants from Sam the Maple Man, Lee’s Trees, Wayne of Wayne’s Brain, Kiwi Bob, Alpine Rick, Warren the Bulb Guy, The Blue Poppy Lady and Mo-and-the-Guys-Up-North. 


Garden Shop Chunk: Picture by Nicholas Nyland

Garden Shop Chunk: Picture by Nicholas Nyland



     This week we’ll get Keith Phillips’s beautiful stone carvings.

     It’s really fun here at the Garden Shop. Ninety nine point nine percent of the people who walk through the door are wonderful and the other one has no sense of humor. 

     If you’re too far away to stop by and say, “hello”… keep in touch. 

     New stuff will go up on the website in the next week…many things that are hard to do without, like a peanut butter stirrer and a jalapeno pepper corer.

Garden Art and Education Classes at Lakewold



     Start the spring season with one of Lakewold Gardens’ art and education classes. We are offering a variety of garden classes that will fit anyone’s interests and budget. Please join us for any, or all, of these wonderful opportunities to bring out your inner artist, gardener, or both.


 In addition to our featured classes, Lakewold Gardens is also offering the following classes through June 2009:

      Trough Making Workshop on Tuesday, May 12th from 3:30-5:30pm. Create your own “hypertufa” trough for planting alpine plants. Please bring a form that you would like to use as a mold and Lakewold will provide the rest. Fee: Members $35 Non-members $45


Trough-making at Lakewold Gardens

Trough-making at Lakewold Gardens


·      Pruning Education Class on Thursday, May 28th from 3:30-5:30pm. Join professional arborist Tim Kezele and Garden Manager of Lakewold, Katie Burki, for a pruning workshop. Learn the basic pruning techniques and proper use of tools followed by a hands-on demonstration where you can practice your new skills in the garden. Fee: Members $15 Non-Members $20

·       Garden Mosaics Art Class on Tuesday, June 9th from 3:30-5:30pm. Bring an object to mosaic, mosaic pieces (broken tiles, glass, jewels, mirror pieces, stones), and your creativity! Lakewold will provide glue, grout, and extra tile pieces. Fee: Members $20 Non-Members $25



·       The Informed Gardener on Thursday, June 25th from 3:30-5:30pm. You are sure to go home with new ideas for creating a healthy garden after attending Linda Chalker-Scott’s education class. She will discuss her recently published book The Informed Gardener along with sustainable landscaping practices and common misconceptions that plague home gardeners and horticulture professionals. Fee: Members $10 Non-Members $15




Lakewold Garden Scenes April 16

One of Lakewold's many camellias photo by Mary Wilson

One of Lakewold's many camellias photo by Mary Wilson

Erythronium Walk at Lakewold is in full bloom in mid April. These ephemerals are scattered in the shade on the walk toward Gravelly Lake.

Erythronium in woodland photo by Mary Wilson

Erythronium in woodland photo by Mary Wilson

Corylopsis pauciflora photo by Mary Wilson

Corylopsis pauciflora photo by Mary Wilson

Deshojo maple above pools photo by Mary Wilson

Deshojo maple above pools photo by Mary Wilson

Anemone nemerosa photo by Mary Wilson

Anemone nemerosa photo by Mary Wilson

Himalayan Blue Poppies: How to keep the darn things alive and coming back

picture-221-Bait for slugs

2-Plant in good soil in a place that gets morning sun but not hot afternoon sun

3-Bait for slugs

4-Blue poppies like plenty of fertilizer and water in the summertime. Sidedress with chicken, horse or steer manure; in the Himalayas they grow in yak dung but…tough to get…

5-Plant them in groups if you can. They grow in colonies in the Himalayas

6-Bait for slugs

7-Blue poppies are very cold hardy but do not like to be wet in the winter; when they begin to go dormant in the fall, cover them with an inverted terracotta pot. It keeps the crown of the blue poppies from getting too wet.

8-Bait for slugs


Pushing Up Daisies, Babywipes and Grocery Store Hydrangeas

picture-23Pushing Up Daisies

Watch out for two varieties of Echinacea, “Sunset” and “Sundown”. When hybridizers start flooding the market with new varieties of plants, you can do one of two things…be one of the first guinea pigs to try them and pay a fortune for the privilege, or wait two years and see if they were worth the purchase and worth the growing. These newer Echinacea varieties have been around forthe requisite two years and have passed both tests. Now they are more available and easier on the check card.They have sturdy stems, 3 inch sunset color flowers and as an added bonus, they’re fragrant. Check your local nurseries.  echsu1q

Babywipes for Orchids

It was only a matter of time…some clever person decided to soak some babywipe-type sheets in Neem oil and voila! Botaniwipes were created. Neem oil is the miracle oil pressed from fruits and seeds of the neem tree that grows in India. Neem oil is an insecticide, miticide and fungicide. It’s perfect for orchid and large leaved houseplants. Just pop one out of the box and you’re ready to go. Order them online at

Grocery Store Hydrangeas

It’s not your fault if you get a foil wrapped hydrangea as a gift…plant it outside and slowly watch it turn into slime. Not all grocery store hydrangeas are happy outside. They’re grown in a greenhouse for a one shot, spectacular, temporary show that usually saps their strength and makes them too weakfor the home garden. However, there are a few things you can do to give these greenhouse hydrangeas a better chance at survival. First, replant it in a larger nursery pot. Put the pot in the shade in a protected area during the summer months. Keep it watered and fertilized.In the fall plant it, pot and all where you eventually want it in your garden. If it survives the winter, pop it out of the pot the in mid spring and plant it in the ground. If it doesn’t survive the winter…well…you tried.

You can compost it guilt-free.