Posts tagged pumpkins

Parsley, sage, (oregano) and thyme, oh, and pumpkins and roses, too

The following is from Linn County Master Gardener, Claire Smith:



    Dare I say that we needed the recent rain?  It is hard to imagine after the summer we endured that the ground is dry.  Just a few thoughts as we stroll through fall:

·         Today is a good day to reflect on what you really, really liked or didn’t about your garden.

·         Can’t get gardening out of your system even in winter?  Plant a windowsill garden and impress your friends with fresh seasonings all winter long.  Try Oregano, Thyme, Parsley and Sage in small individual pots, or even in one large pot.  Place the pots in a bright sunny window or under artificial light (that includes any herbs you’ve moving from outside).  Water thoroughly until the water fills the saucer then pour off the excess.  Small pots and young plants need watering more frequently; larger pots can go a week or more.  

·         Go ahead:  pick green tomatoes. Enjoy them fried or ripen them indoors at 60-65’. 

·         Do not fertilize your roses now.  Stop deadheading.  Allow rose hips to form and plants to harden off for winter.

·         Remember to remove stakes and supports from your flower beds.  Clean before storing.

·         Clean your recent pumpkin purchase by dipping  the pumpkin in a solution of four teaspoons of bleach per one gallon of water.  Allow the pumpkin to dry and cure at room temperature for one week.  Create your own masterpiece.  Store in a cool place and with some luck the pumpkin should last two months.

·         Want winter interest?  Standing stems, flower heads and seedpods will do the trick. Hosta flowers even attract birds.

·         Purchase sand, not salt for deicing. 


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Autumn alternatives

The following is from Linn County Master Gardener Brenda Garbe:


WOW! Has it been cold the last couple of mornings when I stepped out the door!  And have you noticed how daylight comes much later?  Summer is fading way too fast!    But, the kids are back in school and the leaves are commencing to turn so it must be time to consider that the frost will soon be on the pumpkin.  The “summer” wreath will be replaced by the “fall” one this weekend. Here are some suggestions for fall decorations from the garden:

            Pumpkins are the first thing that we tend to think of when decorating the house and landscape for the fall season.  I’d like to add a couple of different suggestions that you may not have considered. 

            In addition to the usual stalks of corn and colored corn decorating the front entry, consider the colorful Celosia (cockscomb) for a material for wreaths or swags.  Or tuck some in with your corn stalks when binding.

            Helichrysum (strawflower), Limonium (statice) and Achillea (yarrow) are other common garden flowers that dry easily and last for a long time.  A light spray of clear acrylic will help hold any stray petals or leaves in place.  Rudbeckia may turn prematurely black when summers are cool, and makes a perfect addition to any Halloween display and will stand for a long time.

            My current favorites are the small ornamental odd-shaped gourds and the larger apple, bushel and birdhouse gourds.  The small ornamental gourds are often colorful and distinctly shaped with a wide range of colors and surface textures.  Add them to a fall display, wire them onto a wreath frame or even mount them on spikes like a garden fantasy display.

            Have you considered the branches of Euonymus alatus (burning bush) or Cornus Species (red –twigged dogwood) to bring out a fall decorating scheme?   These shrubs are grown primarily for their red colored stems that  stand out against the dreary winter landscape.  Incorporate your designs in front of your standing shrub or decorate it with some dried flowers or a grouping of big gourds  and pumpkins.

            Let your creative juices flow.  Use some native grasses, buy a straw bale from a farmer.  Have some fun!


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