The Practical Gardener – Summer 2017

This newsletter is for the Summer months of June, July and August.

Speakers for each Month

June (at club house location)

Photo from Half Moon Website

Photo from Half Moon Website

Our June speaker is Brenda Calvert of Half Moon Farms.

Half Moon Farms is located in Brush Prairie, Washington.

Brenda will be speaking on Pollinators: Taking Care of Bees

Half Moon’s MISSION:
To be good stewards to our land and animals.
To follow organic practices.

Offerings from the farm include Raw Honey and Honey products such as soap, pure bees wax candles from our bee yard, fresh cut flowers, seasonal produce and Whimsical Garden Art from recycled materials such as metal, glass, plastic and wood.
She will have items for sale…gourmet honey, bees wax items etc.

Half Moon Farms


July (on Saturday July 22nd)

Our July meeting is located at member Marta Lansing’s home and is a member only event.

Our Speakers are Dave and Annilese Doolittle from Petal Heads.
They will be sharing their all time favorite plants.
There will be plants to buy!

Petal Heads

July Petal Heads



August (on Saturday August 26th)

Our August meeting is located at club member Jenn Ferrante’s home. It is a members only meeting.

Photo from Amazon Website

Photo from Amazon Website

Our speaker is Linda Buetler. She will be speaking on Growing and Using Your Own Cut Flowers. Linda will be bringing flowers to arrange and the arrangments will become door prizes at the meeting!

A little bit about Linda:

Linda Beutler is a fearless gardener who grows a great variety of plants on a simple, flat 50’ x 100’ city lot in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. Her first love was growing flowers and foliage for cutting. That focus changed when Linda purchased her first clematis as a misnamed plant in the late 1980s.

Linda has been the curator of the Rogerson Clematis Collection at Luscher Farm since July 2007. She was elected president of the International Clematis Society in June 2013, and will serve until the summer of 2018.

Linda Beutler has been an instructor of horticulture at Clackamas Community College since 1996. She is the author of three books on gardening published through Timber Press; the most recent is Plant Lovers Guide to Clematis (2016).

Linda also writes Jane Austen Fan Fiction novels through Meryton Press, the most recent is My Mr. Darcy and Your Mr. Bingley, March 2017 (available on Amazon).


President’s Message

Not Only Hostas … But a Total Eclipse of the Sun Event

Each month the speakers come to the Metropolitan Garden Club meeting, teach their class, show photos of their gardens and sell plants at the end.  We leave happy.

One or more members have already seen most of our speakers’ gardens.  That is one reason they were invited to speak. As good as the club’s programs are, they can be taken a step further.

Last year Thomas Johnson and Kirk Hansen of Sebright Gardens gave a well-received presentation on their Hostas.  Did it leave you wanting more? Try visiting Sebright Gardens – off I-5 near Salem.  Web:

Sebright is more than just Hostas (65 different Hosta varieties added since their presentation). There are 150 varieties of Ferns and 100+ Epimediums covering four acres.  They have Bearded Irises, which will catch your eye, plus woodland shade tolerant plants, perennials, small trees and shrubs.

Seeing it live is so much more than paging through the colorful catalog. “It is a bit of a challenge to exhibit the characteristics of Epimedium & Ferns” in catalog photos, Kirk & Thomas acknowledge. Thomas & Kirk advise, “There is a lot of ground to cover, so wear comfortable shoes.”

How do you plan to mark this year’s once-in-a-lifetime total eclipse of the sun?  Coast motels are already booked, but Sebright Gardens and other nurseries will be marking the peak time (10:17am August 21st) with special events.

In the case of Sebright Gardens, the trip can be expanded by taking in the Oregon Garden – which even offers camping (Adult entry $12 and pets welcome).  Also nearby are the Brooks Gardens, Edelman Peony Gardens, Schreiner’s Iris Gardens and EZ Orchards.

Enjoy any of our speakers each year and the samples they display at the garden club meeting?  Add to it by visiting their nursery. Tell them ‘thanks’ for their presentation.


Happy Gardening,





tips-from-tomTips from Tom

The British rose breeder David Austin has been breeding old-rose plants since 1961.

These gorgeous and profusely petaled flowers had fallen out of fashion as cut flowers because of their short vase life, but in 2004, David Austin introduced nine varieties of old-fashioned roses that will last as cut flowers for a week up to ten days.

Tips for long-lasting roses:
David Austin Roses

  1. Recut the stems under warm tap water with a clean, sharp knife or pruner. Cut on a 45-degree angle to produce as much surface area as possible, making it easier for the flower to take in water.
  2. Use a clean vase. Bacteria can shorten cut roses’ life by blocking the stems. Fill with lukewarm water, and add the floral food that’s provided. Keep out of direct sun and in a cool room, if possible.
  3. Change the water and recut the stems every couple of days to promote water uptake.


Eight David Austin Roses that do well as cut flowers

  1. ‘Miranda’ – pink that lightens from the center to the outermost petals;
  1. ‘Juliet’ – a sophisticated pale-apricot color with the lightest fragrance;
  1. ‘Patience’ – a lovely creamy flower with aged ivory undertones;
  1. ‘Rosalind’ – has a fruity fragrance and a bluish-pink hue;
  1. ‘Darcey’ – a rich, velvety red that fades to purple;
  1. ‘Keira’ – one of the newest David Austin breeds, has a delicate, light-pink petal tipped in a darker hue;
  1. ‘Phoebe’ – has a large petal count and has a deep raspberry red color; and,
  1. ‘Kate’ – (as in the princess Kate Middleton), a deep magenta pink with a rich scent


Plant for Summer

Rudbeckia Cherry Brandy
Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy’

The first red-flowered Black-Eyed Susan can be found now by seed and as plants at local nurseries

It’s a Zone 5-8 plant that starts blooming in reds and maroons in early summer (with its signature black eye) and blooms all the way to the Fall.

Its height is 24 inches and grows 12-15 inches wide.

The blooms are 3-4” across. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil.

Plant combinations include: Denver Daisy and ornamental grasses.


Past Speaker

Mark Leichty from Little Prince of Oregon was our speaker for May. Mark presented Hardy Garden Orchids and Made-in-the-Shade Plants for the Niche
Mark brought a large variety of plants for sale.




Did you know…?

Wine and Cheese

The Wine and Cheese Event

In addition to our July club meeting, members have been invited to attend The Wine and Cheese in the Garden event at Out in the Garden Nursery. July 30, 2017 Noon to 5PM

Owners Dale and Carol are requesting a $5.00 donation fee but are allowing MGCP members to attend for free if they show their club membership card.

Additional information will be sent out and you can sign up at the next meeting.







Upcoming Events and Club Business

Save the date!


The June meeting is on Tuesday June 27th.


Speaker: Brenda Calvert

Half Moon Farms

Topic: Pollinators :Taking Care of Bees


Club Meetings for Summer:



July 22 Club Meeting (Saturday)

Marta Lansing’s Home and Garden


Speaker: Dave and Annilese Doolittle

Petal Heads

Topic: Petal Heads All Time Favorites



August 26 Club Meeting (Saturday)

Jenn Ferrante’s Home and Garden


Speaker: Linda Buelter

Topic: Growing and Using Your Own Cut Flowers


Please bring snacks to all meetings. They are greatly appreciated! 

Monthly meeting reminders will be sent each month during the summer with driving directions.



Out and About

Club member Julia Fetzer has photos to share from her garden:

Home Garden

Home Garden

Stag Horn Fern

Stag Horn Fern

Club Member Ruth Hoard has photos to share from a recent trip to California:


Hiking through wild Lupines

Hiking through wild Lupines Lupine

Please send photos of your garden, plants, and interesting garden related items etc. when you are out and about to: