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Summer Garden Trends

Anne Jaeger 

Pressure Cooker Gardening

Summer time and the living is easy. Only in a Broadway show, my friend,
only in a Broadway show. I’m hearing that the productions going on right now in gardens, terraces and patios all over Portland rival stage and screen.
Not since Liz and Richard shot Cleopatra have so many scenes run over
budget. Oy! It’s garden party time and the social pressure is enormous.
The garden looks like this but once a year and people are spending
whatever it takes to pull it off in grand style. The economy may be down but
people seem to be willing to spend money in ways they enjoy most; having
friends and family over for food, drink and garden diversion. How can you
tell? Walk into any garden store on any given day and you’ll find people
rushing around trying to put a last minute arrangement together. The
guests are coming, the menu is planned and you realize you’ve got a big
honking hole in some obvious pocket on the patio. Panic time. It may be a
$500 ceramic pot or a $30 centerpiece but it’s one more thing you’ve got to
throw together–and in a hurry. So let me save you some antacid by sharing a
few tips.
If you don¹t have much to spend, hit the big retailers first. You know,
the Wal-marts, Bi-marts, etc. And I’ll tell you why. Almost everything
goes on sale this month. You can pack a huge terra cotta pot chock full of
all different varieties of Coleus (sun and shade plants grown mostly for
their outrageous velvety leaves) and your guests think you’re a genius for
less than $10! If you want something more unusual and have more money to
spend then you have more options. Hit Portland Nursery on a weekday and
preferably right when they open before the rush. Or ask to see some
arrangements already put together by Margie McDonald on the design team. I tell you, the woman has an eye. When you’re in a hurry, imitation is more than flattery, it’s a time saver!   Better yet, find a garden center where they¹ll do all the work for you.  And some of them will. One of the best kept secrets in town is a fabulous nursery out in Tualatin on 108th called Garden Corner, kinda tucked back in the “burbs”. Here’s the deal, you buy a big pot and the plants. They’ll put it all together AND deliver it free of charge anywhere in Portland. Voila! That should set the stage nicely don’t you think? And with that kind of help you can party ‘til the petals drop.

Here are a couple of other trends for this summer’s get-togethers–

–Black planter pots.
–Glass garden art.
–Copper and stainless steel garden torches.