Demonstration Garden

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

OPEN SUNDAY, July 18th from 10 AM to 4 PM

The West Seattle Garden Tour is coming up the Sunday, July 18th.  They are featuring South Seattle Community College during the tour.  The guest speaker, Willi Galloway, is having a lunchtime chat in the SSCC Arboretum at noon.  Wine and dessert tasting will be part of this event. 

So while you are there, stop by and see what else has been going on horticulturally at South.  It isn't too late to plant those eggplant, basil and peppers now that summer is finally here.  There are some summer flowering perennials and annuals.  ALL PLANTS ARE STILL 30% OFF!  Just look for the red doors.

Monday, June 14, 2010

SALE 30% Off All Plants!

The Garden Center will only be open two more days this Spring Quarter -- this Thursday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. We have lots of plants that need good homes and you get to take another 30% off our already low prices!

We will have some limited openings during summer. We will be open on Sunday, July 18th, in conjunction with the West Seattle Garden Tour. We will announce additional dates here on our blog as information is available.

Monday, June 7, 2010

2010 Summer of Love - Garden like it's 1967!

In the garden, every summer is a summer of love. Just take a look at how many plants we have here at the Garden Center that have some "Love Connection."
There are plants said to have aphrodisiac properties or that boost fertility, including:
• Tomatoes, which the French call "pomme d'amour" or love apples
• Basil - boosts fertility and general sense of well being
• Catnip (Nepeta sp.) - well the cats do love it
• Passionflower (Passiflora sp.) - the fruit is sinfully good
• Savory (Saturja sp.)
• Southernwood (Artemesia abrotanum)

And there are plants that have names related to love:
• Loveage (Lavisticum officianale)
• Love in a Mist (Nigella)
• Love Lies Bleeding (Amaranth)
• Bleeding Heart (Dicentra sp.)
• Love in a Puff Vine (Cardiospermum halicacbum)
• Bachelor's Buttons (Centaurea cyanus)
We have a table set up in the lath house with plants that fit the "love" theme. Look for the red hearts on the description signs. Take a few of these home and create your own Summer of Love.

This week, we have special pricing on peppers and tomatoes. Large containers are now $2.69, were $4.69. Small containers are now only 99 cents! At these prices, you can afford to try several varieties.  Please remember to bring boxes or bags to carry your plants home in. 

Also, the West Seattle Tool Library will be open here on Saturday, June 12, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cleaning Up and Marking Down Prices

Our spring season is drawing to a close at the garden center, so we've marked down even more plants in order to sell excess inventory. Here are a few examples:
• Nicotiana langsdorffii - a stately form of flowering tobacco that reaches 5' tall with charming pale green flowers - 5-1/2" container - 99 cents
• Many vegetable and herbs that are desperate for a good home - 69 cents
• Selected shrubs are still 40% off

We will be open this Thursday and Saturday from 11 - 3.

Please bring your own boxes or bags to take plants home in your car. Thank you.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Please Help...

We are really short on boxes to send plants home in. If you could bring your own boxes or trays when you come to the garden center, that would very much be appreciated!

Thank you!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Consider Edible Perennials

In our search for ways to make life easier, gardeners should consider planting edibles that return year after year. Most of the edibles we choose to grow are annuals. They are planted in the late spring, grow and produce for us through fall, and then their life cycle ends. Edible perennials and shrubs are plants that endure year after year - some have woody stems that remain through the winter, others die back and are renewed in spring by the warmth and the rain.

Examples of edible perennials and shrubs are: Rhubarb, Asparagus, Artichokes, all of the berries (Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, etc.) and most of the herbs we use to spice up our foods. There's nothing like a fresh picked tomato from the vine outside your door, but planting a blueberry or rhubarb provides years of service, adds interest to any garden bed, and only needs to be planted once.

Here are a few of the perennial edibles we are offering you:
Asparagus 'Purple Passion' and 'Jersey'
Thornless Raspberry, Thornless Boysenberry, Marionberry
5 varieties of Blueberries
Herbs including: Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, and Chives, just to name a few.

Come see us. We are open on Thursday and Saturday this week. 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Peppers - We Have a Global Collection for You!

We have the first round of peppers out. This season we have grown many different kinds of peppers. We also have unusual varieties again, ranging from sweet to hot, HOT, HOT! A friend of Puget Ridge has been donating pepper seeds that he has collected all over the world, so we truly have a "global" collection for you. Thank you, Don!

Some of our favorite varieties are: 'Hungarian Black,' 'Bishop's Cap,' ' Sweet Banana,' 'Tequilla Sunrise,' and 'Healthy.'
5 1/2" containers are $4.69 each.
Peppers, like tomatoes, love the heat. Place in full sun with reflected heat off concrete, fences or the side of your house. Peppers enjoy well drained soil and plenty of water. You can plant them deep down, as they make more roots along their stems. Peppers are loved by aphids, so keep an eye out for those little green bugs. They are easily washed off with peppermint soap and water.

Tomato varieties available this week:
Besides all the varieties listed in previous posts, this week we brought out 'Black Krim,' 'Carbon,' 'Mirabelle,' and 'Yellow Pear.'

Another note...
A customer was in on Saturday and asked if we use any chemicals when growing our plants. We have not needed to use anything except the peppermint soap and water solution, as mentioned above, to wash off aphids. We don't use herbicides. Our potting mix does contain some fertilizer, but other than that, we give our plants good soil, as much sunshine as we get, water and lots of love and attention. They are thriving! She reminded me that our customers would want to know this information.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Open this Thursday and Saturday 11 - 3

To celebrate the sunny weekend, we'll have Variegated Red Twig Dogwood (Cornus alba 'Elegantissima') on sale. You'll love the way this shrubby dogwood brightens up dark corners of the garden. It has a vase-shape and grows to about 6 - 8' tall and 8' wide. The variegated foliage likes part shade/part sun and can take moist to somewhat dry soil. The flowers are white umbells throughout summer, not very showy, which become whitish-blue fruit.

This plant is grown for its foliage, its red twigs in winter and its ability to fill larger spaces. Once established, this plant is somewhat drought tolerant and can be cut back hard in spring to encourage growth of new, red twigs and to keep the size down to about 6' x6'. Come in and take a look at this garden gem.
Was $6.69/gallon - Now $4.69 each.

Pepper update... Last week we were able to bring the peppers outdoors for a bit during the day, but it is still a little too early for them to go into your garden. Night time temperatures need to be closer to 50 degrees. We are hoping to have them ready for you by May 19th. We will keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

More Tomatoes!

We're bringing more varieties of tomatoes out of the greenhouse this week. In addition to the list from last week, here's what you will find.

  • Black Cherry
  • Black Krim
  • Brandywine
  • Cream Sausage
  • Gold Nugget
  • Red Alert
  • Red Zebra
  • San Marzano
  • Sweetie
Remember that we have lots of vegetable starts in addition to tomatoes. We have greens, cucumbers, garlic and several kinds of peppers will soon be ready to come out of the greenhouse. We also have herbs and a good selection of berries.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Virtual Tour of our Facilities

If you have been to our Garden Center, you know there's a lot more here than a retail nursery. If you haven't, we'd like to take this opportunity to show you around.

Puget Ridge Garden Center is one of the educational facilities for the Landscape Horticulture program here at SSCC. As we've described in the sidebar, the garden center gives students hands-on experience with the tasks involved in a retail business.

Along with that, we teach classes in propagation and greenhouse management. Here students learn to produce most of the plant material sold in the garden center.
Many plants, like tomatoes, peppers and basil, are started from seed. Trays are filled with starter soil and seeds are sown into it. Seeds that need extra heat in order to germinate are placed in a sort of incubator "tent," as you see above, with translucent plastic above and a heating pad under the plant trays. When the seedlings have sprouted and grown a bit, students take the trays from the greenhouse to the adjacent "head house," (see below) where the tedious job of transplanting those tiny seedlings into individual pots takes place.
Once they are potted up, the plants return to the greenhouse to grow to a salable size. Here are basil plants in the greenhouse, close to being ready.
Some plants, such as woody shrubs, are propagated by way of cuttings. Others, such as perennials, are propagated by division. All go through a process of growing on in the greenhouse. When plants have reached the right size for sale, it's time to move them to the cold frame (below) so they can "harden off."
The hardening off process involves acclimating plants so that they can survive the cold, wind and direct sun outdoors. The cold frame is unheated, yet protected from the harshest of the elements, providing comfortable transition housing. Once that process is complete, the plants are moved out into the display area.
Students also propagate all of the house plants sold at the garden center. Above you see a healthy grouping of succulents. And below, a stunning orchid.

Monday, April 26, 2010

It's Time for Tomatoes!

We had good intentions this year. We were going to start FEWER varieties of tomatoes. Well, you know what they say about good intentions... A few of the 35+ varieties are available for you this week. Here you can see part of the collection in our greenhouse.

  • Tomatoes can be planted out when night time temperatures are in the high 40s and we are there most of the time now. However, the daytime temperatures are still cool for these heat lovers. So you can plant them outside, but they will sit until it starts to warm up into the high 60s during the day.
  • When planting, drop tomatoes down deep into the soil. Unlike most plants, the fine hairs on the stems will turn into new roots. (They truly are weeds.)
  • Our tomatoes already have flowers set and are in 5-1/2" square containers. They are $4.69 each.
  • We have selected varieties that do well in our cool climate.
Varieties available this week: 'Sungold,' 'Silver Fir Tree,' 'Siberian,' 'Japanese Black Trifele,' 'San Marzano,' 'Shady Lady,' 'Oregon Spring,' 'Legend,' 'Fox,' and 'Stupice.' If there is a particular variety you are looking for, ask us, we might have it.

Sale Plants of the Week
All indoor plants are 30% off. We have a smart collection of easy care plants for indoors. This includes many succulents that require only a sunny window and infrequent watering.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Great Prices on Beautiful Plants

We need to make room in the Garden Center for new plant material coming out of our greenhouse, so we've reduced prices on some of our ornamentals. Come and get 'em, while supplies last.

Black Mondo Grass - Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrenscens'
1 gallon size
Regular price: $7.69 ea.
Sale: $4.69

Hebe 'Red Edge'
1 gallon size
Regular price: $6.69 ea.
Sale: $3.69

Osmanthus delavayi
1 gallon size
Regular price: $7.69 ea.
Sale: $5.69

Featured plant of the week - Hebe
There are many varieties of this evergreen shrub from Down Under. Hebes can take the heat and are drought tolerant once established. Some are grown for their interesting foliage and others for their flowers late in the summer. They range in height from 12" to 5' so Hebe can fill many needs in the sunny, well-protected garden. Come in and see what we have!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Grow Your Own Blueberries!

Blueberries are one of the most rewarding shrubs you can add to your garden. They are beautiful landscape plants with an attractive form, eventually getting 4-5 feet tall and 3-5 feet wide, depending on variety. They produce abundant clusters of urn-shaped, white flowers in spring. A few varieties are evergreen, but most are deciduous. Their brilliant fall color will light up your landscape.

On top of all that beauty you get -- berries! It is such a treat to pick fresh blueberries from the garden in the morning for breakfast. For best results, plant more than one variety to insure good pollination. It takes a year or two for plants to get established enough to produce big crops, but your patience will be well rewarded.

Blueberries are a treat for wildlife, too. Their flowers provide nectar for native bees, butterflies and other pollinators. They are a larval food source for several butterflies. And they provide good nesting sites, cover and fruit for birds.

Here are the varieties we have in the Garden Center now:

  • 'Duke' - one of the early bloomers, fruit ripens in late June. Deep blue, mild-flavored berries. Heavy producer.
  • 'Bluecrop' - midseason, large berries. Excellent flavor and an attractive plant. 
  • 'Blueray' - midseason, vigorous and tall. Crisp fruit. Can tolerate more sun than 'Bluecrop.'
  • 'Bluejay' - vigorous grower with heavy fruit set.
We will have three more varieties available for you in May.

Come see us! We are open this week on Thursday, from 11 - 3.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Come Visit Us

The Garden Center will be open, Saturday, April 10, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. We have lots of vegetable starts, herbs, native plants and perennials ready for you to add to your garden. 

To find us, look for the SSCC Plant Sale signs at the north entry and at the Landscape & Horticulture complex, just past the guard shack. We are located at the north end of the SSCC campus. Look for the red doors that lead into the Garden Center.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's Fresh for April...

Crafted right here at South by our students.
Perfect for creating edible garden beds.
24" x 24" x 12"
Custom sizes available to order.

We have everything you need to get your garden off to a good start:

  • 7 different varieties of Blueberries
  • 5 different varieties of Raspberries
  • Thornless Boysenberries 
  • Lingonberries
  • Seascape Strawberries
  • Sage, Parsley, Lavender, Thyme, Chives, and much more!
As spring nights warm up, greens take off! We have Arugula, Mustard Greens, Chard, Spinach, Lettuce, Kale, Endive, Escarole, Mesculin, and Pac Choi. Fresh greens have a distinctive flavor and add such a tasty touch to your salads or soups,
picked right from outside your door!

Viburnum x burkwoodii is blooming and very fragrant
Hebe and grasses look great and provide structure in your container gardens!

Kinnickinnick / Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Serviceberry / Amelanchier
Lovely native ferns