In the Pacific Northwest, the shoulder seasons (fall and spring) are the best times to plant a new garden, as temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold, and there is ample moisture in the soil. The timing of the sale is perfect, and it's a great way to meet the growers and ask them about how to grow the plants you want to buy.
High Country Gardens is a Santa Fe, NM nursery specializing in water-wise gardening - an idea that is near and dear to the hearts of many Portland-area gardeners. Our prevailing weather pattern of wet winters and dry summers (recent rains notwithstanding) means that it's worth our while to learn water-wise gardening techniques.
According to Salman, water-wise gardening is not a particular style of gardening. "You can design a formal, modern garden or a wild native garden that is water-wise. Water-wise gardening is a collection of concepts, not hard and fast rules. In terms of design, it's wide open," he says.
A few water-wise techniques include matching soil with plants, water harvesting, congregating thirsty plants together, and selecting the right plant for the right place. "Luckily, it's not just about planting the gnarliest, drought-tolerant plants. You just want to limit them, so you stay within your chosen water budget."
His lecture, tailored to the Pacific Northwest gardening climate, will address ways to expand the plant palette in our climate, as well as how he brings drought-tolerant plants into cultivation, with a travellogue of his adventures collecting and selecting cultivation-worthy plants for dry gardens.
WHAT: Fall Plant Fest and Lecture by David Salman of High Country Gardens
WHEN: Saturday September 7, 2013, Program runs 9:30-11 (doors open 8:30 am); plant sale runs noon to 5 (11-5 for members)
WHERE: PCC Rock Creek, 17705 NW Springville Rd, Portland OR,97229 (just off NW 185th Avenue north of Hwy 26)
COST: Lecture: $10 HPSO members ($20 for non-members). Learn more and register for the event here. (Seats are filling quickly so do sign up as soon as you can.) Admission to the plant sale is free, of course. Cash or checks recommended, although most vendors will have a POS system handy.
Join the HPSO on line for $35 for an individual membership ($25 for students) and receive the members' price for the lecture (as well as get in an hour early to shop at the plant sale).