Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tid Bits by KCB

KCB is a professional gardener and friend who does wonderful work in the Greater Portland area. KCB is also an accredited Master Gardener by the Cooperative Extension Service and we are honored to have KCB as part of our Skillin's Garden Log family!

Who isn’t among us who aren’t inspired by the displays and the vendor offerings of The Portland Flower Show? Look for my piece on ‘award shows’ for the next posting but first I want to comment on some recent Garden Log submissions of Barbara Gardener and Mike Skillin.

The realization that soon we can purchase and install annuals/perennials or as I think of it ‘The Call of the Planted and Potted’ is approaching.

The upcoming Skillin’s class of Gardening 101 (April 5th 9 & 1) is not just for beginning gardeners but for garden beginnings. The beginning of the garden season!

What better way to begin then the ground up. I am a firm believer in soil testing!

This year’s hand-outs for Gardening 101 will also include some warm-up exercises for ourselves. How often do we begin the Season with sore muscles, feet and hands that feel that they have been rubbed with sandpaper? A friend who is an occupational/physical therapist supplied me with some great hints. I guess she was tired of hearing me complain each April and swear next year I will ‘get in shape first’. I started my stretching routine this very morning.

As an alumnus of Skillin’s classes, I still look forward to attending classes as many as I can. This could mean in front of the class or as a less than passive participant in the audience. I’ve learned so much from Sheliah, Sally, Crystal, Chad, and all the other facilitators. Moreover, not surprisingly, I learn from the audience.

So, if you never have check out one of the classes offered by Skillin’s! (Listing at The classes are not only about gardening; they are a social experience. I guess that would make them a “gardening social!”

On April 26 (9 AM & 1 PM) Skillin’s will offer a class about Container Gardening. Containers are not just for annuals any more………I look at Container Gardening as the opportunity to create my own environment complete with Microclimate. Visualize a woodland garden in miniature or a saucer full of succulents. How about a Lilliputian citrus grove? Japanese Zen perhaps? Or maybe, just maybe a secret garden of moss that any fairy, gnome and/or troll could call home? Container Gardening comes to mind as the way a landscape can be created, including the dirt by lifting nothing heavier than a 5 pound bag of potting soil/planting mix, a trowel, and a watering can.

Ok, it is true the container itself may be heavy. With so many containers to choose from at Skillin’s the “pot options” can be overwhelming. A container can be anything that will support the roots, offer drainage and withstand the elements. That old soup tureen that would take more than a dozen cans of Campbell Soup to fill may just be the perfect place for a cascade of terracotta million bells.

What I most wanted to comment on was the timing for planting of tender annuals. May often brings warmth of sun and soul. May beguiles and we believe that all threat of frost has vanished. Mother Nature can be cunning and often takes pleasure in her proverbial last laugh. Memorial Day is a good measure when it is celebrated on the 30th or 31st. As Barbara Gardener said, we begin Getting impatient for impatiens! In the meantime, pacify with pansies………….

for Skillin's Greenhouses
March 12, 2008

1 comment:

Mike Skillin, Skillin's Greenhouses said...


Great post as usual!

Thanks for your compliments about our classes; I really appreciate it but what is this about you being a "passive participant"? Are you sure you are really passive in a gardening class?


Mike Skillin