The Garden Journal
September, Date TBD
No pets allowed
Smoking of any kind is strictly prohibited on our property.
Garden Shop Hours:
June 1st 11-4
June 2nd 11-4
June 3rd 11-4
June 8th 11-4
June 9th 11-4
Visit us at:
June: Summer is Here!
“The roses make the world so sweet,
The bees, the birds have such a tune,
There's such a light and such a heat
And such a joy this June…"
Summer is Here…
Every season comes with it’s own set of unique challenges, and this 2023 Spring has been no different. May, in particular, with soaring heats into the 80’s and 90’s, a catastrophic hot wind, and scant rainfall, along with some fire & smoke pollution (!), kept our team extra busy hand watering newly planted trees and shrubs in the garden.
I’ve never seen a May like this, and the team commented several times it felt like July weather with the temperatures and dryness. This has us seriously considering our plantings, with a lens towards more temperature extremes, drought, and wind events. We are looking to gardens in South America in the higher elevations of Chile, as well as Australia and South Africa for inspiration. Places that can teach us about plants that thrive in difficult situations as we adapt to shifting climate in our area.
We had a bit of a setback last year, when we lost one of our wells for watering, and the repair caused all of the filters to our drip systems to clog. Replacing all of the filters, and clogged drip lines has been a full-time job these last 2 weeks, and has us continuing to hand water what we need to supplement, so we don’t lose all of our new plantings.
New plants, put in the ground in fall-winter, tend to handle periods of drought a bit better than those spring-summer planted. I have seen over and over the benefits of fall planting larger plants and perennials over waiting to plant until spring. Always remember that new plants need a period of time to ‘settle’ into the soil, and their roots to reach out into the new soil system from their container or root ball system. Watering on a consistent basis to keep those roots from getting stressed is necessary. Once established, plants need to be on a consistent schedule of watering for the first 1-2 years, depending on the plant size and type.
This heat also has us hopping to keep up with the weeds, which can quickly take over a garden, and don’t seem to mind that no one is hand watering them. How infuriating. So, putting plants into the ground has been put on the back burner, while we manage the plants and weeds we currently have.
I hope your May had you enjoying the beauty in your gardens - I am currently loving my Chionanthus retusus (Chinese fringe tree), Pseudoacacia robinia ‘Twisty Baby’ (black locust) Snowball viburnum, and David Austin Roses, which have been the stars of the May garden. The peonies are starting to hit their stride, and they are always a sight to behold.
Nature Series: Keystone Species
What is a keystone species? They are species in which other species depend on, and in which, if removed, would alter the ecosystem significantly. Some famous examples of keystone species are the wolves that were removed from Yellowstone and the cascading effects on wildlife and vegetation.
Being an Oregon State University Beaver, they are one of my favorite examples as habitat engineers, removing dead trees for new life, and building dams that create critical wetland areas, which many species rely on.
Bees, as pollinators are also a keystone species. From the immense role they play in our food systems, to critical services pollinating plants that other species rely on, we literally can’t live without them. This year, we are making a concentrated effort to improve areas of plantings that are native bee-friendly: for both forage, and for habitat. We continue to be pesticide-free to keep our system as healthy as possible, but this is an extra step we feel is worth it for our little winged friends. Consider some of our Pollinator-preferred and Native plants in the Garden Shop, all curated for bees, butterflies, and birds.
Hopefully your dahlias are starting to show above-ground growth by now, so here are a couple tips on how to monitor your plants, and what to do with common issues of new growth.
Watch out for slug and snail damage, which is usually obvious as parts or all of your new growth could be mowed down quickly by these hungry land mollusks. They LOVE fresh dahlias, so setting out Sluggo in areas where slugs will hide to get out of hot sun or away from predators is your best bet. We also sprinkle Sluggo on the perimeters of our dahlia beds as a detour. We haven’t found that putting Sluggo all over the dahlias is that effective, as they will already have made it to the plant, and Sluggo has to be eaten to be effective.
Make sure you water that fresh growth. Our rule of thumb for watering is heavy watering, less frequently. We do every 3 days, and switch to every 2 days when it’s extra hot, but these plants can handle the heat, so just watch them to make sure the foliage isn’t wilting if the temps soar.
Get ready to pinch! When you’ve got about 2-3 sets of leaves, it’s time to pinch off the growing point, the top middle part of the plant, down to a node, which is indicated by a set of leaves. This will encourage your plant to be more full and ‘bushy’ vs. tall and spindly. You will get more flowers, and a more vigorous plant in terms of production. We find that earlier pinching is better for a sealing wound (plants don’t heal, they seal) that won’t leave a gaping hole in the main stem for pests and water to get in, which can cause problems for your plant’s health. Pinching can be scary to newer growers, but it’s so worth it!
Weed Control vs.
Integrative Pest Management or IPM
This unusually hot weather we experienced in May (I wonder when record-breaking temps and unusual weather patterns become a norm we stop saying ‘record-breaking’?) really got the weeds hopping. It has us hopping too…
Between hand watering areas that required extra attention, to trying to stay on top of weeds that grew faster than we could pull them, May was a tough month in the Gardens. This is always a not-so-gentle reminder to me that staying on top of winter weeds makes the Spring task of weeding a bit lighter. A bit…
We have been discussing IPM plans with the team, to help mitigate some of the problem areas we have. IPM plans are a combination of common-sense practices to help manage pest populations and the consequent damages, to mitigate possible hazards to people, property, the environment while taking into account the economical factors. Whew.
Here’s a helpful link: https://www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol/integrated-pest-management-ipm-principles
In a nutshell, IPM are the steps you take in your garden to manage the pests you have there. What are pests? Anything that can cause harm to a plant, a person, or the environment. Pests can be insects, weeds, bacteria, fungus, or virus. Each garden is going to have a unique set of pests to manage, so every IPM is different, and has to be easily managed by the person/people taking care of that garden.
Seed Gathering Workshop
Join Horticulturist and Executive Director Amy in the gardens, as she guides you through collecting seed to save. Learn best practices for a home gardener on how to collect, clean, and store seeds for preserving plant’s, and maintaining seed collections that do well in your geographical area. Each participant will get brown Kraft seed packets to label and take home some seeds from Laughing Goat Botanical Gardens.
Class Date: September, date TBD
Class Cost: $25, includes seeds & seed packets to take home for your own gardens
Ticket Link: will provide once date is set
Our Peony events are currently happening, and we still have space for Peony Tea reservations, the link with all of the details is here:
General Admission: $25 per person. Tickets are available in the Garden Shop.
Here’s a brief stroll through our blooming Peony fields, filmed on a beautiful spring day in 2022: https://www.laughinggoatfarm.com/peony_stroll/
The Garden Shop
The Garden Shop will be open on days we have the Gardens open, to allow visitors, as well as anyone wishing to stop by the opportunity to visit with us. The following dates are looking to be the only dates we are open in June, so make sure you come see us! We are still a very small team, staffing our shop on a regular and consistent basis has been challenging. Until we can land on days of the week to be consistent, and have a dedicated person to work the shop, we will continue to open our shop around workshops, events and open Garden days.
Please kindly remember that when our Garden Shop is open, a ticket is always required to enter our Gardens. We are currently offering a Peony Tea, available only with reservation: please email Amy at email@example.com to reserve your table.
Garden Shop Dates/Hours
Thursday, June 1: 11-4 (Peony Festival)
Friday, June 2: 11-4 (Peony Festival)
Saturday, June 3: 11-4 (Peony Festival)
Thursday, June 8: 11-4 (Peony Festival)
Friday, June 9: 11-4 (Peony Festival)
- Keep on Weeding! Small weeds are easier to pull than big ones.
- Plant green beans, and warm weather vegetables.
- Open Greenhouse vents/doors on warm days. This will lower temps and deter red spider mites.
- Look at watering regime, and consider ways to optimize and conserve water for the warmer months ahead.
- Keep new plantings watered!
- Light pruning of any dead, diseased or dying plant parts to deter disease from spreading.
- Dead-head roses after first flush.
- Plant Summer containers.
- Tie-up, or support annual & perennial vines, as well as taller perennials that require support.
- Cut back spring-flowering perennials, especially those flopping over.
- Taller, floppy plants, such as chrysanthemums, asters and sedums, can be cut back by half to maintain a desired height.
- Jo Pye weed can be cut back to shape the plant to desired height.
- Deadhead Delphiniums after first flush to encourage a second, later bloom.
- Dead-leaf any spent spring-flowering perennials, like Columbines and Heucheras.
- Remove declining foliage on summer bloomers such as lilies, iris, and other summer bulbs.
- End of June, deadhead or shear hardy geraniums.
- Fertilize annual flowers in containers, approx. every 2 weeks.
- Cut flowers for arrangements and for drying!
- Mulch garden beds, to help with water retention, and prevent weeds.
- Finish pruning spring-flowering shrubs and trees before the end of the month.
- Past Newsletter Access Here: https://laughinggoatfarm.com/blog/
- Sign up for Laughing Goat classes!
BOLD ITEMS are ON-SITE Events
- Dinosaur Day - June 1 🦖
- Peony Garden Open & Tea - June 1
- Peony Garden Open & Tea - June 2
- Peony Garden Open & Tea - June 3
- National Egg Day - June 3 🥚
- National Trails Day - June 4 🥾
- National Corgi Day - June 4
- World Environment Day - June 5 🌎
- Pet Appreciation Week - June 5-11
- Peony Garden Open & Tea - June 8
- Peony Garden Open & Tea - June 9
- World Oceans Day - June 8 🌊
- Iced Tea Day - June 10 🧋
- Corn on the Cob Day - June 11 🌽
- Making Life Beautiful Day - June 11 🌸
- Red Rose Day - June 12 🌹
- National Weed Your Garden Day - June 13
- National Eat Your Veggies Day - June 17 🥦🍆🍅🥬
- Father’s Day - June 18
- Juneteenth - June 19
- Summer Solstice - June 21 ☀️
- Midsummer - June 24
- Orange Blossom Day - June 27 🍊