Drying nature of wind can leave your plants feeling parched

June 08, 2011 03:27 pm

One of the most significant challenges we face to gardening in areas of Northeast Oregon is the desiccating and drying effects of the wind. Even hardy established perennial plants can suffer from wind damage at any time of the year. Now, with a chance of warmer days ahead, it is wise to be vigilant and ensure that all plants you have spent time and money on are given the greatest chance of survival possible. 

Most wind damage we’ll see isn’t from broken stems, although this is an obvious end result. More significant are dried and wilted stems and leaves. Hydration is the only solution unless you notice a particular plant seems more susceptible to repetitive drying than others in your garden. Finding a new spot to put it in may be an alternative solution.  Otherwise, keep a watch out for wilting and apply water as needed. New plantings are especially susceptible to wilting until their root systems are firmly established.

I know many of you have made significant purchases to fill your gardens this spring. This brings us to our next article of discussion — another local nursery.

Eastern Oregon Nursery & Landscaping on Walton Road across from Walmart was my latest spring visit. I was very pleasantly surprised. I chose not to introduce myself (I have sometimes been given, by other nurseries in prior years, what I felt was preferential treatment once they discovered I write the Garden Guide).

Having one of the grandchildren in tow, we began our tour just browsing and intending to go back through the rows after learning where plants were that I wanted to purchase.

I discovered everything was labeled and prices were obvious — no guess-work required.  Rows were neat, tidy and afforded ample room to pull a cart through.

The rows and rows of annual, perennials, baskets and trees and shrubs were healthy and in an appropriate time of bloom for our area. The staff was exceptional. I was offered assistance more than once, but not pestered. Questions were answered.

The owner, Terry Bates, even picked a flower and gave it to my granddaughter. There is a play area for children, and numerous water features to inspire the mind and delight the eye. Some of the window displays were the most attractive and tasteful arrangements of plants I have ever seen.

It would have been easy to just stop and stare for an extended period of time, but the granddaughter had other ideas.

Both nurseries owned by EONL, the one here in Island City and the one in Enterprise on Fish Hatchery Lane, offer full landscaping services. They also offer quality and mature planting stock. A well-landscaped home usually increases the home’s value and makes it more attractive to prospective buyers. It gives the unmistakable impression that “someone cares.”

We are fortunate to live in an area with so many quality plant and nursery stores. But there are more to review and the next Garden Guide will feature another nursery in our area.

Until then, keep planting.  Just keep planting and hope the weather gives us a summer after all. Remember, we gardeners are a hardy, hopeful lot.

Jennie Lu Hagen is a La Grande gardener.