Fun at the Fall Garden Fair
Last September, The Oregon Garden had the opportunity to partner with the Oregon State Federation of Garden Clubs to present our first annual Fall Garden Fair, a new event aimed at connecting guests with the amazing variety of gardening and environmental resources available throughout our state. The event was such a success that we are thrilled to be bringing it back for a second year this September 14th and 15th! In preparation for the festivities, let’s take a look back at what made this fair such a special event:
Guests take in the horticulture and floriculture display at the Fall Garden Fair.
The impressive display demonstrated the wide variety of plants that can be grown in Oregon.
Members from Garden Clubs throughout the state attended and brought with them an amazing array of horticultural and floricultural specimens for display, which were grouped by region. This showcase coincided perfectly with the mission of The Oregon Garden, which is to share with and educate the public about the wide variety of plant material that can be grown in the Pacific Northwest. It was eye-opening to see not only the volume and diversity of material, but the amount of blooms on show despite taking place in late September. Truly, Oregon gardeners are able to create four-season gardens with interest all year long.
Eastern Region plants included cacti like this prickly pear and Euphorbia rigida.
A stunning Darlingtonia specimen, a rare site for most Oregonians.
Above you can see some of the unexpected entries on view, including cacti – a cholla and prickly pear (Cylindropuntia and Opuntia, respectively), which were provided by Eastern Region members and grow in the high desert in and around Bend, Oregon. We also got to observe a beautiful specimen of Darlingtonia californica, Oregon’s single native carnivorous plant, which occurs only in a small area in the Southwest corner of the state. It’s pictured above with the fall-hued leaves of a peony (Paeonia), rabbitbrush (Ericameria) and aster (Aster), and was graciously provided by one of our vendors, Wolfgang’s Carnivorous Plants.
Wolfgang Bouchard teaches curious guests about carnivorous plant care.
At his booth, Wolfgang Bouchard was excited to show curious guests his assortment of carnivorous plants, which included an assortment of pitcher plants, sundews and the infamous venus fly trap. Although they have a reputation for being difficult to grow, the climate of the Northwest is ideal for carnivorous plants and most can even be grown outside. Keeping in mind that they don’t care for tap water and will go dormant during the winter, many species are surprisingly cold hardy and will survive freezing temperatures with little fuss. In fact, some even require a chilling period before the warmth of summer to signal new growth. We were glad to have an expert on hand, and I spotted many attendees leaving armed with knowledge and a new addition.
Glass garden art by Studio Rynkiewicz on display.
Beautiful handmade bird houses by We’ll Fly Away and neighboring pitcher plants.
In addition to quality plant purveyors, we were also joined by local artisans showcasing everything from garden sculptures and rain chains to small-batch products made with lavender and honey. Above, eye-catching glasswork by Polish-born artist Mariusz Rynkiewicz, now based out of Seattle, Washington, made a statement next to the bright chartreuse foliage of Petalheads’ perennials while long-time Garden members Bill and Melody Failmezger of We’ll Fly Away repurpose found and natural elements into charming handcrafted birdhouses.
OSU Master Gardener Carl Heinke shares tool care techniques.
The Fall Garden Fair aims to provide gardening know-how to beginners and experts alike. We were joined by specialists in various fields for live demonstrations throughout the weekend, who shared on topics as diverse as preserving herbs to do-it-yourself garden crafts. Many of our speakers were on hand for the duration of the event, including Nicole Sanchez from OSU’s Horticulture Department, who helped raise pollinator awareness with a display of mounted specimens and a microscope for up-close viewing, and OSU Master Gardener Carl Heinke, who stuck around to provide one-on-one advice for maintaining garden implements.
The Fair featured a judged NGC Standard Flower Show with the theme “Hail to Thee, My Oregon.”
Just off the main hall, the OAN Room was home to a National Garden Clubs Standard Flower Show. Floral designs at various levels submitted stunning floral arrangements in categories like Cascade, Parallel, Underwater and Table Designs to be judged – all of them inspired by the theme “Hail to Thee, My Oregon.” It was such a treat to see how these artisans paid homage to our beautiful state using the very plant materials grown right here in our own soil, from submerged designs evoking Crater Lake to cascading foliage reminiscent of Multnomah Falls to shabby-chic tablescapes harkening back to Oregon’s rustic farm roots.
Award winners in the Parallel and Crescent categories. Left: inspired by the Cascade Mountain Range.
Guests of all ages learn about bees from master beekeeper Jerry Maasdam.
Most of all, though, we were thrilled to share our passion for the natural world with our neighbors, families, and friends new and old – especially the gardeners of the future! The live bee demonstration hive was a huge hit, with expert beekeeper Jerry Maasdam on hand providing answers for inquiring minds, as was the Book Swap table where guests were invited to take or leave pre-loved gardening books looking for new homes.
Attendees were invited to take some knowledge to go from our complimentary Book Swap table!
All of us at The Oregon Garden would like to thank the hard work of the many OSFGC members who made this event possible, and extend our appreciation to the wonderful vendors who joined us. Missed last year’s event? Never fear! All this and more returns to The Oregon Garden this September 14th and 15th.
And if you’re interested in being a vendor with us, please fill out our Vendor Registration Form.
We hope to see you there!
Making connections in the community at the 2018 Fall Garden Fair.