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by Cliff Bennett

'Chets Garden Center'
December 2, 2013

The mornings are sure getting chilly and the days are rapidly getting shorter. The sure signs that fall has arrived. The trees downtown Grants Pass are also coloring up more and more each day. I love this time of year although the flower baskets are coming down and that leaves a bit of a void downtown, but I suppose if they were up year round we would probably not appreciate them as much as we do.

As you know we have entered one of the best times of the year to plant trees and shrubs. It is also a great time to select a shade tree since you can actually see the fall color rather than depending on a picture tag. Even better is the fact that many garden centers are having fall sales to reduce inventory for winter. Many of you feel that fall color indicates the beginning of the the off season with the exception of some cold season veggies. Veggies like lettuce, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kales and swiss chard to name a few. When selecting a chard you have to try the one called “bright lights”. Brilliant stalks of reds, pinks, oranges, yellows and golds. Very cool in your garden not to mention beautiful. You do not half to eat it, just enjoy the looks.

Many of you consider the winter landscape to be drab and somewhat boring since many of our trees and shrubs have lost their leaves and the perennials are now cut back and non-existent. Consider adding plants such as red twig or yellow twig dogwood, which are shrub types. When the cold sets in, the wood on these plants become so colorful, they could give a flower a run for their money. Also consider a coral bark japanese maple. The vase type structure is glorious during the winter months. Fiery coral red bark that stands out as a focal point. I think that they are as pretty without leaves as they are with.

Spring blooming bulbs are beginning to become available at the local garden centers. I have always had mixed emotions regarding bulbs. Even though it is always exciting to see the daffodils start emerging in early spring and bulbs planted in mass is always a treat to see, I just wish they would flower longer than they do. I always try to plant them in with other plants so that you can tuck them in and not have to look at them after the blooms are spent.

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Remember that when you are purchasing bulbs you will get what you pay for. Bulbs are purchased and sold by the centimeter and the larger the centimeter the more expensive they are. You will see very cheap bulbs out there but they will be small and they never produce as well as the larger ones do. You get what you pay for. If you don’t care about the results, than the cheap bulbs will be just right for you.

See you next time, Cliff

� 2013 - Cliff Bennett - All Rights Reserve

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Cliff and his wife Roxanne have owned and operated Chets Garden Center downtown Grants Pass, Oregon at 5th and H st. for the last 21 years. Cliff has an extensive background in plants. Owned a large commercial landscaping company in San Diego for 23 years specializing in hotels and shopping centers. Cliff and Roxanne are very active in the community and are always doing what they can to help beatify the downtown area such as hanging flower baskets etc.

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As you know we have entered one of the best times of the year to plant trees and shrubs.