Last year I saw on the map that there was a Demonstration Garden next to the fair, but Bracken and I didn’t make it over there. This year Bracken and I visited the Oregon State University Master Gardener Demo Garden near the Mother Earth News Fair and I’m so glad we did that. There was so much to see, but I think what Bracken loved most was the fact that they welcomed him to pick a strawberry to eat, and a raspberry, and a goumi berry. Goumi? We fell in love with those and will definitely be planting one in our own garden!
At the Demo Garden, there were all different types of gardens to see- gardens for beneficial insects, a dye garden, a drought tolerant garden, a moonlit garden (filled with things that bloom at night), a shade garden, and more. We got to see their compost area and worm bins too. I was amazed at how much could be grown in a single shopping cart turned garden bed!
There was a butterfly bush in bloom. Bracken, being the butterfly lover that he is, wants to plant one of those. I loved that they had espalier fruit trees (asian pears and more) growing along chainlink fences, making such great use of the space. Jeff has always wanted to grow columnar apples and they seem like a great use of space too! I liked their raised beds around their blueberries. They had them all labeled with which variety they were as well as if they were late blooming or early.
We have red and black currants growing in our garden, but seeing their white currants (the bushes were loaded!) made me curious about them. I wondered if the birds would leave them alone since the coloring made them look unripe? I have a friend who loves having gooseberries in her garden and I’ve wondered about growing those. I’m also curious about oca, a tuber the ancient Incas ate, which I’ve been hearing about lately. Bracken and I loved the little fairy garden we saw in a bird bath! I always come away inspired when I see other gardens…
Today: the demo garden, tomorrow: the fair!