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Gardening news and notes: Conifer event; free seeds for schools; helping birds

February 28, 2013 - Kym Pokorny from The Oregonian

Conifers are the best group of plants to give your garden winter interest and structure all year. From giant trees for country acreage to tiny plants perfect for pots and troughs, they’ll all be in the spotlight Saturday at Al’s Garden Center in Sherwood. “Conifers: Amazing Easy-Care Evergreens” runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features experts from five specialty nurseries; as well as The Oregon Garden, which has one of the best conifer gardens in the state; and the Portland Japanese Garden. Members of the American Conifer Society will answer questions and suggest plants for your garden. A panel discussion is scheduled for 11 a.m. Two more incentives to show up:  Conifers at 20 percent off and a drawing.

SEEDS FOR SCHOOLS: Free boxes of more than 150 packets of vegetable and herb seed will be sent to classrooms simply for signing up. Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply, which grows organic and non-GMO seeds in Grassvalley, Calif., donates one seed pack to school gardens for every 10 it sells. That’s a lot of seeds.

School representatives or coordinators of multi-family home school programs should apply as soon as possible. It’s a first-come, first-serve deal.

While you’re at the website, check out the many videos and articles produced by the company—everything from pruning 101 to growing goji berries. It’s a great resource.

BIRD PROTECTION: In response to a story on protecting birds from crashing into windows, Sue Mandeville wrote to me about a window covering called Collidescape. “I think this is a very important product. We have it on our windows, because we live on a hill surrounded with oak trees.” She also recommended a website called FLAP (Fatal Light Awareness Program), a Canadian organization with the motto: “No bird was harmed in the production of this website. A shiny window took care of that.” There’s tons of information there.

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