OSU Extension Service

Mason beeBy Denise Ruttan        
Photo by George Hoffman
A blue orchard mason bee perches atop a blossoming meadowfoam flower. The native pollinators are active during wet and cold conditions in early spring.

Concerned about the decline of honeybees, one of the hardest-working food crop pollinators? Don't overlook the importance of a native pollinator of your fruit trees – the blue orchard mason bee.

Ross PenhallegonRoss Penhallegon will share his over 40 years of gardening experience and expertise at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Blue River on Saturday, May 4th, at 10 a.m. Everyone is welcome to attend this free event.

By Denise Ruttan
Image of a rosePhoto by Lynn Ketchum
March is a good time to plant roses in western Oregon.

Roses have such fanciful names and alluring colors, so how do you choose which ones to plant?
"If I'm going to grow roses I tend to grow roses that have fragrance," said Barb Fick, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. “Some people go for color. I also go for disease-resistance.”
Fick advises buying roses that are immune to the fungal threats of rust, powdery mildew and black spot.

By Judy Scott
pH meterPhoto by Michael Allen Smith
Some meters and methods are more accurate than others.

Soil pH can make a big difference to the plants in your garden. To understand how, you must "think" like a plant.

By Denise Ruttan

Hood River Japenese gardenTucked away in a corner of a public garden in Hood River, the Japanese Heritage Garden offers an unexpected place of quiet reflection.
The site, maintained by Master Gardeners who were trained by the Oregon State University Extension Service, incorporates the scenic vistas of hills and orchards, which were worked by the first generation of Japanese immigrants to the Hood River Valley in the early 1900s.
An old Norway spruce tree surrounded by raked gravel forms a centerpiece. A six-foot Nishinoya-style lantern sits at the entrance. Benches and stone-paved pathways guide visitors.

Bird feeder image
By Denise Ruttan
Photo by Betsy Hartley
As you're welcoming wild birds into your yard this winter, be sure to keep your bird feeder clean and keep an eye on the health of your feathered diners.

By Denise Ruttan

Rain gardenPhoto by Derek Godwin
Rain gardens feature hardy, drought-resistant plants in a landscaping design with a purpose.
Oregon's winters are a good time to observe how water flows on your property so you can later create a rain garden.

Tree full of applesBy Carol Savonen

There are hundreds of varieties of apples grown in Oregon, from old heirlooms to modern disease resistant cultivars. But often apple tree owners don’t know what kind of apple tree they have, much less recognize when their specific type of apple is at its peak of perfection and ready to harvest.

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McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.