Lavendar photoBy Kym Pokorny

Pop some flowers in among the beans and lettuce and you’ll have two times the chance for an edible harvest.

“Edible flowers look great in the garden and on the plate,” said Brooke Edmunds, horticulturist for the  Oregon State University Extension Service. “Some especially pretty and tasty ones are the blue blossoms of borage, classic roses and chamomile with its little, white flowers.”

Others on her list include annuals such as happy orange or yellow flowering calendula, marigold or nasturtium; the distinctive faces of Johnny jump up or pansy; and traditional blue bachelor button. All of these are easy to start by seed indoors right now or directly seeded into the ground when the soil warms up in May. Follow the directions on the back of the seed packet and you’ll be golden. Don’t forget to thin the little seedlings, Edmunds said. Otherwise, they’ll compete each other out of existence.

RoseBy Kym Pokorny

Valentine’s Day is coming up and that means it’s time to pay attention to your loved ones and your roses, too.

On the west side of the Cascade Range, mid-February is generally time to start thinking about pruning, according to Amy Jo Detweiler, a horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. In Central Oregon, April or May is the best time. In both cases, take your cue from the plants. When the buds begin to swell and get ready to break open, pull out your pruners.

Detweiler recommends using bypass pruners rather than anvil because they cut more like scissors and won’t crush the stems. Make sure they are sharp. Have some rubbing alcohol on hand to for dipping the blades in between cuts, especially as you move from rose to rose.

Rust diseaseBy Kym Pokorny
Charmingly warm weather coaxed roses into bloom early this year, which means dealing with the usual diseases and pests earlier, too.

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.

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: Purchase copies online at: Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.