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Home-Grown Tomato Tasting Festival

29 Aug

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, September 15th @ Lake Oswego & Sunday, September 16th @ SE PowellThere’s no better way to end summer than with a beautiful harvest of fresh, juicy, colorful tomatoes. Each September our Lake Oswego garden center host an annual FREE home-grown Tomato Tasting Festival to celebrate this wonderful summer fruit and for the community to enjoy the delicious varieties available in the Northwest. We partner with our growers and a few employees pitch in to provide 50+ unique sizes, shapes, colors & flavors. For this first year we will be expanding this event to our SE Powell location.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 15th 10am-4pm at Lake Oswego & Sunday, September 16th 10am-4pm at our SE Powell garden center.

Tomato guru, Nicole Forbes, cooks up yummy salsas & tomato recipes for all attendees to enjoy and to inspire those with too many tomatoes to handle. For the first year ever we will not only be tasting all the wonderful fruit but will have a few select varieties for sale as well.

Attendees will have a chance to vote for their favorite variety and plan their crops for next year. Stay tuned for this years winners!

Interested in entering our Salsa contests? Call Nicole Forbes at 503.777.1421 for details!


Changing the Landscape of Homelessness

15 Aug

Dennis’ 7 Dees 22nd Annual Charity Golf Tournament benefiting Human Solutions

Thursday,  September 13th @ Langdon Farms

Since 1988, Human Solutions has developed a wide range of effective programs to assist families and individuals to find successful pathways out of poverty and homelessness toward self-sufficiency. Human Solutions helps families and individuals gain prosperity which in turn helps our greater community to thrive.

Dean & David Snodgrass

Dennis’ Seven Dees has committed to help Human Solutions in their fundraising efforts to better assist families and individuals in the Mid and East Multnomah Counties. Last
year we raised nearly $30,000 and this year a we have sent a goal of $50,000. Your participation as a player in this tournament will help them continue their good work right at a time when the weather will begin to change and shelter is more important than ever.

Click here to REGISTER to golf. Your registration includes 18 holes of golf with cart, continental breakfast, on-course games, hole-in-one contest, awards barbecue luncheon and more.

In conjunction with the tournament, Human Solution is holding a Golf Ball Drop Raffle.

On September 13, 2012 at 7:00 am at Langdon Farms Golf Club, a helicopter will drop up to 1,000 golf balls numbered from 1 to 1,000. If your ball is first to enter the designated hole (or is the closest to the hole) you will win $1,000 !!!

Raffle proceeds will help support Human Solutions emergency shelter and housing programs for homeless families. On any given night, Human Solutions provides shelter and/or housing to more than 450 people in over 150 homeless families.

Tickets are $10 each.

A special thanks to our wonderful event sponsors – the tournament wouldn’t be possible without your support!


Espalier Fruit Trees

1 Aug

By Stacie Palmer of Dennis’ 7 Dees

What could be better than growing an orchard in the city?! Given that most gardens are limited in space and consist of a small urban lot, or apartment/condominium terrace, how in the world can we grow apple or pear trees? The answer: espalier apple and pear trees!

Espalier (ehs-PAL-yay) is a method of training woody plants by tying branches to a frame so that they grow into a flat, two-dimensional plane. Most often we see espalier shrubs or trees trained against a structure such as a wall, fence, or trellis. Not only does this method of training allow for smaller plants and greater crop yield at a height accessible for harvest, it also can take advantage of maximizing radiant heat for crop maturation (i.e. a plant trained on a trellis against a fence or building).

Because dwarf fruit trees are trained by growers into espalier form, they are genetically smaller in size, and thereby more adaptable to small spaces. Once the desired shape has been created, pruning is aimed at preventing excessive foliage growth, forcing the tree to instead focus energy on fruit production.

Both apples and pears have similar cultural needs.

1) A site in a warm, sunny location where the soil is well-drained and rich with organic material.

2) Good air circulation

3) Regular deep watering to supplement rain, as needed, while fruit is developing.

4) Presence of a minimum of two differing varieties of apple or pear for cross-pollination

5) Winter chill

6) Commitment to disease and pest prevention (and treatment, should the need arise)

When we put all of this information together, we get espalier 4-in-1 or 6-in-1 apple or pear trees! Growers have grafted onto a disease-resistant root stock, either 4 or 6 different varieties of apple or pear. Viola! That takes care of the need for multiple varieties for pollination AND the trees are already trained in espalier form. We can expect grafted espalier apple and pear trees to reach approximately 15 feet in height and 8 to 10 feet in spread/width. Just think of all the functions such a plant could provide: focal point on a warm house or shed wall, screen the recycling and garbage bins, living ‘fence’ between areas of the garden, etc. Imagine harvesting 4 or 6 different types of apples or pears, full of nutritious, sweet goodness from your very own orchard in the city!

With all good things comes a caveat: there is definitely a maintenance commitment. An espalier fruit tree must have its form maintained on a regular basis; the longer you let it go, the larger job it becomes. In addition to pruning, one must maintain a regimen for pest and disease prevention (and treatment, should the need arise). Keep in mind that maintenance of a fruit tree differs from that of other woody ornamental plants. Our staff, as well as OSU Extension Services are fabulous resources available to you.

Container Gardening on a Small Balcony – Part 2

27 Jun

by Linda Kay Harrison

My granddaughter, Koby, has been so excited about the raspberries and strawberries in our little balcony garden that I decided to add to it.  She loves to eat salad, so we added some buttercrunch lettuce, with pretty marigolds in the center.  I tore two small pieces of lettuce off one leaf and Koby and I both tasted it. She approved.   

Just a few days ago, we added radishes to our little ‘Garden of Eatin’.   Koby helped me plant them, … well, actually, I helped HER plant them. She loved sprinkling the tiny seeds, and poking them down below the surface of the soil.  As we were planting, she said, ”Lala, this will be a good sau-ad.”

Yes, I think it will.


Container Gardenin’ on a Small Balcony

18 Jun

by Linda Kay Harrison – Dennis’ 7 Dees Cedar Hills Garden Center

My 3 year old granddaughter, Koby, has been fascinated by the flowers and vines I have growing on the tiny balcony of our apartment.  It dawned on me that, being a city girl, she’s never experienced gardening, or even seen a garden.  To Koby, food comes from a grocery store, and flowers are often just seen from a distance.  So when I noticed that the strawberries at work, (the Dennis 7 Dees on Butner Rd.), had some big, almost ripe berries on them, I decided to grow some on my balcony for Koby.  So I chose two Quinalts and two Tristar strawberry plants because they are everbearing and tasty.  I also bought one Hood, because they are the sweetest strawberries I’ve ever eaten.  (It’s a shame Hoods are only a June producer, but they are so yummy I had to have at least one.)

When Koby saw that I had big red strawberries growing in a planter, her eyes grew wide with excitement.  “Mommy, look!  Grandma Lala has strawberries with leaves!”  To her, strawberries have always come in a clear plastic container from Albertsons.  She was pretty impressed that Grandma Lala could make them appear on plants.   We picked those first few ripe berries and she was hooked.  Knowing that my five little strawberry plants were not going to produce enough berries to keep a 3 year old’s attention, I also added raspberries.  Now, every day, as soon as she gets home from her daycare, she runs to the balcony to check to see if any berries have ripened since the day before.

Now, my little balcony garden , no… OUR little balcony garden has flowers, vines, strawberries, raspberries, and even a bonsai’d Virginia creeper.  I can’t believe how fun it is to share gardening with a toddler.

Fairy Gardens, Mini Gardens & Mini-scapes

10 Apr

photo by Terri's Treasures PhotographyMiniature Gardens, Fairy Gardens & Mini-scapes are all the rage right now. Miniature gardening has been around for years and years but in the last few months we have seen the interest in this fun, whimsical project escalate and we love the energy, passion & fun it brings to our garden centers. Check out this Oregonian article to learn more about this fun planting project: “Williams, a 10-year veteran of Dennis’ 7 Dees, chats about scale and perspective, essential elements for creating a realistic miniature garden, a pastime popular enough to be considered one the hottest trends of 2012”.Miniature gardening accessories

By Faith Cathcart, The Oregonian

By Faith Cathcart, The Oregonian

We have a handful of miniature gardening classes on our event schedule so check out our website for details & to register.

Fairy Gardening Class at Dennis' 7 Dees Cedar Hills Garden Center

Fairy Gardening Class at Dennis' 7 Dees Cedar Hills Garden Center

How to Create a Fairy Garden & Mini-scape

  • Select your container: build or re-use a wooden box, basket with liner, wheelbarrow, birdbath or other container.

    By Faith Cathcart, The Oregonian

    By Faith Cathcart, The Oregonian

  • Use quality potting soil; never top soil from your yard.  If drainage is poor, place a small amount of charcoal and a layer of pebbles at the bottom.
  • Choose a style or theme for garden. Draw it on paper to get a plan:  Zen meditation/Asian theme, English knot-garden/labyrinth design, woodsy, gothic, prayer garden/In memory of, seasonal changes (winter, spring, summer, fall), vacation souvenir-scape (a collection of treasures and plants to remind you of your great vacation).
  • Determine position of hardscape and prepare ‘foundation.’

    By Faith Cathcart, The Oregonian

    By Faith Cathcart, The Oregonian

  • Select plants.
  • Plant plants, install paths and other hardscape.
  • Top dress and decorate.
  • Maintain monthly with necessary pruning and light fertilization.


Plants for Fairy gardens & Mini-scapes

This list is by no means comprehensive but is intended to be used as a guide for plant selection.


By Faith Cathcart, The Oregonian

By Faith Cathcart, The Oregonian


  • ACORUS GRAMINEUS DWARF (miniature sweet flag): gold and green slender blades growing in a fan shape. As with all the gramineus cultivars, this must be kept evenly moist in order to maintain lustrous foliage.
  • COTULA (brass buttons): appearance of tiny ferns, ground hugging and easy to grow and control
  • ALCHEMILLA ERYTHROPODA (dwarf Lady’s mantle): delicately cupped green leaves have reddish stems, water drops are collected on leaves like jewels
  • SEDUMS, SEMPERVIVUMS & JOVIBARBAS: for your dry conditions, cacti gardens and desert fairies
  • BUXUS SEMPERVIRONS ‘SUFFRUITICOSA’ (dwarf English boxwood): makes excellent small trees, can also be variegated *can also be used indoors
  • MUEHLENBECKIA (wire vine or angel vine): delicate yet sturdy vining plant that can be trained over small arbors, up trellises or as a trailing accent *can also be used indoors
  • OPHIOPOGON JAPONICUS ‘NANA’ (dwarf mondo grass): dark green, clumping grass that spreads easily and stays short *can also be used indoors
  • DWARF CONIFERS:  must be slow growing
  • ARMERIA MARITIMA ‘VICTOR REITER’ or A. JUNIPERIFOLIA (dwarf thrift): tufted-mounding grass-like growth with long lasting globular pink flowers
  • ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS (rosemary): a classic herb with long association with the fairy world; can be trimmed to look like a small tree or shrub
  • THYMUS SERPYLLUM (elfin thyme): dense, mat-forming ground cover herb with a greenish gray leaf & lovely aroma


By Faith Cathcart, The Oregonian

By Faith Cathcart, The Oregonian

  • SOLEIROLIA SOLEIROLII (baby’s tears): teeny-tiny green leaves grow low and spreading; may need occasional trimming *can also be used outdoors with protection
  • SELAGINELLA (spike moss): textured and airy, looks just like fairy land *can also be used outdoors with protection
  • CHAMAECYPARIS LAWSONIANA ‘Elwood’s Pillar/Pygmy’: excellent dwarf conifer with slow growth and a bluish color *can also be used outdoors
  • CUPRESSUS MACROCARPA (lemon cypress): great chartreuse color, foliage is lemon-scented.  Can be fast growing but is tolerant of constant pruning *can also be used outdoors
  • HYPOESTES PHYLLOSTACHYA (polka-dot plant): dark green leaves have pink and white freckles; easy care
  • FICUS PUMILA REPENS: the famous “Creeping Fig” with clasping stems covered by overlapping small dark oval leaves much valued as can be used in topiary, terrariums, wall covers, hanging baskets.
  • FICUS BENJAMINA (weeping fig tree): great effect of leafy tree, faster growing than dwarf plants but can be trained as a bonsai and kept trimmed to size
  • PEPPEROMIA varieties
  • PILEA varieties
  • Any small ferns, cacti or other tender small succulents

2012 Yard Garden & Patio Show

27 Feb

Our team worked meticulously on every aspect of the Chinese Garden and are proud to have won ‘Best in Show’ as well as “Best Use of Plant Material”. It’s a shame something that beautiful can only be enjoyed for 3 days, and then it’s all gone. People seemed to get lost in the garden and forget they were even inside the convention center.

Photo by John Curtis of Dennis' 7 Dees

Photo by John Curtis of Dennis' 7 DeesAs you view these photos, transcend time with a visit to a garden of perpetuity. Like the familiar bamboo, which symbolizes past and future, Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping unites over 3,000 years of traditional Chinese garden design with modern resources and local NW materials, to create a space that honors tradition through innovation.

Photo by John Curtis of Dennis’ 7 Dees

Your personal journey begins with an alluring first glimpse of “nature in miniature” through leak windows.

Photo by John Curtis of Dennis' 7 Dees

 As you enter this hidden space, soothing reflections of shimmering water beckon you into a timeless retreat, where the traditional five elements speak to all your senses in harmony of Qi, the balance of energy in all things.

Photo by John Curtis of Dennis' 7 Dees

Feel strength in the rockeries. Experience softness at the water pond. Appreciate integrity and courage in the resilience of plants. Integrate with nature as you sit under a pergola enjoying refinement and reflection in classic Chinese poetic inscriptions.Photo by John Curtis of Dennis' 7 Dees

A crowd favorite was the Edgeworthia which had just burst open and was showing it’s best face. This beauty is available at all four of our garden center locations.

Dennis’ 7 Dees garden center booth focused on inspiring a fun gardening atmosphere. We featured new gardening projects and trends. Miniature gardening is something we are really excited about right now.  The possibilities are endless and on a grey rainy day it’s a great excuse to play in the dirt. Visit our website for a complete listing of spring classes including a few on miniature gardens.

Bright pottery is a great way to add a pop of color to your patio.

This is the best time of year to get inspired by a new color palate, garden projects and design ideas or to just simply take a break from the grey February weather. There’s no better way to kick off spring than a weekend full of gardening inspiration! We are especially fond of Tangerine Tango, the Pantone color of the year, and soon you will see it popping up all over our garden centers.

Decorative pottery with bright pops of early spring bloomers could put anyone in the mood to get their garden started!

Our booth featured something for everyone, even the kids! Our famous playhouse took a vacation from our SE Powell garden center and gave the little ones a much-needed break from the show. Don’t worry, the playhouse has made its way back home for those of you who missed it over the weekend.

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