Multnomah Speaker Series
Tuesday, October 10, 7pm • Tabor Space, 5441 SE Belmont St. Portland

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Color and Contrast in the Autumn Garden

As the Autumn Equinox passes; the heat and parched landscapes of summer make way for fall rain; and the glory of autumn color comes in the well-planned garden.  Join us as Norm Jacobs, co-owner of Arbutus Garden Arts highlights the potential for a glorious fall landscape.  Find inspiration as Norm shares his beautiful images of Japanese maples, dwarf conifers, Enkianthus, cornus, Hamamelis, and more plants that shine as the days grow shorter.       

Norm Jacobs began gardening at the tender age of 6 under his grandmother’s tutelage – trimming boxwood, pruning roses and tending the vegetable garden.  Through his young adult years he landscaped his family’s “tract” house, was involved with public “pension” gardens and served at Alice Waters’ first edible classroom.  Math and physics major Norm met botany grad Deb and they eventually built their business Arbutus Garden Arts on 20 acres of bare land in Yamhill.  In 2015 they relocated to Portland.  Woodland gardens are their focus, as they’ve found the assembly of over-story, mid-story, and understory benefits both the plants and the gardeners with reduced stress and labor. As a nursery, they specialize in Japanese maples, dwarf conifers, Epimedium, and are flirting with woodland (species) peonies, all of which are propagated and grown right from their nursery.

Our Community Demonstration Garden

It’s getting easier to visualize our future garden in the Annex, as yellow and pink flags now mark where the paths and buildings will be, and piles of debris have been cleared away. A new shed has been constructed and now only the painting remains. If you haven’t seen the Annex area lately, you might want to stop by and check it out, it’s very exciting!

Autumn harvests continue, along with removal of spent plants in some of the beds. Monida oats have been sown in a few beds as part of the next step in a fight against Symphylans, the tiny “garden centipedes” that feast on root hairs and destroy crops. Winter squash has greatly boosted our harvest totals, and we are nearing the harvest of our parsnips, which take over 100 days to mature.

Thanks to so many helping hands we have had a very successful harvest season to the benefit of Kelly School, Meals on Wheels and the continuing hands-in-the-soil education of each and every volunteer.

There is still much to do in the garden as we bring in the final harvests and prepare the beds for winter.  Join us as we share and learn in the garden. Monday and Thursdays, 9am to 12noon, 6801 SE 60th Avenue, Portland.  Questions?  Email:


Coming Up Next Month in our Speaker Series...
Heavy Metals in Garden Soils

The words “heavy metals”, as they relate to health, always cause a lot of anxiety, especially for parents with young children. Should we be concerned? What is a heavy metal? Is it possible there could be some benefits from ingesting some types of heavy metals? These are questions to which many people seek answers. Please join us as Sam Angima, Oregon State University, presents “Heavy Metals in Garden Soil”. Come and learn about arsenic, cadmium, iron, lead, chromium, copper, zinc, nickel, and mercury as they relate to your gardening and health expectations.  Tuesday, November 14, 7PM

Grapevine Editor—Lorna Schilling 503-334-5162,