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Kristi Breese collaborated with the Crook County Garden Club on Saturday to offer consultation on summer planting projects

RAMONA MCCALLISTER - Kristi Breese, right, consults the members of the Crook County Garden Club on the various plants in her greenhouse and gives advice on planting. With Breese are Irene Davis, left, and Ileen Westling.

Mother's Day is approaching, and the week prior to the celebrated weekend, Kristi Breese of Hidden Falls Garden will once again open her greenhouses to the public.

It is an annual tradition, and last season, Breese moved her business to Powell Butte on Riggs Road and expanded her inventory significantly. She added two large greenhouses, bringing them to a total of five. Breese was previously located on Ochoco Highway east of Prineville, just past the Breese Ranch.

On Saturday, the Crook County Garden Club toured Breese's greenhouses and received a presentation on hanging basket planting and maintenance. Every year the Garden Club purchases flowering plants to install in selected public places like the Crook County Courthouse and Crook County Library.

"It (Hidden Falls) is a major garden supply in town and a major business, and they work in conjunction with our local people. There is a nice camaraderie among members of the club, and we do different events," commented Diana Gepner, member-at-large.

Generally the Crook County Garden Club meets every third Tuesday at the Crook County Library, but the locations are subject to change. During the summer, Club members often host a meeting at their home garden, and depending on the time of year, they schedule field trips to different places such as plant nurseries, Terrebonne Pumpkin Patch or a regional flower festival. Recently some members attended a fruit tree pruning presentation at Schilling's Garden Market on the old Bend to Redmond Highway.

"It's a really friendly bunch, and anybody is welcome," added Gepner. "Our focus is on gardening, but we are interested in a lot of things, like the Crooked River Wetlands, bees and birds."

She added that they support the wetlands when they can and go out there a couple of times per year to support projects. Some members also volunteer there on a regular basis. The Club focuses on beautification of the county, which includes projects like the rose garden at the Crook County Courthouse, including holiday decor, such as the wreath, garlands and mini-trees at the entry of the courthouse, and in the spring and summer, assuring that the planter boxes are overflowing with flowers;

In partnership, Breese and Hidden Falls Gardens, the Crook County Maintenance Department, and the Crook County Garden Club get the planter boxes ready each spring. The maintenance team mounts the boughs, garlands and wreaths at Christmas. During late fall, the Crook County Garden Club members gather together to construct the large wreath for the courthouse.

"We build the wreath together each year with fresh juniper boughs, and we pay for the garlands (that wrap around the posts at the courthouse steps)." The garlands are usually purchased locally through "The Posie Shoppe."

Breese consulted with the group on their annual planter boxes. The Crook County Garden Club is preparing for their annual flowers on the Crook County Courthouse steps. These planter boxes will be spilling over with colorful petunias when the weather begins to clear and the bright flowers begin to respond to the warm rays of the sun.

"She told us about the different plants she has available and how to combine them — and what flowers complement each other or how to plant them in a hanging basket," said Gepner.

She added that not all of the members of the club know about planting baskets and how to make them interesting. Gepner added that a big plus of the trip is getting a sneak peek of Breese's flowers, which are all in bloom.

"It's a privilege to get to go and check it all out just before she opens."

Breese demonstrated the different ways that plants come into her greenhouse, including the difference between seed varieties versus vegetative cuttings, which also determines the price break in different items. She discussed what each plant does and its best uses.

"They get a sneak peek at what I have, but they cannot purchase anything early. They will have the advantage of seeing what I have, so they already know if they want to come in on opening day — and where it is at," indicated Breese.

Breese has worked with the Crook County Garden Club for years to help with the courthouse flowers on the steps. She sells them the flowers they need and this year, she is working on an innovative adaptation for the rectangular planter boxes. In the past, they had to start from small plants but this year, the adapted pots will allow them to use more established plants.

"The idea is hopefully, it will be like instant beauty, and they won't have to wait as long for them to get big."

Breese has donated roses around the courthouse, and the garden club maintains them and cuts them back with their expertise.

Upon driving up to the property where Breese has recently relocated her business, a panoramic view of the Cascade Mountains greets customers. Breese begins her season in January, when she takes online customer orders. As of now, online orders are no longer available. Her hours as of April 30 are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be more than 2,000 baskets, as well as vegetables starts. Breese has a wide variety of animal sculptures with her inventory, which are incorporated into pots and plant holders.

"The third weekend in June is when I closed, and we were sold out," she noted of the previous season in 2021. "We did a lot of growth from the year before at the new location and still was able to sell out, so we will see how it goes this year."

For more information about the Crook County Garden Club, contact Diana Gepner at 541-550-8308.

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Hidden Falls Garden

Owner: Kristi Breese

Address: 9902 SW Riggs Rd., Powell Butte, OR 97753

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Wednesday through Sunday

Opening day: April 30

Phone: 541-480-5806


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