Gardens — published on April 20, 2008
- New gardener? Take the time to really look at your property and make a plan that pleases you. Don’t expect to achieve your goals in one year.
- Put in hardscape first: walks, driveway, patio, then trees and shrubs and lastly flowers.
- Prepare planting beds well. This is your one chance to get it right. Remove all grass and weeds, dig the beds and amend the soil with composted manure or other nutrients, rake the surface smooth and level, and water well.
- Site your plants to their best advantage. Sun-lovers will probably survive in shade, but will not bloom very well if at all.
- Trees, shrubs, hostas and ferns make a pleasing display that requires little maintenance.
- Buy a good gardening reference, or borrow one from the library; then read it, many times. You don’t have to follow the advice to the letter, but you will learn a lot and save yourself from making too many costly mistakes.
- Don’t discard seeds. Some are viable for many years if kept in a dry glass jar and stored in a cool place such as the refrigerator. Portulaca seeds are known to be viable for 45 years!
- Know your limitations. If a plant requires ” rich, moist, well-drained soil in half-shade in a sheltered location”, you might want to give it a miss unless you’re very keen.
- Plant native seeds, available from several sources. Use drought-tolerant types such as Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Monarda, Calendula, Aquilegia[ columbine]., Portulaca, Artemedsia, Sedum and so on.
- Don’t “sprinkle” planting beds. It is more beneficial to give the site 1 inch of water per week, delivered at ground level, to encoiurage deep-rooting.
Gardens — published on April 4, 2008
Joining A Garden Club
One of the easiest ways to get more from gardening is to join with others who share the same passion. And for that there are garden clubs — probably one near you.
For those of us with the gardening bug, talking with other gardeners is one of the ways to build your knowledge of gardening and be among like minded enthusiasts. But there are other possibilities as well, network among friends, neighbours and family for gardening interests.
Gardening can bring endless hours of enjoyment to your life. Garden clubs are made expressly for this purpose. When you join a garden club, either locally or through the internet, you can meet up with people who share your interest and exchange valuable information.
Tips abound for the gardener, even from the wise old fellow at the corner hardware store or the experts at the garden center.
Much of the information gained can be useful for avoiding mistakes the has befallen others. Most of club members are experienced gardeners who have already gone through the learning curve and are willing to let you in on their trade secrets of growing big, healthy plants. They know through trial and error which plants grow best in what soil, and what is the best way to make homemade compost.
Take time to explore the benefits and advantages of being in a gardening club. You many find just the right people to talk with. You can get tips and advice for gardening and gardening projects. You get to review the latest in gardening accessories and tools. Find out the best gardening books to read and DVDs and videos to watch.