Gardeners, circle Wednesday, September 19 on your calendar and make plans to attend the first regular meeting of the new year for the Yorkton and District Horticultural Society. Our special guest will be Warren Crossman speaking about “Heirloom Seeds and Growing Old Varieties of Vegetables”. There are a multitude of reasons for saving seeds that go beyond saving them because we like them; Warren will tell us about this very important aspect of gardening, and preserving seeds for the future. My darling Sweet Pea had a large shopping bag full of carefully labelled seeds; I know some were given to her, and some she saved herself. The names are long forgotten, but the concept is one that every gardeners shares. So remember, that’s Wednesday, September 19 at 7:00 p.m. in the Sunshine Room at SIGN on North Street.
Then later in the week, be sure that you also circle Friday, September 21 on your calendar: that’s the day of the Fall Plant and Bulb Sale, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Parkland Mall.
I say it every year: come early for best selection! There are always savvy shoppers who are there first thing, and if you are looking for a certain plant, it’s best to be early! Remember, too, that if we run out of plants before 5 p.m., the sale is over! That’s Friday, September 21.
Looking through my file of interesting gardening clippings, I found one from February 21, 2012. It was an Associated Press article that talked about a burrow over 30,000 years old, found in the Siberian permafrost. The burrow contained fruit and seeds. A team of Russian scientists took some of the fruit tissues and regenerated an entire plant.
The plant is the silene Stenophylla, and it is producing white flowers and viable seeds. This 30,000 year old version looks very similar to the plant as we know it today, and that plant still grows in the same area of Siberia. Isn’t that something!
Have you started your garden clean up yet? We cleared off quite a bit of our garden, and this year we trimmed down some of our perennials. I have mixed feelings about that, because while it makes for a nice neat garden in the spring, I also feel it is important to leave some foliage and seed heads in the garden over winter to catch the snow and provide a few seeds for the birds.
But in light of the many blotchy leaves on many plants this year, we thought that it might be a good idea to clear off some of the garden, at least. We did so carefully, because this year we had a bevy of beautiful hummingbirds and we tried not to disturb the plants that they were visiting.
The other night, we were settling ourselves outside to sit by the fire with some very dear friends. As dusk was falling, I did a little tour of the garden, and it struck me that some plants have their own personalities. We have a comfrey plant that was sprawled majestically in its spot; we trimmed it back earlier in the summer and it regrew and sprawled again. Looking at it, I always think that it is very uninhibited, doing its own dance in the garden and not concerned at all if it crowds out someone else. Meanwhile, along the back of the fence, is the very prim and proper monkshood who never lets its hair down: it keeps its trim and tidy shape, not a leaf out of place, and is only just now shyly letting a few blossoms peek out. The sweet peas are the gangly teenagers of the garden, kind of hanging out on their own, doing their own thing.
I guess after a whole summer of all of us co-existing side by side, the plants feel like friends!
Have a great week!