Sit down and make a cup of tea, fellow gardener, and let’s continue our conversation from the last time we were together. We were chatting about an article in Better Homes and Gardens about the top gardening trends for 2013, and they included fragrant flowers, variegated foliage, bulbs, mixed bouquets, and mini-homesteads. But there were many more ideas, so let’s talk about them now.
One trend was community gardens. These are not a new idea; they have been around for decades in larger centres, but perhaps they are now starting to become popular in smaller cities and towns as well. They are seen not only as a way to use unused space for a practical purpose, but also as a way to introduce mentoring role models and build relationships within the community. Working together for a common purpose helps to strengthen a community and make it better.
Heirloom seed saving was another trend listed; I know many of you save seeds already, and have done so for many years. I still remember the large shopping bag my sweet Mom had stored in the cool closet in the spare room: the bag was full of carefully labelled envelopes containing seeds that performed extra well in her garden. The concept of saving special seed for the future is now becoming more appreciated by more gardeners.
“Old Fashioned Flowers” was another trend. Once again, returning to the old favorites! I know that as gardeners we are always looking for the “next new thing”, and why not? That is what gardening is all about, expanding our knowledge and experience. But it doesn’t mean we have to forget about the old favorites that we always planted and enjoyed, like four o’clocks, bachelor buttons, or hollyhocks; the old favorites that performed so well in our gardens, adding beauty and fragrance year after year. There is always a way to combine the two, the old and the new!
Another trend listed was “sharing our gardens”, and the article meant sharing with nature. It talked about how a garden should be a landscape that is friendly for birds, bees and butterflies. If we did a little research, we would find many plants that are suitable for hummingbirds; seed-bearing plants that attract other birds; bright blossoms that the bees would enjoy; and plants that would attract butterflies. We all know how important it is to maintain a balance with nature for the overall health of the earth. A perfectly manicured yard might be nice to look at for a minute or two, but it might not as welcoming to nature as a garden that has some carefully chosen plants, tumbling in bloom, that will attract the sweetly singing birds or the soft buzz of bees. Again, there is room in our yards for the manicured look, and for plants that are nature-friendly.
The first meeting of 2013 for the Yorkton and District Horticultural Society will be on Thursday, February 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the Sunshine Room at SIGN. Our guest will be Warren Crossman speaking about food security. Everyone is welcome; but please note the new day, Thursday, February 21.
And don’t forget the 3rd Annual Prairie Sun Seed Festival on Saturday, February 23 at Yorkdale Central School. There will be exhibits and presentations on locally grown food, food security, gardening, food preservation, and much more!
The love of gardening is a gift that keeps going and growing all our lives. Thank you, Mom, for giving me that gift. Happy Birthday, my dear Sweet Pea!