I think we have all had enough cold, haven’t we! The only thing that gives us hope that the winter has taken a turn is that the days are getting longer, most notably in the late afternoon!
To get you in the “spring” frame of mind, make plans to attend the Yorkton and District Horticultural Society’s first meeting of 2014 on Thursday, February 20 in the Sunshine Room at SIGN on North Street. Our guest speaker will be Frank Woloschuk, a wonderful gardener who will be telling us all we need to know about succulents. These beautiful plants come in various sizes, shapes, and colors, and would bring a very interesting note to our plant collections! I know nothing about how to grow them, so I’m very interested to hear Frank’s presentation! As gardeners, there is always so much to learn! Frank works at Skinner Garden Classics, and he is also going to tell us about what’s new this spring! That will make us forget about the cold for sure! So mark that date down, February 20, and we hope you will join us!
On one very cold day when the wind chill approached -40, I was rummaging through my garden books and found an old favorite, “Favorite Annuals” by Marjorie Harris. Next to my sweet Mom, my sweet hubby, and the wonderful gardeners I know through the horticultural society, Marjorie is my next favorite gardener, and I like to read anything she publishes. In spite of being one of Canada’s best-known gardeners, I think if she walked into our gardens, she would get in there with us and start working! As I read through the book, Marjorie makes some great points that I would like to share with you. “The usefulness of annuals is enormous, even in the most established gardens. They give immediate color, whereas it often takes perennials a few years to really shine. They can be used between perennials to fill in while they are becoming mature, to cover up spaces left when bulb foliage starts to rot, or next to new shrubs. And they are the ultimate container plants.” She goes on to say “With annuals you can afford to have drifts of color and combinations of shape and size. There is one rule with annuals never to be broken—never, ever plant them in soldier-like rows.”
As to where to plant certain plants, here is Marjorie’s technique. “I always place the potted plants around the garden so I get a feel for how they will disport themselves. This is a lot of fun, and you develop a real knack after a few years of being able to visualize just how big they’ll get and how much space they will take up. I tend to put annuals closer together than is recommended because I like to get a really good display from them as quickly as possible….Start by following the rules, then break them.” The book made me wish that I could see the bright, cheery flats of annuals waiting to be planted; it also made me use my imagination to mentally dissolve the snowdrifts in our garden, and picture how we could plant things up this spring! I know that hearing Frank tell us about the new spring arrivals will really have us enthused for spring planting!
I would also like to remind you about the Prairie Sun Seed Festival which will be held on February 22 from 12:30 - 4 PM at Dr. Brass School. The festival helps promote locally grown food and exciting new garden products and practices. So mark that date down, Saturday, February 22. For more information, call Warren Crossman at (306) 782-3249.
Happy Valentine’s Day, gardeners! And to my precious Sweet Pea, who I love forever and miss every day, happy birthday, Mom!
Have a great week, gardeners!