Saturday August 23, 2014

Try something new


Gardeners, the next meeting of the Yorkton and District Horticultural Society is on Thursday, March 20 at 7:00 p.m. at the Sunshine Room, SIGN on North Street. Our special guest will be Maira Waechli from Florissima, and Maira will be talking to us about flowers that are suited for drying, and how to use them in arrangements. Maira is a very talented floral designer, and a delightful speaker, full of enthusiasm and information, so I know we will have a great meeting! Hope you can join us! Remember, you don’t have to be a member of the club to attend the meetings — if you are interested in plants or gardening, you are very welcome!

When I was looking at one of our seed catalogues, I noticed the lovely selection of calla lilies available. I know that once when you and I were having tea, I was crying on your shoulder about how our callas were a dismal disappointment, and I didn’t want to give them another try.  But gardeners never say never, and last year we did try callas again. They weren’t spectacular, but they weren’t bad, and we were even able to pick a few elegant blooms to use for flower arrangements. So now I am 60/40 about trying them again this year. Maybe even 70/30! One of our dear gardening friends (who has an amazing selection of beautiful plants in his garden that would put the pictures in the gardening catalogues to shame!) had callas that were simply stunning, and when I see that I think, “Oh, maybe we should try them again!”  So now, looking at the seed catalogues, maybe we will! Last year we had the darker purple calla, but I think I would like to try a brighter, hotter color this year for more zing!

I did a little homework, and from what I can see, callas are good choices for planters; good news for gardeners with limited space or gardeners who plant their “gardens” in containers.  Callas like well-drained soil, so we have to be sure that our container has drainage holes. Plant the tubers with the “eyes” facing upwards, and then water them to settle the soil around the tubers.  It will take a few weeks before the shoots appear.  They can’t be in the cold, so we have to wait until later in the spring the weather is warmer. (Unless you are a lucky person with generous window space, you might be able to get a head start indoors!) Callas like full sun, or even dappled sun.  I read that picking the blooms will not affect the plant at all. And if you are so inclined, you can save the tubers in the fall: the procedure seems to be standard as with any other tuber. Wait until the leaves die back, then dig up the tuber, let it dry for a few days, and store it in peat moss or a paper bag in a cool, dry spot.

I also read that we can mix callas with other plants in our containers, as long as they all have similar moisture and light requirements. I know that we have talked about the beautiful planters that the City had last year, and the rich abundance of plants in each one that made them so attractive and interesting. Positive reinforcement that we should be fearless in our planting and try mixing all kinds of plants!

Gee, don’t you wish we could start working on our planters right now? As I sip a cup of tea and look at the seed catalogues, I always remember how my sweet Mom would enjoy that very activity!  I’ll never forget the look of pure enjoyment on her face as she perused her many catalogues and gardening magazines! How I’d love to sit and chat with her about this year’s selections! But she gave me a wonderful gift by instilling in me that same love of plants, so I feel that we are still enjoying this special gift together.  Thank you, Mom.

Have a great week, gardeners — browse through your gardening magazines and dream!



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