Saturday August 23, 2014

Bulb sale planned


Gardeners, I’d like to remind you about the next regular meeting of the Yorkton and District Horticultural Society which will be on Thursday, May 15 at 7:00 p.m. at SIGN on North Street. Our special guest speakers will be Joyce and Ed Smith, telling us about “straw bale gardening”. Joyce and Ed are great gardeners and exuberant people, and I’m sure their presentation will be informative and interesting!

And circle your calendar for Friday, May 23, the date of the Spring Plant and Bulb Sale at the Parkland Mall, Yorkton.  This one-day sale begins at 9:30 a.m., and goes till 5 p.m. unless we run out of plants before that! The plants come from the gardens of Society members, so you know the plants are hardy and ready to make a new home in your garden! If you are looking for a specific plant, I would advise that you be there right at 9:30 for best selection.

A lovely gardening friend was telling me about the dragon wing begonias that she bought for her yard. She has a stunning yard that is a cool, shaded oasis of beautiful dappled plants and elegant plantings, and I’m sure the begonias will be a wonderful addition to her planters this year.

Begonias are plants that I gaze at from afar in admiration in other people’s yards, but am not totally confident to grow myself. It seems to me that they are so delicate, and one bout of over-watering can leave me with a slimy mess in the planter and a dying begonia. But as gardeners we are always trying to stretch ourselves and try new things, so I thought I would do a little homework about the dragon wing begonia, and maybe take the plunge this year and try one myself.

The various information that I read tells me that dragon wing begonias like to grow in shade to partial shade.  They tolerate heat, and will fill in a planter with lush plants that have glossy leaves and clusters of red or pink blooms. The leaves are a beautiful elongated oval, pointed at one end.  We should plant them in a location that drains well, or in a planter with good drainage.

I also read that the dragon wing begonia is “self-cleaning”; meaning that as new blooms are coming along, the old ones will fall off. No dead-heading, I like that!

To make them even more vigorous, we can feed them every two weeks; I read that when the leaves change color to a reddish or bronze color, the plant is telling us that it needs more food!

It sounds like this pretty plant will perform from spring until the first frost, so perhaps it is time for me to step out of my comfort zone and give it a try!

As I sip my tea and chat with you, the temperatures are still very cool at night. We will have to be very careful with our exciting new begonias, because they are very tender!

I’d like to thank Dolores and the lovely ladies at St. Andrew’s United Church in Yorkton for inviting me for tea last week, it was great to chat with all of you and hear your gardening stories!  As my Great-Grammie always said, you never stop learning, and all of us shared some interesting gardening tips and inspiration!

Our gardens are changing daily now. Go out every day and revel in the beauty of our awakening gardens: we’ve waited a long time to be able to enjoy them! And pick a special plant in memory of someone dear to add to your garden collection. I think we will add a hosta for our sweet little Toby!

Have a good week, gardeners!



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