Gardener's Notebook - Fairy Gardens next meeting topic

The Yorkton and District Horticultural Society will be holding their next regular meeting on Wednesday, April 17 at 7:00 p.m. at SIGN on North Street in Yorkton. The topic will be “Fairy Gardens”. This is an interesting and creative gardening project for gardeners of all ages.  It is very challenging to create a planter where everything is on a small scale. Come and find out more about it! Get some ideas at this meeting, and if you have a little sprout that would like to try gardening, they would love to try this project later in the spring. Remember, you don’t have to be a member of the group to come to the meetings.  Everyone is welcome!

Did you bookmark the U of S site on your computer? If so, check out the information about Hort Week, which happens May 4 – 12. The information online tells us that there are “daily, evening and weekend workshops throughout… with more than fifty different events from basic classes to specialty classes, maker workshops to classes for certification, with plenty of free tours and free classes in between.” So go to gardening@usask.ca to find out more!

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A kind and generous friend gave me a box of gardening books, and among them were some great old issues of The Prairie Garden. This informative and interesting digest is still in publication, but the issue that I was recently looking at is from 1965! It is wonderful to browse through those articles, and amazing to see how much information is still suitable for today’s gardeners.

At this time of year when we are thinking about the gardening season ahead, one article in the 1965 issue caught my eye: it is called “Do’s and Don’ts in Homeground Landscaping” by Gunter A. Schoch, Landscape Assistant with the Metro Parks and Protection Division in Winnipeg.

You and I know a yard is never really finished when it comes to landscaping, and this article has some great ideas for us. Make a cup of tea and sit down with me for a few minutes, and I’ll tell you about some of the landscaping ideas. We all probably have one or two or more of these areas that could use some work. Here’s one:  the author suggests that large, blank walls should have plantings. The article has two pictures, one of a house with a bare wall, the other with a grouping of shrubs alongside. It makes a dramatic difference!

Another idea talks about planting large trees or shrubs in a small front lawn. Or rather, not doing so! We’ve chatted about this before, and if a front yard is say, 20 by 20 feet and we plant a tree that grows to thirty feet high, we just know it won’t end well. In a few years’ time problems will begin to happen.  Proportion is important.

Which leads to this suggestion: if shrubs are too high around a house, the house will look “dwarfed” and if the shrubs are too small, they won’t be seen. Once again, proportion.

Also, we shouldn’t have identical plantings on either side of our door, but they should be in balance with each other.

We’re also told that we can use shrubs not only to contour and beautify our yards, but they can also be used to disguise certain problem areas, like our “work” area of the yard where we keep the practical stuff we use all the time when we garden. Every yard has this kind of corner, but we can make it less unsightly and part of the scenery with clever planting.

Old gardening books are a delight; this one might be 54 years old, but it’s still brimming with inspirational ideas for gardeners!

Visit us at www.yorktonhort.ca and have a great week!

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