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Beat the winter blahs by planning your spring garden

By Liz Chapple, Special to The News

It’s been worse than usual this year because of the extreme cold, ice and snow. It will be a while before we can get our hands dirty again so here are some ideas to ease the symptoms.

Spend some time looking at photos of your gardens and decide if there is anything you’d like to move, get ridof, divide or add. Sometimes looking at a picture gives a better perspective than being there. Note especially if you need more variety in height and colour.

If you plan to divide large clumps, make a note to pot some up for the plant sale on May 17 at Battlefield Park.

Garden catalogues are starting to arrive and one of the joys of a cold winter day is looking through these to see what’s new. The first catalogue I received had an interesting article about

sprouting in your kitchen. Most of us have used, or at least eaten, the pale green mung sprout.

Did you know that you can grow lentil, cabbage, broccoli, pea, beet and many more types of sprouts in your kitchen? They’re nutritious, easy to grow and delicious.

When my garden magazines arrive, I set aside some time by the fireplace with a cup of tea and lose myself in the articles and photos. I especially like articles that highlight new or unusual perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs. Keep a notebook handy to jot down ideas and names of plants. Last year my must have plant was a rising sun redbud that I spent a good part of the summer chasing. I planted one in the fall and now worry that it won’t survive this brutal winter. If you would like to take some fabulous garden tours without leaving the house, look no further than your computer. If you google “virtual garden tours” or search YouTube for “garden tours,” you will find many beautiful properties. I particularly like taking tours of the home gardens to get ideas but there are no limits to the beautiful gardens all over the world you can visit.

Just be warned that time flies when you do this.

Finally, I really look forward to my garden club meetings. It’s nice to be in the company of others who enjoy gardening to talk about successes, failures and plants that we’ve loved and hated.

Most meetings feature speakers who make presentations on various topics of interest to gardeners.

The next meeting of the Stoney Creek Garden Club will be on Feb. 10. Kathy Boyko will be the speaker and her topic is behaviour management for the garden. It’s a humourous look at the revival of her own garden and also a glimpse of spring in the dead of winter. There will be used garden magazines and books for sale and of course coffee and homemade treats. Come at 7 p.m. to enjoy the social time. Kathy will speak at 7:30.

Meetings are held at the Stoney Creek Legion, 12 King St. E., next to Tim Hortons. Lots of free parking is available behind the legion. Membership is $15 a year ($20 for families). Guest fee is $2. Hope to see you there.

For more information about the Stoney Creek club, contact us at stoneycreek@gardenontario.com.

 

Liz Chapple is president of the Stoney Creek Garden Club and Horticultural Society

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