Therapy in Nature
Take the time today to pause for a few minutes to acknowledge June 21st as the longest day of the year. This is also the official start of the summer season. So, take a moment to celebrate nature. I encourage you to have lunch outside or walk in the park. Maybe go for a bike ride this evening. Open yourself to the benefits of nature, today, and every day this summer!Read more
THE JUNE THERAPEUTIC GARDENS GREENLETTER
Older perennials that are coming back into fashion are Cottage Pinks (Dianthus sp.). You may remember them from your grandmothers garden or seeing them in older estate gardens. They are smaller growing masses of clove scented flowers. Their name may be misleading because they are not just pink in color. They can be found in colors of burgundy to red to white. Look for ones like ‘Scent First’ that have long blooming red flowers. “Chomley Farran’ has double striped red and lavender flowers.
Speaking of plants that you have seen in gardens, I remember working with my grandfather in his garden, helping him tend to his garden. He spent hours dusting, cultivating and pruning. These are fond memories. I do not seem to have the time to do that today. However, the nostalgia of growing roses is strong. That is why shrub roses help bridge the gap between pleasant memories and time. The Knock Out series of roses offers a host of possibilities. I am a fan of the simple red “Rosa Radrazz’, yet there are many more from which to choose. The benefit of these plants is that they are repeat bloomers, drought tolerant and pest and disease resistant. You can visit the Knock Out Rose web site at http://www.conard-pyle.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/koplants.plantDetail/plant_id/591/index.htm
Building raised planters can help make gardening easier. Elevating the planting bed is a great way to control the soil for your vegetables, herbs and other plants. It also makes it easier to reach the plants and creates a kneeling edge. Creating the planter boxes is essential, especially when the existing soil conditions are less than perfect or prohibitive. Having built several raised beds this spring, I will attest to the fact that with a small amount of sweat equity, this is a good way to get a garden started. A simple formula is to purchase three 1″ x 8″ x 8′ long regular lumber (not pressure treated). Cut one board into two 4′ sections. Use 2′ long 4″ x 4″ posts for the inside corners and attach the sections with deck screws. Dig holes for the corner posts and install the planter. You can add a layer of cardboard on the bottom to deter weeds. Be sure to level the frame and then fill with bags of soil. Mix in some aged manure and/or compost and you are ready to begin planting.
PLANT SHOPPING TIPS
How can you tell if you are purchasing the right plant? First, take a look at the roots. Ease the plant out of the container. The roots should fill the pot so they hold the soil together. However, if the roots completely fill the pot, this means that the plant is root bound and is not a good choice. If you do get a plant that is root bound, ease the roots apart and plant it right away. Look at the overall health of the plant. Are some of the leaves yellowing or wilting, signs that the plant has dried out or not received the best of care. The soil should be moist in the container. There should not be any pests on the plant or weeds in the container. Also, look for new growth on the plant which can be either foliage and/or flowers.
Going away on vacation and concerned that all of your hard work may go to waste while you are resting? Think about hiring a garden sitter to tend to the watering and minor garden chores, such as picking the vegetables. Be sure to walk the property with the sitter. Show them where to set up the sprinklers and what needs to be hand watered. Create a list and even sketch out a map of the areas to be covered. Ask friends for recommendations or possibly contact a garden center.
The Farmer’s Almanac offers great advice for gardening, such as the times to plant and harvest. The first 14 days of the month of June are good for digging holes and June 24, 25, 28 and 29 are best for harvesting. The Almanac has advice for other important days as well. The best days for entertaining are June 3 to 6, 9 to 11, 23, 26, 27 and 30. The best days to write are June, 1, 2, 28 and 29. (Please write to me the beginning of June. The end of the month will be too long to wait!)
“A weed is a plant that is not only in the wrong place, but intends to stay.” – Sara Stein
Happy gardening!Read more