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Pine Ridge Garden Club News

HELEN NICOLAOU, Special to the Standard

Last week's temperatures in the mid 20's just happened to be what we all needed, as an early treat to the laid-back summer days ahead. Spring days quickly fill the air with birds' cheerful songs, and in the evenings, the nights are also filled with song, as the earliest of tree frogs awake from hibernation from under layers of leaves with flute-like trills and peeps. Hearing the spring landscape filled with life and activity is a pleasure.

On Tuesday, April 4th, the Pine Ridge Garden Club meeting was well attended, at the Nestleton Hall. Katherine Mathewson, from the Durham Master Gardeners, spoke on "Soil – It Begins Here. All science aside, the members were pleasantly surprised to learn how uncomplicated the answer was to achieving and growing healthy plants in their gardens.

With such a variety of soil, throughout the Durham Region, it didn't matter whether you had sandy soil which depleted plants of water, or clay soil which was too compacted to allow roots to reach deep for nutrients. The answer was all the same. Compost, compost, compost was the "secret key ingredient" to achieve the black, fertile soil which would allow for proper water absorption and loose, airy soil.

Healthy plants attract beneficial insects and also deter destructive pests by 75 percent.

On Tuesday, May 2nd, at 7:30 p.m., Joanne Shaw, from Down2Earth Landscape, will speak on "Designing A Low Maintenance Garden." Joanne provides landscape services for people with busy lives, transforming outdoor spaces and gardens into stunning landscapes. She will take us through the steps to plan our own gardens.

Also, at the May 2nd meeting, the "Spring Flower Show" will be the first for this gardening season. Members, take a walk through your garden and look for the blooms at their peak, in colour, size and perfection. A week ago's early warm weather may have forced your spring bulbs into blooming sooner than normal. Your yearbook will give you the information and requirements for how to condition, groom and display your entry.

Assistance will be available to help with your entry tags. All entries must be labelled and placed between 6 p.m. and 6:45 p.m., at the latest. We encourage all members to participate, as it makes for an amazing display for the show and a great learning experience. There will be refreshments and door prizes. Be earth-friendly and Lug-A-Mug. Guests are always welcome.

Coming up in three weeks, on May 20th, is the Plant, Bake and Yard Sale. Members, it is time to get into your garden and assess what can be divided. Do your warm-up stretches, find your gloves and shine your tools; we need your plant donations of tomatoes, flowers and herbs, grown from seed, perennials, shrubs and houseplants. All are greatly needed and appreciated.

Come out on Saturday, May 20th, to the Pine Ridge Garden Club Annual Plant, Bake and Yard Sale Fundraiser, at the Nestleton Hall, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. There will be a great selection of plants, yummy homemade baked goods and deals on yard sale items. Enter the door prizes and come early for the best selection.

Where Gardeners Come To Bloom.

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