HELEN NICOLAEU, Pine Ridge Garden Club
SCUGOG: June is the month of Summer Solstice, marking a day of celebration for gardeners giving them the longest and brightest day of the year to enjoy their hobby to the fullest.
Like a breath of fresh air, the much-needed rain came earlier this month to revive perennial gardens. A full day of gentle rain brought cool weather that would extend the stunning blooms of iris, peonies and flowering weigela.
Tuesday, June 6th, Leif Peterson, photographer and world traveller, gave amazing tips on taking detailed photos. Leif suggests not to rush snapping just one landscape picture, but by taking the same view throughout the course of the day or changing the angle, mood and interest were created. Thank you, Leif, for your helpful tips and for sharing your inspiring collection with us.
It was wonderful to see our members' enthusiasm at The Iris Show. With record entries of iris and hosta, a second category was required for both classes. Congratulations to Helen Nicolaou for receiving Best in Show Horticultural Division for her Merlot German Tall Bearded Iris and to Norma Haney for receiving Best In Show in Design Division for her Summer Symphony Foilage Design.
Tuesday, July 4th, 7:30 p.m. James Kamstra will speak on "Birds and their Favourite Landscapes." The Flower and Vegetable Show entries will be on display after the judging has been completed. Just a reminder that entries must be placed between 6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Please check for a proper number of specimens per class and also display with own foliage where required. Any member who has never won a prize in the Design Division can enter the Novice category. Give it a try and have fun with it. Enjoy an evening out, door prizes, snacks and refreshments. Guests are always welcome.
The rain did not deter fellow gardeners from coming and making our May 20th Plant, Yard and Bake Sale Fundraiser a success. Thank you for your support. Congratulations to the winners of the draw Andrea Peck, Avi Wright, Audley Day and Betty Smith.
With every garden season comes another challenge, whether it's a flash frost, heavy damaging rains, or drought. This June, I have been finding that pest damage has me on my third planting of beans and cringing at finding newly transplanted seedlings completely stripped of leaves with only a stem left of what was spinach, bok choy, dill or parsley. I know one thing for sure I have very healthy pests in my garden. I have used neem spray with some success, but next, I will be using diatomaceous earth, another age-old natural remedy.
D.E. is most effective when sprinkled on the soil around the base of plants. But it can also be applied to plants as a spray at a rate of four tablespoons mixed with one gallon of water. Care must be taken to avoid applying to flowers where pollinators may land. Early applications of D. E. used in spring will kill off emerging larvae. As well as a long list of pests that diatomaceous earth will treat, other uses include deterring vermin, moles, wasp swarms, and fleas, deodorant for compost piles and for crafting by preserving your favourite blooming flowers during the short spring/summer season. Check safety instructions and always use a mask to protect your lungs when handling and mixing D.E.
Signs of milkweed ready to bloom remind me the monarchs should be arriving. I am looking forward to their return and observing the monarch caterpillars in my garden complete the short cycle and head south again. Although summer has just begun, in a blink, this migration will all too quickly mark the end of another gardening season.
Pine Ridge Garden Club,
Where Gardeners Come to Bloom