Summer has finally arrived. Take time to sit back and enjoy your garden.
Gardens are always evolving and will rarely look perfect to the people who have create them as there is always something more that can be done. Others will rarely see the perceived imperfections. This being said, share your creation with family, friends and neighbours.
For those that are looking for inspiration of other yards join local garden tours.
The Lacombe and District Garden club runs three, three-hour tours on July 29th. Contact Hanna Seeds in Lacombe to secure a seat. Do not leave it too late as these tours sell out.
Red Deer County’s garden tour sold out in a day and a half.
They have downsized their tour to two buses, which means a better tour, fewer problems logistically but fewer people can attend. They have started a waiting list but do not expect people to cancel.
People are not allowed to follow in their vehicles.
Red Deer and District Garden Club, as well as the Innisfail Garden Club, have in-house tours for members. All clubs are delighted to get new members.
Parkland Nurseries are hosting a tour on Aug. 6. They spend a considerable amount of time choosing the best gardens in the area. Give the store a call for more information.
As one knows there is always more that can be done in the garden, how much can be accomplished depends on other commitments, time and energy. Strike a balance as yards are to be enjoyed.
The bees and other insects are very good at pollinating the apple trees; in fact, they are too good.
To produce larger fruit remove a number of the small apples now. Growers suggest that only one apple be left per hand width. Leave the apples that will receive the most sunlight while removing any fruit that is damaged or in complete shade.
Edge all flowerbeds that do not have permanent edging in place.
Cutting back the sod will discourage other plants such as grass and clover from invading the edge on the beds.
As a couple if inches is removed each time the bed is edged, it is also a great way to slowly increase the size of the beds.
Deadhead perennials and some annuals. Deadheading or the removal spent blooms improves the appearance of the garden as well as encourages flowers to continue blooming.
Once seeds have been produced seed the plants cycle is complete and flowering will be finished. Removing spent blooms also insures that there are fewer seedlings to remove next spring.
There are still plants: annuals, perennials along with trees and shrubs for sale.
Look very carefully before making any purchase.
Annuals will still thrive in the garden if they are in a transplanted out of a large pot.
Plants that are in a small pot will have a crowded root system that will not spread outwards into the soil.
Even if the roots are broken apart it will be some time before the plants become acclimatized and start to grow.
Perennials, trees and shrubs that are in a container can be planted anytime in the season.
For the best results, choose a cool time or a rainy day.
These plants will require extra water during hot periods until they become established.
When choosing plants, look for ones that are healthy with lots of new growth; avoid plants that look like they have wilted.
Enjoy the food from the vegetable garden. Nothing will taste fresher.
For those of you that don’t have time or room for a vegetable garden, visit the local Farmer’s Market or Market Garden. The produce is fresh, tasty and nutritious.
Always take time to sit and enjoy the garden.
Linda Tomlinson is a horticulturalist and educator living in Rocky Mountain House. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.