In retrospection during last year’s travels, I observed that fresh cut flowers were always big sellers at farmers’ markets and everywhere else I appeared.
It’s important to keep a path to the flower garden open. Regardless of how big or small, you can grow something beautiful on it. Start with planting the seed as the first step, even if you can’t imagine what it will produce.
HAVE YOU HEARD OF ANGELONIA?
It’s also known as summer snapdragon and angel flower. In the past, Angelonia has only been available as bedding plants started from cuttings. For the first time ever, Angelonia angustifolia can be grown from seeds. This wonderful fragrant landscape floral marvel loves sunny, warm locations. It stands up to heat, humidity, drought and other rough conditions beautifully! In my view, it is a perfect garden performer.
Angelonia’s lush and healthy green foliage branches well without pinching. In the border or in containers, you’ll love its vibrant colour mixture of purple, lavender, lavender-pink and white. Each plant tops out at 30 cm (12 inches) with a spread of similar proportion. Inquire at your favourite garden centre whether they carry annual Angelonia seeds and started bedding plants.
Two sources of Angelonia Serena mix seeds are Dominion Seed House and William Dam Seeds. You can reach Dominion at 1-800-784-3037 or www.dominion-seed-house.comand William Dam at 1-905-628-6641 or www.damseeds.com.
PLANT SOME CHERRY TREES
…this spring, if for no other reason than we can grow ’em in our Prairie climate. Numerous extremely hardy selections, released by the University of Saskatchewan, are now available at nurseries. Look for names such as Crimson Passion, Carmine Jewel, Cupid, Juliette, Romeo and Valentine. All are excellent for eating out of hand and make wonderful cherry juice. Cherries can be grown for profit, too. A dozen or more well-spaced cherry trees planted this spring can be turned into a seasonal money-making cottage industry just two or three years down the road.
Here’s one tip I can give you. Don’t wait for powdery mildew to appear on leaves. If left, it can spread to ripening fruit and infiltrate the entire crop like rapid transit. Catch it with baking soda spray made thus: Mix one tablespoon baking soda into a gallon (16 cups) of water, to which a few drops of insecticidal soap have been added. Repeat the spray treatment every four days and after each rainfall to prevent mildew. Do it early in the day so leaves are dry before nightfall.
As for your health, drink at least four ounces of homemade cherry juice twice daily (eight ounces minimum per day) diluted with a similar amount of water. The darker the cherries, the better. Later in the season, look for fresh black B. C. cherries at roadside stands and in stores. Not only is the drink delicious, but you may be able to say goodbye to many of your aches and pains. Numerous reports say that drinking cherry juice and eating cherries have been effective in reducing discomfort and helpful at controlling many forms and symptoms of arthritis, stiffness, gout and other joint issues. It’s good for the heart, too! This may come as a surprise, but tart cherries can also be helpful as a natural aid to sleep, due to significant levels of melatonin.
Always keep in mind though, that what works for you may not necessarily work as well for another. As we know, arthritis and its long-standing discomfort comes in various forms from a long list of causes. Other foods containing anti-inflammatory properties include apples, blueberries, broccoli, carrots, celery, ginger, parsley, pineapple and spinach.
SEEDS OF WISDOM
Life is not so much about waiting for the storms to pass or how to handle the abundance that flows after the rain. As a folklorist-gardener, it’s also about a lifelong of learning in partnership with nature, including moon cycles. I shall next touch briefly about the moon’s influence when dealing with weeds and other unwanted growth and brush.
Such vegetation is especially vulnerable, slower to recover and easier to destroy if hoeing, tilling, plowing and spraying are done during the fourth quarter, or dark of the moon. Upcoming best days for any of the above include April 17, 18, 19, 22 and 23. Next month, look to May 17 through 23 inclusive when performing the same tasks.
4,000 BABY NAMES…
…got me to thinking whether the moon has anything to say about birth. Throughout centuries, the sex of a child about to be born has always been of intense interest to parents. The following folklore may or may not be factual so shouldn’t be taken as gospel truth, but I tell you for what it’s worth.
There’s a long-held belief that children and animals born at the full moon are larger and stronger than those born in the wane of the moon. When a baby boy is born during the wane of the moon (decreasing in light) the next child will be a girl and vice versa. When a birth takes place on the growing or waxing moon, the next child will be of the same sex. Of course, when a baby decides to come, it comes, regardless of what quarter the moon is in.
Wean boy babies on the waxing (i. e. growing light of the moon) and wean girl babies on the waning or decreasing moon. The belief held here is that the boys will be sturdy and strong and the girls slim, yet of good physique. Getting married? Book your wedding day during a growing moon and the closer to a full moon, the better.
NAMES HAVE BEEN CHOSEN
Ladies and gentlemen: It gives me great pleasure on this auspicious occasion to announce the 31 winners in my Singing Gardener Draw promotion. I appreciate everyone who took time to enter. Those of you who faithfully read my Grainews columns are a wonderful group of dedicated gardeners.
Sincere appreciation is again extended to those who provided prizes. They are Eagle Creek Seed Potatoes, Corn Hill Nursery, Voloaca Nursery, T&T Seeds, McFayden Seeds, Early’s Farm & Garden Centre and The Garlic News. What a swell bunch you are!
Gift certificates and product vouchers have been mailed out to the winners, and they are:
Bluebell grape vines from Corn Hill Nursery go to Olga Spodarek, Fairview, Alta.; Sandra Tuplin, Beechy, Sask.; and Claudia Fradette, Radville, Sask.
T&T Seeds’ $25 gift certificates go to Mary Plitt, Edmonton, Alta.; Charlene Geletchuk, Erickson, Man.; and Helen Pylot, Meadow Lake, Sask.
McFayden Seeds’ $25 gift certificates go to Mary Anne Chute, Ethelbert, Man.; and Alice Sich, Quinton, Sask.
Early’s $25 gift certificates go to Henry Bernier, Fisher Branch, Man.; and Carole Chase, Roblin, Man.
A subscription to The Garlic News goes to Catherine Carlson, Victoria, B. C.
Grape vines from Voloaca Nursery go to Richard Powell, Tisdale, Sask.; Ann Conrad, Estevan, Sask.; Joyce Dopko, Humboldt, Sask.; Hazel Melnyk, Bonanza, Alta.; and Walter P. Hildebrand, Morden, Man.
Eagle Creek seed potatoes go to Jackie Fleming, Ponoka, Alta.; Myrtle Hutlet, Cypress River, Man.; Hilda Anderson, Yorkton, Sask.; Larissa MacDonald, Minnedosa, Man.; Stella Schlamp, Thornhild, Alta., Anne Kulbacki, Neepawa, Man.; Agnes Beuerlein, Sherwood Park, Alta.; Rose Kiel, Teulon, Man.; Ruth Lee from Troy, Ont.; Suzanne Gaudet, St. Louis, Sask.; John Leib, Regina, Sask.; Lisa Andersen, Big Beaver, Sask.; Sophia Machala, Weekes, Sask.; and Andy Balogh, Pritchard, B. C.
Finally, the winner of my Singing Gardener CD is Edith Jones of Ridgedale, Sask.
Ted Meseyton is the Singing Gardener and Grow-It Poet from Portage la Prairie, Man. He’s available for personal appearances at growers of the garden and keepers of the soil events. His e-mail address is: [email protected]