Sun still comes up and flowers bloom

COVID-19 can’t take away great natural pleasures in life

Dark times, but COVID-19 forgot to tell the flowers! The sun comes up, the birds sing, trees dance in the wind, waves break on beaches and flowers bloom.

There is always a silver lining and we are so fortunate to have that lining at our back door. The curve is flattening and there will be a new time, a new normal and to quote our public health doctor, “it is not forever, it is for now”. Patience is required and we can do that. Enjoy the moments. Look forward to the time when our conversations will start with…”remember when……”.

Communities in Bloom will be planting and weeding but marching to the tune of a different band. We are not sure what the tune will be but the annuals are ordered and it will get done. Our flower of the year is the Blue salvia.

Don’t forget to celebrate Mother’s Day, connect by phone, Facebook, Zoom, through a window or an end of the driveway wave, turn that big smile into a virtual hug.

And to our friends in Nova Scotia, know that we care. Know that we feel your pain.

Do It Now Tips

• Divide primroses

• All general plantings take place this month: flowers, veggies and new perennials

• Clean up and fertilize rhodos and azaleas after flowering

• Plant up your hanging baskets, patio tubs and planters

• Colour your hydrangeas – saltpeter for pink, alum for blue

• Use straw as a mulch along strawberry rows

• Lawns are growing fast – feed a little but often – a thick turf needs less water

• Spread wood ash around daphne, lilac, clematis, roses

• Lightly cut back early blooming perennials after flowering

• Keep the slugs at bay: egg shells and seaweed

• Be prepared to cover tender plants at night if there is a cold spell!

Did you know…

… the flower of the month is the ‘Lily of the Valley’? meaning sweetness and humility?

… the ‘witch’ in witch hazel trees is based on the belief that the tree twigs could be used as divining rods to search for underground water?

… seaweed at the base of plants is an excellent slug repellent?

… scattered orange and lemon peels discourage cats?

… there is a beautiful burgundy bloom, the Chocolate Cosmos, that smells exactly like chocolate?

… the stalks of sunflowers were used to fill life jackets?

… the leaves, flowers and roots of the dandelion are all edible?

JUST FOR FUN

… try making dandelion coffee from the roots, or salad from the leaves or Dandelion Jelly from the flowers (use just the yellow blossoms, no stems or leaves and do not harvest any area that has been treated with pesticides).

Ingredients: 1 quart of bright, fresh dandelion blossoms

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 package powdered fruit pectin

5 cups of sugar

Rinse dandelion flowers in cold water and remove any green parts

Boil in 2 quarts of water for 3 minutes

Cool and strain, pressing to extract all the juice

Place 3 cups of the dandelion juice in large saucepan

Add lemon juice and pectin (1 ¾ ounces)

Bring mix to a boil

Add sugar, stirring to mix well. Boil 2 ½ minutes, stirring continually

Pour into jelly glasses and seal with paraffin when cool

Pick of the Month … Mexican Mock Orange

A stunning, compact, rounded, evergreen shrub. Glossy leaves, and clusters of small star like fragrant white flowers, that smell like orange blossoms. Likes sun and partial shade. Grows to 6’ with a similar diameter. Likes moist well drained soil and blooms in May.

Makes a lovely informal hedge.

AND … What has forests but no trees? Lakes but no water? Roads but not cars? A MAP!!

Visit our blog at www.wedigchemainus.ca

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