Posts Tagged ‘Billerica Garden Club’

Farmers Markets Are Back

There are a few that are winters farmers markets that are indoors and open during the winter months – But now the outdoor markets either have or will shortly be opening.  Remember that farmers markets are for farms, those who make fresh food, specialty foods (eg sugar free) etc.  They are a place for socializing and buying.  Support your local farmers market – They help you eat nutritious.   For those who like to travel around to the different markets, here are the ones opening by the end of June

Andover –  Opens June 30th  Saturdays 12:30 to 3:30    at 97 Main Street

Arlington – Opened June 13th  Wednesdays 2pm to 6pm  at Russell Common in Arlington Center

Billerica – Opens June 25th   Mondays 3pm to 7pm  Billerica COA lawn in Billerica Ctr

Carlisle – Opened June 16th  Saturdays 8am to noon  Kimball Farm in Carlisle

Lexington – Opened May 29th   Tuesdays 2 – 6:30pm  corner Mass Ave/Woburn/Fletcher

Stoneham/Farm Hill Farmers Market – Opened June 14th  Tuesdays 2pm to 6pm Stoneham Town Common

Wakefield – Opens June 23rd  Saturdays 9am to 1pm  Hall Park  North Ave Lakeside

Westford – Opened June 19th   Tuesdays 2:30 to 6:30  NE Historic Town Common

Wilmington – Opened June 17th  Sundays 10:30 to 1:30  corner Middlesex Ave and School Street

Woburn Farmers Market – Opened June 10th  Sundays 10 to 2   41 Wyman St

More will open in July and a few in August – and the season will be in full swing

For more information on MA farmers markets – promoting locally grown – visit http://www.massfarmersmarkets.org and you will find a complete list throughout the state.  It will be fun for the family – as you travel this summer – to find a local market – eat health and have some fun!

 

June – how does your garden grow? – guest blogger Billerica Garden Club

 

Flowers smiling back at me

As I look around outside at my garden bed I can see all sorts of flowers smiling back at me and there are even some that I didn’t expect that are growing!  Of course, I always have room for more flowers even if I have to make a new flower bed.  Lately, I’ve been looking at those pre made flower beds and they are really nice and very easy to put together.

The birds are quite happy and abundant in my garden just lately I saw a Hummingbird happily going in and out of my Rhododendron what a sight! I just love this time of year and it usually takes me at least a month of planting before my flower garden is just right.  Have any of you thought about planting herbs in pots?  I’m going to do a few herbs this year and that way I can use them when I cook.  There are quite a few varieties out there to choose from.

Fertilize

Decide first whether you want to use organic or synthetic (chemical) fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are earth-friendly and pose little danger of burning a plant’s roots; they also tend to improve the soil’s texture. Synthetic fertilizers are usually less expensive than organic fertilizers, but they also are easier to misuse and do nothing to improve soil texture.

Check out the nutrient content of the fertilizer, listed on the package. Many synthetic fertilizers have various balances of nutrients for a specific purpose, such as feeding roses or for root development. Organic fertilizers also have varying ratios of nutrients. When in doubt, use an all-purpose or general fertilizer.

Apply a liquid fertilizer to most annual flowers every two to four weeks and to most perennials or small shrubs – including roses – every four weeks. Follow package directions exactly.

Apply organic fertilizers according to package directions.

Apply a slow-release granular fertilizer as an alternative. Apply once or twice a growing season, following package directions exactly.

Fertilize with compost two different ways: One way is to spread 1 to 2 inches thick on the top of the soil so that nutrients trickle down to the roots. The other way is to put it at the bottom of large planting holes or to work it into a planting area when adding new plants to your garden.
Plant some more flowers

 

Brunnera macrophylla or “Jack Frost” is the 2012 perennial plant of the year and is a wonderful addition to any shade garden. Its heart-shaped silver leaves that are delicately veined with mint green stand out while sprays of bright blue Forget-me-not flowers appear in mid to late spring.  Whether it be sun or shade areas of your yard there is a flower that will fit that spot.  I always add a Perennial or two to my garden but in-between I plant Annuals that way my garden is a work in progress and is like an artist’s canvas when I am done.  Don’t forget to take some pictures of your garden and log it in a book so that next year you can see what looks good and what doesn’t.

A City Garden

If you don’t have a lot of room a container garden is a good choice I always plant a few container gardens in my yard to give it a little depth and dimension.  You can do vegetables or flowers in container gardens. 

Even the smallest patio or porch can boast a crop of vegetables or a garden of flowers in containers. Planter boxes, wooden barrels, hanging baskets and large flowerpots are just some of the containers that can be used. The container gardener is limited only by his imagination. Consider the following guidelines when choosing your container.

  • Avoid      containers with narrow openings.
  • Cheap      plastic pots may deteriorate in UV sunlight and terracotta pots dry out      rapidly. Glazed ceramic pots are excellent choices but require several      drainage holes.
  • Wooden      containers are susceptible to rot. Redwood and cedar are relatively rot      resistant and can be used without staining or painting. Avoid wood treated      with creosote, penta or other toxic compounds since the vapors can damage      the plants. One advantage of wooden containers is that they can be built      to sizes and shapes that suit the location.
  • Use      containers between 15 and 120 quarts capacity. Small pots restrict the      root area and dry out very quickly. The size and number of plants to be      grown will determine the size of the container used. Deep rooted      vegetables require deep pots.
  • Make      sure your pot has adequate drainage. Holes should be 1/2 inch across. Line      the base of the pot with newspaper to prevent soil loss you can even use      pine cones to line the bottom of the pot.
  • In      hot climates use light-colored containers to lessen heat absorption and      discourage uneven root growth.
  • Set      containers on bricks or blocks to allow free drainage.
  • Line      hanging baskets with sphagnum moss for water retention. Keep baskets away      from afternoon sun.
  • If      you choose clay pots, remember that clay is porous and water is lost from      the sides of the container. Plants in clay pots should be monitored      closely for loss of moisture.

Growing Mixture

Make sure your planting medium drains rapidly but retains enough moisture to keep the roots evenly moist. Your compost will make an excellent potting soil. Check the requirements of the plants you grow to determine whether you will need to add sand. If compost is not available, purchase a good quality potting mixture or make your own from equal parts of sand, loamy garden soil, and peat moss. Commercial potting mixes are usually slightly acidic, so you may want to add a little lime.

Most container gardeners have found that a “soilless” potting mix works best. In addition to draining quickly, “soilless” mixes are lightweight and free from soil- borne diseases and weed seeds. These mixes can be purchased from garden centers.

When you add your soil to your container, leave a 2 inch space between the top of the soil and the top of the container. You will be able to add 1/2 inch or so of mulch later.

There is more information on this at http://www.gardenguides.com/685-guide-container-gardening.html

Water

It seems as if this is the year when everything happens early, including the need to spell relief with water for much of the landscape. Here’s some basic watering information-

All plants are best watered early in the day with the rising sun for several reasons. One of the best reasons is that watering early in the day allows any foliage that become wet to dry before nightfall, thereby reducing the potential for many diseases.

Except for lawns, which are watered with overhead sprinklers, most other plants are best watered by concentrating the water near the base of the plant rather that watering “over the top”.

A good method to conserve water and concentrate the needed relief in the root area of the plants is to use a soaker hose.  A drip irrigation system also works well for plants in containers and in the landscape.

Plants in containers require frequent attention and need to be watered more often that those planted in the ground. The frequency and amount of water needed will depend on many variables, including the media, the type of container, exposure to the sun and the type of plant itself.  A thorough watering should given when the soil begins to dry, but not before. Care must be taken to avoid overwatering practices that keep the root system continuously wet and soggy.  Add water-retaining granules or water crystals to keep your plants well watered so they never get over watered or dry.  I have used water-retaining granules before and they work great.

Vegetables, bedding plants and perennials are usually small when planted and initially have a rather shallow root system and will need to be watered with a greater frequency than others that are planted in the ground. Encourage an expanding root system by watering well but less frequently as the plants become established.

Weeding

 

I’m sure I’ve pulled out some flowers over the years that I thought was weeds and wondered why my flowers didn’t come up so I can’t stress enough on labeling your plants that you put in the ground.  If you plant enough flowers to cover your soil you won’t have to weed too much but even if you do have to weed hopefully it will only take you a short time to do it.  Weeding is essential to a beautiful garden.

 

Any plant that grows where you don’t want it can be considered a weed. Besides taking up valuable space in your garden, weeds compete with other plants for nutrients, water and light. If you have trouble moving around the garden, bending or pulling, you will still have to deal with the problem of weeds.

  • Pull      up weeds before they go to seed and self-spread around the garden.
  • Try      to get the whole weed including the root
  • Younger      weeds are easier to pull because they haven’t established a strong root      system
  • Wet      the ground with a drip irrigation hose before weeding and your job will be      easier – Better still, weed after it has rained
  • For      tap roots like dandelions pull straight up with a little pressure on      either side of the stem using a tool with small V-shaped end. If you have      a lot of dandelions look for a long handled tool that will help safe your      back
  • For      weeds growing between cracks in pavement, decks, etc., try pouring boiling      water over them to kill them. If this doesn’t get them all use a weeding      blade, a thin blade with 90 degree bend and sharp edge for cutting between      stones, bricks, etc. These are also available with long handles if you      have a lot of paving stones to clean out
  • Mulch      between plants to help prevent weeds from establishing.
  • Try      to relax about the weeds. A few weeds won’t destroy your garden. If you      overplant with hanging bushy perennials, weeds will not be as apparent.      It’s amazing what you can live with if you don’t know it’s there.

Sometimes plants just don’t make it

 

Everybody and believe me everybody at some point in time kills their plants even the experts kill them so don’t feel bad about a plant dying.  If the plant dies then remove it and replenish the soil add water and fertilizer and put a new plant in its place.  Always check that the soil to see if it is a good aerated soil and that it lets your plants breathe.  Also, look at where you have planted your plants in your yard maybe the plant needs to be moved to another spot.  I have a Hydrangea plant that was not doing well and didn’t bloom I moved it to the back of my yard which was a less sunny spot and it started to bloom.  If your plant looks diseases it might be better to just remove the plant entirely than to have the disease spread to your other plants.

 

Why do we garden?

 

I have been known to spend a few hours in the garden after supper and it never fails that I keep finding things to do in the garden sometimes even just sitting in a chair and watching my garden is so relaxing.  Why do I spend so much time and effort on the garden?

I can think of a few reasons. There is a sense of contentment and tranquility that comes from observing either a single flower – or patchworks of color and texture that seem just right. The same feeling comes from watching a hummingbird climb in and out of a flower, or a monarch butterfly nectaring on a flower, or goldfinches feeding on flowers.

In my view a garden can be a comforting, relaxing place to go where the world seems at peace with itself and there is no yelling no negativity just serenity.  It is a relief to leave that world behind and literally get my hands in the soil. Of course, in addition to touching things that are real, the senses of sight and smell are also gratifying.

Finally, gardening helps me be more connected to my human community. I’ve gotten to know some of my neighbors (especially the dog walkers and those with small children) while gardening in the front yard. Without gardening, I’m sure that community connection would be greatly diminished. I even had neighbors comment on how beautiful the flowers look in my yard which brings a great big smile to my face.  Flowers to me are like my children I pamper them guide them and watch them grow!

June is National Perennial Month

 

The season is still young and there are still a lot of Perennials that you can plant in the ground.  As gardeners we can always find a spot for a plant even if there are no more spots in our yard. If you would like to change your plants in your yard so that you can add different Perennials then contact your local Garden Club they would be happy to remove your plants for you and find a home for them.

 

I’m off the pick up some more annuals to plant in my yard I just find another spot to plant them!

Happy Gardening!

Billerica Garden Club http://www.ilovebillerica.com/GardenClub.html

May – The Elixir of Dreams

Billerica MA is very lucky to have a busy Garden Club who maintains the area around the center and many other parts of town to make it a pleasure to drive and walk around.  They decorate the Clara Sexton House at the Holidays, work with seniors at Brightview Concord River Assisted Living in maintaining a small garden. 

They take every opportunity to brighten the landscape of Billerica and help others do the same.  Last year they became involved with starting a Farmer’s Market in Billerica Center that runs from the end of June to the end of October.  Their success translates into a return performance this year.

Many thanks to Billerica Garden Club member and guest blogger Annette Presseau. 

 

My Dream Garden

As I’m writing this Blog I’m sitting on my deck in 78 degree total sunshine light breeze weather and my mind is dreaming of this beautiful garden that I would love to have in my back yard.  I absolutely love this time of year and the crickets are singing along with many birds which are so beautiful to listen to.  I can also see that I need to do some cleaning up in my yard but one step at a time.  This year I want to plant something in memory of my mother she loved Azalea’s so I’m looking for a summer azalea to plant in my yard.  Memorial Day is coming up and I can get started planting all my flowers in I always wait until Memorial Day to plant most flowers because up here in New England we can get a frost in May.  Check out the website on My Dream Gardens and how they talk about a management method where you manage the amount of time you spend in your garden so that you remember to take a break it is a very interesting website: http://www.maydreamsgardens.com/

 

I can be in the garden for hours and forget the time and usually forget to take a break my mother used to work with me in the garden up until she was in her 80’s and she was my time management and I would see here getting tired and then I knew it was time to take a break.  Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of butterflies around and they are so beautiful I’m amazed at them.  Check out any butterfly gardens in your area there is one here in Westford Massachusetts see the website:  https://butterflyplace-ma.com/

 

 

Flower blooms everywhere

This year it isn’t difficult to find blooms everywhere because of the nice weather we have been having up here in New England.  When I go out somewhere and someone else is driving I look at peoples gardens as we drive by and there are some beautiful gardens out there.  Now is the time to weed out the bad and keep what is doing well and experiment and plant some new ideas.  I’ve even found plants that I thought had died growing!  I plan to have a raised garden this year with just one kind of annuals usually I plant a variety because I love having the different colors in the garden but this year I thought I would be different and see what happens who knows maybe it will become a tradition.  I just love seeing a grouping of the same annuals together it is very striking to look at.  I have 3 large Rhododendrons in my yard that are blooming profusely they are pink flowers and are just gorgeous to look at. What’s blooming in your garden?

 

 

Aerate your flower beds

A good practice is to aerate your flower beds I usually do this before I plant any flowers it helps to loosen the soil and makes better and more beautiful flowers.  You probably already did this in the fall or last month so you should be all set but if you didn’t now is a good time to check your soil and add something to it so that your flowers will become big and beautiful.

 

 

Visit a garden

Check out this website on the Blithewold gardens in Bristol, Rhode Island all I can say is “wow”

http://www.blithewold.org/  It’s great to visit different expert gardens so that one can visualize what they might want to see in their own garden.  Every time I go to these places I get some great ideas and also see different flowers blooming that possibly would look good in my flower garden.  Check out Garden in the Woods website for events it’s a really great place to visit: http://www.newfs.org/visit/Garden-in-the-Woods  it’s also a great place to see native plants sometimes we forget about planting what is native in our area and the plants can be really stunning to look at.  Also, people have garden tours at their homes so check a few out and get some great gardening ideas.  There are many places that you can visit this time of year.  You can even join a Garden Club they have many great speakers and one can learn a lot about gardening there.

 

Evasive Plants

When I first started gardening I always thought of evasive plants as weeds and in a sense they are weeds but are very difficult to control and there is a huge list of them which people are not supposed to sell but they do so check out the list and you will be surprised at how many are on there.  Here is a website of evasive plants in Massachusetts:  http://www.mass.gov/agr/farmproducts/prohibitedplantlist.htm

It’s interesting to check it out and see if you have any in your yard every state has a different list so check your state.  In my yard I have burning bushes four of them no less and they have been here before I moved but I’ve chopped them down and they come right back some day I will try to completely remove them.  I wasn’t even aware that burning bushes are evasive until I heard people talking about evasive plants and I checked the list out.

 

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Check out this website on the 15th of every month to go out in the garden and take pictures and post to your blog?  I think it is a great idea.  I can’t wait until my Peonies start to bloom!  This is also a great way to keep a log book of what your garden looks like at different months of the year then you can plan out next year as to what you think will grow best in your garden.

 

Herbs in a Flower Garden

Consider adding Herbs in your flower garden they will give a nice smell they are great to look at and you can eat them.  Check this website out: http://www.pulvermedia.com/fullstory/8d68bceed47246b63a46e  You can add rosemary, sage, mint, thymes, oregano, lavenders, lemon grass just to name a few and you can plant them in containers you don’t have to plant them in the ground.

 

I love the cat in the picture!  Add different ornamental stuff to accent your garden.  Ornaments in the garden add different dimensions and are eye catching.  Put a rabbit statue in one spot or maybe place a water fountain in another use your imagination and before you know it there will be something peaking out at you when you walk around your garden!

 

Ornamental Grasses

Don’t forget to add Ornamental Grasses for a backdrop in your flower garden they provide texture, uniqueness and beauty to your garden they are easy to grow and maintain and will evolve with the seasons.  They are a great addition to the garden because they produce full green foliage all season and then wow in the summer to fall with their interesting, feathery plumes.

 

Making a Rock Garden

Have you ever thought of making a rock garden?  Do you have a sloped or awkward piece of land that you are having trouble planting? Rock Gardens not only provide a low-maintenance, long-lasting solution to those hard-to-plant places, but are aesthetically pleasing by contrasting rough, jagged rocks with delicate, gorgeous blooms. They are actually quite simple to create – All you need is time, rocks (which can often be found on your property) and a few durable, low-maintenance plants. Once complete, the rewards of the Rock Garden will pay for the effort ten times over.  Check out this blog on how to make a Rock Garden for more information: http://blog.americanmeadows.com/

 

So I hope some of these ideas will get you started in the right direction I’m off now to work in my garden.

 

Happy Gardening!

Annette Presseau  stitchlady.netti46@yahoo.com 

https://www.bigtent.com/groups/gardenclub

http://www.billericafarmersmarket.org/

 

In the Spring Garden – guest blogger Billerica Garden Club

The Billerica Garden Club is very active in the community. They hold their May plant sale each year just in time for Mother’s Day (the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend), often exhibit at the New England Spring Flower Show, participate in Yankee Doodle Homecoming, prepare corsages for the annual Sweetheart Dinner for seniors who have been married to each other for 50 years or more, and participate in the annual Green Up Clean Up Day. In addition they have adopted several areas in town to maintain – Billerica Town Common, Memorial Walkway behind Billerica Memorial High School, as well as Marshall Island in Town Center. And as a special project in the community members of the club present gardening projects at area nursing homes and the senior center, including maintaining a butterfly garden at Billerica Crossings
In The Spring Garden
How to handle Perennials, Annuals and Bulbs in April
Did you know that the perfect time to plant dahlias, lilies, and gladiolas is during April? Well, these flowering bulbs actually do well during this month, so make sure that you mix a few organic ingredients or some compost into the soil where these are planted (combine bulb fertilizer, as well as aged manure and peat moss). This certainly will help nourish both the soil and flowers.

Apart from flowering bulbs, you can also start planting annual seeds. You can plant asters, cosmos, marigolds, and even zinnias for starters. Now, other than annuals, if you have perennials, they have to be divided. They can be moved into a different area of your patch, or extras can be given out to your gardener friends. In addition to this, if you have a water garden like a pool or pond, utilize this by adding aquatic plants after the first half of the month.

What to do with houseplantsYour houseplants can do well with a little bit of spring-cleaning in the month of April. And one of the best gardening tips for this would be to remove irregularities such as yellowing leaves, withered flowers, or even dead branches. Plants may also be able to breathe better when the dust from the leaves are removed using light spraying. Pinching is also advisable especially for plants, as this helps invigorate new growth and volume. Continue to inspect for insects and fertilize at half strength. Cut the plants back if they are getting leggy.

Nourish your Flower BedsShoots have been driving up out the ground for weeks now, so you know that Mother Nature is doing her part to get your flowers and shrubs back to their beautiful selves. Why not give them a boost with a layer of compost? Clear out any old leaves or sticks, weed your gardens and then sprinkle an inch of compost throughout your flowerbeds. Water the beds and then cover with mulch to keep it in all in place.

The Practice of Container GardeningHave you ever tried bringing plants inside your home or placing them out on your garden using different kinds of containers? You probably have but have not been too conscious of how to prepare it the right way. Container gardening can be very beneficial in a lot of ways. So if you happen to have a very spacious garden (an area that you’re too lazy to fix but would still want to have plants around), or live inside an apartment or condo unit (an area that has no yard space for use), then you can definitely do some container gardening at your very own convenience.
Whether you’re into some flower, herb or container vegetable gardening, the material for which you will plant and store these should have a good drainage system. You can choose to use an array of containers such as plastic bins, baskets (anything that will help hold in your organics), but you will always have to take note of the drainage factor.

As an alternative to planting your organics under the ground, you can fully concentrate on the containers itself especially if these were houseplants (for indoor container gardening). When growing different kinds of plants, you also get the chance to nurture these with some well-preserved soil. When the soil is of high-quality, then you can be assured that your plants will grow free from diseases. Other than that, when you do this kind of gardening, you’re also eliminating the possibility of weeds cluttering your garden. Apart from that, you are also given the chance to move your containers around, should the need arises.

Check out more information at: http://www.gardenworms.com/blog/gardening/practice-container-gardening/

Is your garden doing double-duty? Is it a fun, happy view that exudes energetic energy? That’s the philosophy behind the selection of Tangerine Tango as Color of the Year for 2012, according to color expert Catherine Falqoust. Check this website out for more ideas on colors in your garden: http://blog.chron.com/lazygardener/2012/03/color-tricks-for-your-garden/

What about planting seeds? If you are growing plants from seed, don’t oversow. For fine seed, mix it with sand so it is easier to spread over a larger area.

Perennials and Flower Borders• If you didn’t clean-up your borders in March, do it now. (It’s important to remove weeds now while they’re still small and haven’t flowered yet it’s also easier to remove now instead of when they are fully matured.)
• Cut back all ornamental grasses to 6-12″ if you haven’t done it already, and don’t wait any longer to do it. It may already be difficult to cut off the dead leaves without also harming the new ones.
• Plant, divide or move perennials – it’s now or never! Okay sure, you can still do it in May, especially planting new ones, but it’s best to get all this jostling around of perennials done before it gets hot. Continue dividing perennials. If the perennial bed was fertilized in the fall no need to do it now — the plants haven’t used the fall treatment yet. Remember that compost, which helps the plants take up nutrients by maintaining good soil structure, is not fertilizer. Continue making notes of the location of flowering bulbs and bloom time — you’ll be glad you did when it comes time to plant more bulbs in the fall.

Here are a few key tasks for the month of April:
• This is the last opportunity to plant any bare root trees, shrubs or hedging.
• Herbaceous perennials like Yarrow or Butterfly Weed or Bearded Iris over time can form large clumps and become very congested. Now is an ideal time to divide and re-plant. Simply dig out large clump and separate using garden fork or spade and re-plant. Ideally this process should be repeated every 3-5 years. Check out the website from Colorado State University for more information on Herbaceous perennials: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07405.html
• Time to plant summer flowering bulbs (Dahlia, Gladiola, Lily etc). It’s also a good time to plant evergreen shrubs and trees.
• You can also apply a top dressing of bark mulch to planted beds to conserve moisture and impede weeds. It also creates an attractive neat and tidy look to the border. (Tip: water soil before applying top dressing)
• Continue to cut/remove the faded blooms of spring bulbs; do not remove foliage for at least 4-6 weeks in order to allow the bulbs to replenish food resources for next year. Lawns can be cut more regularly now especially if ground conditions are firm and dry. When mowing begins, set mower blades to cut high — 2 inches for shady lawns — to encourage well grass rooting and discourage weed growth. If the lawn is mowed on schedule, the clippings will not need to be removed. They will decompose and return essential nitrogen to the lawn.
• General lawn care includes tidy edges, rake and remove thatch. Apply a weed & feed to encourage healthy grass growth and discourage weeds, but be careful, grass can be easily damaged ‘scorched’ with excess dosage, if in doubt use liquid feeds. Wet area first before applying liquid feed. It’s also time to check and start your in ground sprinkler system to make sure everything is working correctly.
• Check planted borders for any new weeds; a quick tidy up with the hoe will significantly reduce the need for any weeding later in season. Remove any blooming invasive weeds such as Dandelion which will self seed profusely throughout the garden. Might help to remember, ‘One year’s seeding is seven years weeding’.

In a normal spring daffodils can be taken inside to enjoy them. The daffodils that are open and in full bloom tend to get destroyed, but the ones still in bud are more resilient, so you can pick them for vases inside the house.

You can add to hanging baskets and containers a water-retaining gel or even to the compost, which will swell up and retain moisture for a lot longer. Give your plants a good watering two to three times a week, stopping just as baskets start to drip, but before the water runs out the base of the containers, so as not to waste too much.

Are you keeping up your Garden Journal with bloom dates and spring events in this most unusual spring? Make notes now of the places where spring-blooming bulbs, planted next fall, will look perfect next year.

Check out the book on Rain Gardens: Sustainable Landscaping for a Beautiful Yard and a Healthy World
by Lynn M. Steiner and Robert W. Domm
In recent years, awareness has risen not only about the problem of water collecting in places where it shouldn’t, but also the problem with run-off, and what to do with it. All sorts of toxins run unfiltered into our waterways. Not good. What’s a homeowner to do? One of the answers comes in the form of a pretty simple solution: rain gardens. Lynn Steiner and Robert Domm have compiled a comprehensive guide for constructing them in their new book, Rain Gardens. With explanations that are easy to understand, and illustrations and photographs that show and tell, the home gardener can plan and build a rain garden for their own property with confidence.
Check out the review at: http://www.hortmag.com/gardening-book-reviews/book-review-rain-gardens

What about those pesky animals that pick at your flowers and vegetables? One good way to protect your garden is to put a chicken wire fence around it. You can also put old shear curtains over blueberry bushes they make very good netting and if you wrap a brown paper around the root of your tomato plants and leave about 3 inches above the soil line that will protect them. Also, Marigolds planted throughout the garden will keep Aphids away and are quite beautiful to look at. These are just a few ideas for helping protect your hard earned work creating that beautiful garden. More to come next month. By the way does anyone have any ideas on how to get rid of wild Turkeys they are all over my neighborhood!

One last thing that needs to be talked about and that is Poison Ivy – that nasty plant that causes us extreme annoyance and now would be a good time to kill it before it starts to grow too much. Last year I tried something different see the recipe below:

Heat to boiling1 gallon of white vinegar with 1 cup of salt until clear then add 8 drops of liquid detergent after you heat the vinegar with salt then let cool and spray or pour over Poison Ivy and it will kill the plant and anything else that is there. I tried this last year and it worked great! Keep in mind that it will kill any plant that is in the soil. This is all natural and no side effects!

Happy Gardening!

Become a member of the Billerica Garden Club by visting their website at https://www.bigtent.com/groups/gardenclub. Or join your own local garden club. They provide an invaluable service within any community

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