Fall is truly here, and gardeners are busy with a range of seasonal chores: wrapping up the summer harvest; preserving fruits and vegetables; dividing and transplanting perennials; trimming and pruning; planting winter cover crops and garlic; building compost piles.
While they are busy with these activities, they are likely (and simultaneously) evaluating their garden’s performance over the past six or so months.
As all gardeners know, gardening involves work, most of it physical.
At the same time, however, it also lends itself to both types of contemplation – external observation and internal reflection. Observation might include noticing insects on a plant not previously affected, the amazing performance of a certain flower cultivar or vegetable variety, shriveled leaves or the stunted growth of a plant in a particular location, and so on. Reflection might have you thinking about your soil preparation, plant/seed or site selection, feeding/watering schedules, and countless other variables.
It’s probably fair to say that gardeners are constantly weighing the pros and cons of their decisions and choices. They are almost always thinking about things they could or should do to make next year’s garden better than it was this year.
Better, of course, is a relative term. Not only is it absolutely personal, but it depends on the criterion most in play in your mind at the time. By ‘better” do you mean more/less colourful? Healthier? More productive? Larger/smaller? Easier to maintain? More/less thematic? More child friendly? Less deer friendly?
This month’s meeting of the Sooke Garden Club will offer gardeners an opportunity to share their observations and reflections and learn from fellow gardeners. What went especially well? What was particularly disappointing? Did something in or about the garden tickle a funny bone? Does a gardening faux pas come readily to mind? What, if anything, need to addressed in preparation for next year’s growing season?
The club’s annual Garden Forum: A year-end review promises to be a lively and valuable exchange of stories, information, tips and techniques. A panel of Garden Club experts will be on hand for a Q&A session, so be sure to bring your questions.
The meeting will also feature the annual Pumpkin/Squash Contest, member judging of photos entered into the annual Photo Contest, and the annual members-only Fall Plant Sale.
Join us on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m., at St. Rose of Lima Church on Townsend Road. New members are always welcome. Questions? Visit our website at sookegardenclub.ca or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loretta fritz is a member of the Sooke Garden Club.