SOOKE GARDEN CLUB: Gardening in 2017: Let’s enhance our eco-systems

Sooke Garden Club meets on April 26

Master gardener Paula McCormick shares her passion and expertise at this month’s meeting of the Sooke Garden Club. (Contributed photo)

Master gardener Paula McCormick shares her passion and expertise at this month’s meeting of the Sooke Garden Club. (Contributed photo)

It’s finally beginning to look and feel like spring, but, my, it’s been a long time coming.

March’s record-setting days of rain (29 of 31!) combined with sustained low temperatures left many of us unable or unwilling to tackle gardening tasks typically saved for late winter.

Only now am I able to put my well-gloved hands into the soil, so dividing perennials, weeding, and digging up what remains of last year’s root crops are still on the to-do list.

No matter. April is here and winter’s chores need to get done quickly. April is, after all, the time for spring planting and the inevitable promise of what the year will bring – if we manage to do everything right, that is.

Whether you grow ornamentals and vegetables in a big way or limit yourself to containers on a balcony, successful gardening starts with understanding your own garden’s environment and knowing how to nourish it. Plants, like children, tend not to thrive unless the conditions in which they are growing are favourable. At minimum this means the availability of good food, the proximity of supportive companions, and the absence of enemies.

A lot has changed in gardening over the years, as scientists continue to discover new facts about plants and how plants respond to their environment.

The ongoing development of new plant varieties and new growing techniques makes it possible for just about everyone to have a productive garden, however large or small.

Have you adjusted your garden practices to help keep your home garden environment thriving while at the same time reducing the amount of work you have to do?

This month, the Sooke Garden Club welcomes master gardener Paula McCormick, well known to locals not only for her expertise, but also for her practical, easy-going approach when it comes to gardening education.

McCormick will walk us through the basics of garden ecosystems and offer advice on how we can further develop them to sustain ourselves and the nature around us. We’ll be talking soils, plant picks and more. Bring your questions.

Join us on April 26, 7 p.m., at St. Rose of Lima Church on Townsend Road. Also scheduled: April parlour show, plant sale, and sale of contest potatoes. Annual membership is $15, and new members are welcome. No gardening experience necessary. Questions? Visit our website at sookegardenclub.ca or email us at sookegc@gmail.com.

Please note: The Sooke Garden Club will be holding its annual Public Plant Sale on May 13, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in front of Evergreen Centre.

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Loretta Fritz writes for the Sooke Garden Club.

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