The April weather has been really incredible, a sprinkle of showers and rain, a rumble of thunder, and a good measure of sunlight and heat. It is so conducive for gardening that the seeds of anticipation and contemplation will germinate and sprout ideas for our gardens. It is with revelation and inspiration that we grow and develop as gardeners.
A garden can be many things for each of us kindred spirits. Some of us seize this opportunity to create a Victory Garden of vegetables and herbs that will sustain us through spring, summer and fall. Raised bed and plot planting, systematic watering and regular fertilization will provide a good yield. The rewards are recipes for a healthy diet. An abundance of seed packets and six pack vegetable trays await us.
Some of us favor certain trees for fruit, juices and oil that will energize and fortify our bodies. Apricot, apple, pear, plum, citrus, cherry and olive trees can provide a bountiful harvest for the diligent gardener. Others will cultivate and nurture trees for their stately stature and presence, and, their wispy, delicate, filtered canopy. All trees should be properly pruned and shaped, and, infused with appropriate fertilizer and water.
Some gardeners will focus on flowers that will produce a variety of sizes, shapes and colors which can be used for ornamentation. Mums, iris, marigolds, roses, daffodils and violets will provide decorative cut flower arrangements. Our garden club has very talented and dedicated members who produce inspiring live and dry floral artwork. They use the garden as a reservoir of resources for floral crafts and displays.
The outdoor gardener considers not only the trees, shrubs and plants for the garden canvas. Rocks and boulders can delineate the areas of our garden. These may highlight and complement specimen plants. They can also provide a focal point of attention. Dry rock creek beds not only direct the natural water flow from your garden, these arroyos can also create the illusion of running water. Gravel and decomposed granite can map out our garden paths and color the floors. Decorative rock can be used as accent dressing for our plant beddings. Mulch and wood chips can alternatively be used for a more pragmatic effect.
Statuary can enhance our outdoor gardens. Creatures, such as squirrels, deer, rabbits, tortoises and fish can habituate the garden and greet visitors every day without fail. Religious figures and classic Greek and Roman figures can prominently emerge from dedicated settings. Obelisk-like figures, armillaries, gazing balls, weather vanes, water pumps and vintage farm implements can also decorate a garden. Of course, water features like a fountain or pond can enliven a garden with the sound of rippling water. All of these things can create a desired ambience.
Bird houses, selectively placed throughout a garden, will provide homes for our feathery friends. Hummingbird feeders will attract these dart like fluorescent birds. Many a time I had a hummingbird hang suspended before me. The scrutinization and ultimate greeting is nearly indescribable. Birds can entertain gardeners with their flying antics and their choruses of song.
The outdoor gardener can create a variety of garden rooms: Mediterranean, Japanese, Tropical, Native, Evergreen, Desert and beyond. Well placed chairs, benches and tables will enable, reading, writing, meditation, conversation, dining and drinking within these various outdoor rooms.
Concrete, terra-cotta, plastic, resin and glazed pots can house our favorite plants. A clustering of tall, short, wide and thin containers can create borders and different levels of attention in the garden. These can also embellish our patios and decks. Ceramic Mexican Talavera planters have intricate floral patterns and multi-colored designs that will beautify any garden setting.
Lighting will allow the garden to live beyond dusk and provide observers with a different garden perspective. Soft, bright or colored lighting can temporarily illuminate your garden canvass for a desired effect. Lighting will permit visitors to enjoy a casual evening garden walk.
These are just some garden musings on an April Spring Day for your consideration.
“The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.”-Gertrude Jekyll
The Red Bluff Garden Club is having its Annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 1 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of the Methodist Church located at 525 David St., Red Bluff. Our members will have a variety of plants available including perennials, annuals, veggies and succulents. I will have a selection of agaves, sedum, aloes, cacti, chaste trees, butterfly bushes and vinca. Look forward to seeing you.
The Red Bluff Garden Club is a member of Cascade District, California Garden Clubs, Inc., Pacific Region Garden Clubs, Inc. and National Garden Clubs, Inc.