News from the Kimberley Garden Club

Submitted by: Marilee Quist

At last, we’re getting some rain. Thankfully, it isn’t the deluge in Vancouver that we saw on last Wednesday evening’s news, with vehicles driving through bumper-high water in the streets – that must have been in low-lying areas. I’m quite happy to see the rain, as we had our irrigation system blown out and both my husband and I have been too busy to set out sprinklers – we foolishly kept believing the weather forecast when it said it was going to rain and usually didn’t. My gardens are all put to bed for the winter, except for pruning back and covering the hybrid tea roses, planting garlic and fencing off my front bed where the deer like to sleep and eat my Rocky Mountain Juniper in the winter.

We now have a new section in our business meetings called Plant of the Month, with a brief talk on some kind of plant. In September, it was fall blooming asters, also known as Michaelmas Daisies. These low-growing bushy perennial plants come in a variety of colours, are hardy to our area and provide colour in gardens after most of the perennials have finished blooming. In the past, I have had blossoms of bright pink, deep purple, light purple and white. They do however, like to spread, but are easily controlled by dividing them – and giving the extras away! At our October meeting, the topic was Narcissus (the daffodil family). There are many varieties on the market now from very short plants and with small flowers to the tall, classic King Alfred Daffodil. There are bulbs that produce double-flowered blooms, multicoloured blooms and white blooms, to name a few. Then, there are the non-hardy Paperwhite Narcissus that can be forced indoors; there is a scentless variety and a variety that I think has a wonderful scent. Unfortunately, forced Paperwhites tend to grow very tall leaves and flower stems that then droop and fall over. A remedy for this is to grow them in a shallow (4”) deep dish in aquarium gravel up to the bulb’s neck in water until they start to spout. Then empty the water from the container and water them with 1 part 70% rubbing alcohol to 11 or 12 parts water or 1 part vodka to 6 parts water, continuing this through to the end of the blooming cycle. I haven’t tried re-growing them the next year, but have heard that they are only good for one season’s blooming.

After our October business meeting, members made swags, container arrangements and bouquets from dried flowers, sea holly, money plant, ornamental grasses and a large variety of dried flowers and leaves. The arrangements were quite lovely and amazing, and everyone was pleased with what they had made. At our November meeting we will be making Picture Frame Wreaths, and from Googling the topic, there is a wide variety of things one can do with an old picture frame and a few holiday decorations.

I’m looking forward to not gardening for the next 5 months, however, I do need to jot down some notes about which plants need to be moved to what new location next year before I forget.

The Garden Club meets the third Tuesday of the month. From October through May, we hold our meetings in the Library at Selkirk High School from 7-9 pm. We welcome anyone who would like to learn more about gardening in Kimberley whether you are new to gardening or new to the Kimberley area. For more information on our meetings, call Nola at 250-427-1948 or Marilee at 250-427-0527. We also have a website at Click on Garden Clubs, then Kimberley Garden Club.

Happy Gardening.

October 19, 2017