New from the Kimberley Garden Club

A mid-summer check up on Kimberley gardens and gardeners

Marilee Quist

For the Bulletin

Another year with a cool, rainy June.  My perennials were blooming, but maybe it was because there were more daylight hours and not because we were having summer!  I got my planting done, but ended up with a two week delay when we were experiencing this year’s “pollen vortex”.  Anyone with pollen allergies knows what I’m referring to!  My tea roses and tomatoes suffered in June from lack of heat units, especially the tomatoes!  A few days ago, I spied a pesky squirrel eating my ripe grape tomatoes.  We set out the live trap, but haven’t seen the little critter since – must have moved on to someone else’s tomatoes – I hope!

Something interesting happened in my gardens this spring, and some of the people I have talked to have experienced something similar.  Due to the weather last fall, some shrubs didn’t have a protective snow cover, or at least not enough of a snow cover, and this spring, have been coming up from the roots.  This happened to my Weigela and my tea roses. Fortunately I didn’t get around to digging out the “dead” tea rose, and when I finally checked back, it had finally sprouted and has since bloomed.

Our June member garden tours were a fun experience for everyone who attended; the garden owners were pleased with the information they received from the Garden Club’s combined gardening knowledge.  However, there was one plant in the second garden that had all of us stumped!  We’re waiting for the plant to bloom, hoping it will be easier to identify by the blossom rather than by the leaves.

On July 9th, we again toured gardens; two in Wycliffe and one in Chapman Camp.  The gardens in Wycliffe were really lush due to all the rain we had in June.  I have vegetable garden envy, big time!  The garden in Chapman Camp is being rehabilitated into a lower maintenance garden, a process I went through in 2012 and 2013, so I can sympathize with the hard work that goes into this process.  This spring, my garden cleanup was much less work, and I have been extremely lazy about deadheading spent blooms – too busy doing other things.  As a result, I’m sure I will have an overabundance of self-seeded tall annual poppies!   We are all looking forward to our August garden tours and annual potluck barbecue.  We have two gardens at St. Marys Lake one that we have never toured, and one that we toured maybe 10 years ago, so this will be a real treat.  At the second house, after we tour the gardens and wade in the lake, we will all enjoy our barbecue.  We have two more gardens in September to tour before we move indoors for our winter sessions, starting October 8th.

The Garden Club meets the second Wednesday of the month.  From June through September, we tour two members gardens monthly and enjoy new gardens and changes to established gardens.  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.  The Garden Club has web space at http://www.kootenaygardening.com.  There are several pages in the Kimberley Garden Club section listing deer-resistant plants.  In addition to hosting pages for the Cranbrook,  Kimberley and Trail Garden Clubs, this website is incredibly informative with a wealth of gardening information and techniques.

Happy Gardening.