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Don't wear perfume in the garden-unless you want to be pollinated by bees.

~ Anne Raver ~

From the GTG Garden and Greenhouse

Spring seems to have passed us by this year. While we still have a few cool nights now and then, our days are sunny, dry and HOT. I have been lugging watering cans, hoses and buckets to help the newly divided hosta get settled in. The iris have been watching and laughing - they are spectacular because they thrive on this type of weather.
Our Driveway is lined with plants waiting for a new home at the sale this first weekend in May. We'd love to meet you and chat about plants and hear about your garden. If you can't visit in person, visit us on our web site.
Happy Mother's Day, Belle
Green Thumbs Galore LLC

Snip and Smile Cutting Garden

by Dava Stewart

When Belle and I talked about this month’s article, I suggested two different topics: pollinators, and cutting gardens. It was too difficult to choose just one, plus, as I learned the two sort of go together.

Like most everyone else, when I think “pollinator” I immediately think about bees. And, bees are amazing pollinators, responsible for helping to produce a huge amount of the fruits and vegetables we consume. Without the bees, we’d be hungrier, for sure! How would we be without bats, birds, flies, beetles, or the wind?

As I researched, I discovered there are many other pollinators, and that several factors go into planting a garden that will attract a variety of pollinators. Happily, most of those factors also go into planning a good any-kind-of-garden, including a cutting garden. For example, in order to attract pollinators, your garden should have something blooming all the time, and to gain maximum peace, contentment, and joy from fresh, cut flowers, something should be blooming all the time. So you see, the needs of the pollinators and the needs of the gardeners often coincide.

There are people who plant theme gardens. I’m not one of them. I like riots of colors, shapes and textures in my gardens, and freely mix vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals. The pollinators like those things too. Bats, birds, beetles, and the wind all require different circumstances if they are to serve as efficient pollinators. The shape, the color, the scent, and even the height of each plant helps determine what will take the pollen from one flower to the next. Having all sorts of blooms will help attract all sorts of pollinators.

Last weekend, at a local arts/crafts/farmers market, one of the busiest booths was the one selling fresh, cut flowers. People stepped away carrying gorgeous bouquets wrapped in white paper and it seemed like every one of them was smiling. Flowers make people happy, and a cutting garden is a great way to bring some of the pleasure of the garden into the house with you.

If you are like me you may be wondering what the difference between a “regular” garden and a cutting garden is. As it turns out, lots of people worry about leaving gaps and messing up the overall appearance of their garden by cutting. If that’s you, consider planting an area especially for cutting. You can put it in the back, out of sight, if that will make you feel better.

Once you have decided that the blooms in your cutting garden are up for grabs, you will be able to snip away and not feel worried about what will be left. A cutting garden can also serve as a place to experiment and try out new varieties and combinations of plants.

Many experts suggest planting the flowers in your cutting garden in rows, so that you can easily walk up and down, snipping and cutting and watering and gardening. I would say that you should keep ease of movement in mind in your planning, but rows are optional. If you like rows and have space for them, that’s great, but don’t think that you cannot have a cutting garden if you don’t have enough room for long rows of flowers.

Mark your calendars: Our Spring Driveway Sale is scheduled for the weekend of May 5th, 2012. Call or check our web site for directions.


May in the Garden:

New Iris for 2012
Anaconda Love
Anaconda Love
Blueberry Bliss
Blueberry Bliss
Wearing Rubies
Wearing Rubies