In My Garden
By Jackie Eichelberger
It was really fun to watch and participate in the good-natured, spirited bidding at the Fleur de Lies Garden Club yearly fund raising auction on April 27. The items brought in to be auctioned ranged from everyday items such as garden sprinklers and picture frames to unusual collector pieces including antique glassware and even a hand-painted Russian fairytale box. Pat McMillan did a great job as auctioneer and Penny Brogdon helped treasurer Cheryl Bower sort and tabulate the transactions. Guests Kelly Knochenmus, Nancy Chambers, Marilyn Everett and Marian Kaiser joined right in with club members bidding on items they fancied. Everyone left with an armload of treasures and took home with them a plant or cutting brought in by members to share with each other.
We’ve certainly been blessed with an abundance of rain lately. Mother Nature is finally coming through and making up for all the years of drought conditions and stressed vegetation. Lake Lavon is full and overflowing. The city’s water restrictions will likely ease as a result. What a welcome change.
All of us who have iris in our gardens have been amazed by their glorious show of color and blooms this spring along with other spring blooming flowers. Fruit trees have blossomed, fruits have set and are on their way to maturity. For the first time in seven years, my little apricot tree actually has fruit this year. Vegetable gardens are thriving with all the rain. Now with plenty of sunshine to balance things out, our gardens are well on the way to rewarding us with food for our tables and the greening landscape and colorful flowers are a feast for the eye.
Guess you’ve noticed that supermarket prices for fresh produce keeps increasing. This has us trying to think of ways to have veggies without paying so much for them. Farmer’s markets may be one way or better yet plant a tomato plant in a large pot in a sunny spot on the patio. Red and green bell peppers are perfect for growing in large pots. Herbs of all kinds in planters near the kitchen door will be just steps away when needed to add a fresh zing to your culinary creations. Putting in a small raised-bed garden out back will give you plenty of room to plant lettuce and cucumbers or squash and zucchini. Anything you grow yourself means a savings at the grocery store.
Sometimes we forget what freshly picked veggies, especially tomatoes, taste like until we eat homegrown ones and realize just what we’ve been missing. There’s a sense of satisfaction in walking into your garden to pick zucchini, a ripe tomato or two and a sprig of fresh basil or thyme to use in preparing a family meal. It doesn’t take much time to set up a small garden area. It’s well worth the effort and it’s fun to watch your garden grow.
The Garden Club’s monthly meetings will cease for the summer after our end-of-year luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26 at Siciliano’s Taste of Italy Restaurant in Garland. Officers for the 2015-’16 year will be installed. Regular monthly meetings will resume in September with new and interesting programs on all aspects of gardening.