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Just Outside My Door 06/20/13

June 26, 2013
By ELAINE G. COLE - COLUMNIST ( , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

We continued having rain the past week along with below normal temperatures. The sun finally came out last Friday and the thermometer rose to the mid 60s.

Hopefully it will be warmer the rest of this month so folk can get their gardens and more crops planted without wearing boots. Although it has been a cool, wet spring, my roses and lilies have begun to bloom as have the annuals in my flowerbeds. Moreover, the weeds keep growing so there seems to be no end to that task.

Removing portions of plants in the perennial beds is another task, if I want to add new ones. I could make new gardens, but I'd have to hire a full time gardener. Bill tells me he's not a gardener, he's just a golfer.

Over the years we have visited numerous beautiful gardens. The most recent one was the Schonberg Gardens and the Bok Tower Gardens in Florida. We went to one in Canada and one up by Niagara Falls, and last year I went to Clymer and saw Loujean White's gardens. There are others, but I don't recall their names.

I get several gardening magazines including "Gardening How-to," "Birds and Blooms," "Birds and Blooms extra," "Wild Flowers," "Country Woman" and "Wild Flowers in Chautauqua County." When I take a walk, if I see a flower I don't immediately recognize, I bring a flower and leaf home and look up its identification so I'll know it when I see it again. The Internet also has information about many flowers. Some flower names used in yesteryear have been changed, and also some older folk still use a common old fashioned name for a certain kind of flower.

Another fact about flower names is its name often refers to its description, such as a sunflower always blooms towards the sun or a Johnny-Jump-Up looks like a miniature Pansy - my Great Grandma Wright always had them just outside her kitchen window. My mom got hers from her and later gave me some of them. I've always treasured those because the flowers are a kind of heritage gift.

To purchase flowers from a greenhouse can be rather expensive, but one can often get some from a relative, friend, neighbor or even at an auction. Many of mine came from my mom, and I also got slips of roses, etc., and then cut a new slanted end on the stem, planted it in the ground and put a canning jar on it until it rooted. It take time, but it's cheep and well worth it. I've given such slips from some of my plants too.

Having flowers just outside ones door or under a window makes a cheerful yard. I especially enjoy yellow ones because they give me "sunshine" even on a dark rainy day. I am allergic to some fragrant flowers such as roses, but I can enjoy them from inside. One flower mom always had was the old fashioned Rugosa Rose, and unfortunately I never got one of them. Hopefully sometime I will get one because, though they aren't ever-blooming, they don't get bugs, etc., and don't need much care.

I wish you all successful gardening, if you enjoy working in one. It's good exercise and can be greatly enjoyed even if it's a very small one.



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