President’s Message – Summer 2011

National Meeting 2011At last, Summer! The frantic pace of Springtime has slowed. Our bulbs have bloomed and we are ripening the foliage, fertilizing, and waiting for dormancy. Annuals add pops of color to the dark areas, borders and pots. The perennials have been transplanted, groomed and coaxed. Our trees are pruned, fruit set, fertilized and well watered. The vegetable gardens are planted. They wait with soldier-straight rows for blossoms to turn into beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and squash. The corn looks like it will be well on its way to full height with the warm weather and rain. All of the hard work spent on weeding, digging, planting, moving, mulching and pruning has paid off. Now is the time for enjoyment! What better way to wile away a summer afternoon than a glass of icy cold lemonade, potent or not, dappled shade from a leafy tree, hammock or chaise lounge, sunglasses and a novel. The sound of the birds, gentle breezes, and gazing at the results of one’s hard work seem to be the epitome of happiness. A sudden shower brings this reverie to a screeching halt, dash to safety, and reality returns. Every gardener knows that passing showers are a gift from above: no watering necessary! Thank You!

Garden Walks abound this time of year. They are a wonderful opportunity to share ideas with other gardeners and friends. Conversations can lead to new plant centers, garden tours and landscape designers. The difficult corner of your yard or property becomes a focal point with the tricks learned from others who have faced your situation and won. I live in the woods, shade abounds. The sunny borders and rose arbors featured in tours make me jealous of the hosts. I long for lilies, desire daisies, pine for primroses and die for dahlias. None of the aforementioned likes my home. I hover over my hostas, love my ligularia, savor my solomon’s seal, and make the most of my myrtle. On those dog days of summer, temperatures in the 90 degree range with humidity to match, I am grateful for the woods. Nature’s air conditioners keep my electric bill within normal range. I am spared the searing heat of the afternoon with a canopy of leaves. Shade gardening, although challenging can have rewards too. All types of microclimates have merit. Just like homes, gardeners are individual, too.

Our meeting in Grand Rapids was quite successful. We toured the Meijer Gardens, visited a Farmer’s Market, Lunched at a culinary school and made new friends. The business of the organization was addressed, attended to, weeded and mulched. There are some “seedlings” that need to be nourished, perennials that need to be divided, favorites to share and sadly, beauties past their prime, that didn’t make it through the winter. We learned of new members on the “weather committee”, ask those in attendance what that means! The members thoroughly examined their roots, digging deep and learning what history has taught us. Look for more information in our Magazine on line. Pour a glass of Lemonade, potent or not, sidle up to your computer and explore all that Farm & Garden has to offer on this site. We are changing, growing and need YOU to cement our future.