This is one of my favourite times of year in the garden: everything is bright green (or red or purple or yellow) as all the perennials' leaves have burst through the ground, the temperatures are very pleasant for some hard-core mucking around in the garden, and the irises are blooming! Irises are my favourite flower ever. To me, they are one of the greatest demonstrations of God's masterful, intricate hand in creation, and his sense of humour (I mean, seriously, he put beards on these flowers). I have collected five different varieties over the years (most of them from Trails End Iris Gardens, which is a beautiful place to visit), and this is the first year they are all blooming. So, feast your eyes on this bounty of colour and texture in iris form (with a little Spiderwort thrown in).
June is one of my favourite times in the garden because my favourite flowers come out to shine: bearded irises and oriental poppies. This will doubtless make me sound like a garden geek, but to me there is nothing quite like the anticipation of seeing the curling buds of the irises and the giant seed pods of the poppies: I know I'll soon step outside one morning to see they've burst forth in their glorious and delicate beauty. Well, this is the week I've been waiting for. I stepped outside on a sunny morning and saw this:
For more gardening inspiration . . .
One of the things I have always loved about gardening is how it brings people together. Each spring and/or fall, gardeners trade and share their extra plants with friends, family, and neighbours, thereby building relationships, feeding the bees and butterflies, and beautifying the earth.
For most avid perennial gardeners, there comes a time when the bounty from their gardens exceeds the demand amongst their network of gardening enthusiasts. And that's where I'm at. My garden has been around for a while now, so my plants are mature (unlike me), and I'm running out of recipients for their propagations.
So I was delighted when I recently stumbled on an ad for the Grow a Dream Hamilton plant sale on June 7. They need(ed) plants, and I had some to give.
Grow a Dream is the brainchild of Joan Durley, a nurse who works in the emergency department at the Juravinski Hospital in Hamilton. Her aim is to raise at least $2,500 for the Juravinski Cancer Center Foundation out of her gratitude for the care her family member received at the Center during a recent battle with cancer. One of the ways she hopes to raise funds is through a plant sale that will be part of the Concession Street Festival on June 7.
I was delighted to find such a wonderful purpose for my extra plants. I potted up a bunch of perennials, and Joan picked them up from my house on Saturday. It was great to meet her and learn more about her work and fundraising efforts. I hope the plants from my garden can contribute a little towards that $2,500 goal.
If you'd like to learn more about Joan and the plant sale, you can visit the Grow a Dream web site. Better yet, stop by the sale and pick up some plants. And if you have plants to divide from your own garden and would like to donate them, contact Joan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jane Hogeterp Koopman
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