Spring 2014 Newsletter

Spring 2014 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

This year has been markedly different than the past two. We’ve actually had a winter – several below zero days and nights and quite a bit of snow. Most of you are probably wondering if spring will ever arrive. I guarantee it! However, I wouldn’t even try to guess when. Thus, it’s impossible to predict when anything will bloom. As I write this column in early March, I’m actually hoping that the weather won’t break until March 18. It’s very selfish of me but I’ll be in Mexico from March 11-17 and I don’t want to miss any of the early bloomers.

Vegetable gardening is still a hot trend but the newer trend is fruit gardening. We now have thornless blackberries, more compact raspberries and blueberries, and of course, strawberries. All of them can be grown in containers placed in sunny locations. Some of those are on the sale list.

As usual, during the past year, I attended several conferences. The earliest was in January in Columbus at CENTS, a combination trade show and short courses held under the aegis of the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association and the Ohio State University.. I spoke to them about plants to use with watershapes.

Then in August, I drove up to Detroit for the national APLD conference. It’s amazing what the city has done with gardens in the downtown area. There’s even a beach with sand chairs!

In between conferences, Niki and I did a bit of traveling. We took some friends to Mexico City, the Paris of Mexico, to see the Diego Rivera murals. There are at least one hundred of them at the Education Ministry. We also visited the Blue House which was home to both Diego and his wife Frida Kahlo, an artist with a very different style. The restaurants there are marvelous. A fun afternoon was spent at Xochomilco, just outside the city. Much of this area is composed of canals on which colorful boats can be rented by the hour or for an afternoon. Sunday afternoons are family day. The families bring food and drink and mariachi bands can be engaged for one song or for the day. Great fun.

Buckeye fans that we are, Niki and I flew out to California for the early September game between the Buckeyes and U.C.Berkeley. We snuck in a few days in the Sonoma wine country, visiting a friend of ours who owns a winery, and, of course, enjoying some delicious food and wine. The game was like a family reunion. Niki’s sister lives in Berkeley, his brother flew in from Hawaii, and youngest son came up from San Diego.

It’s hard to believe that our two oldest granddaughters (both seniors) are college freshmen. Amanda, at U. of Michigan, says that college is the best thing ever invented. Sam had to come home from Kentucky because of health issues but is taking all of her freshman courses at Tri-C East and will transfer to Kent State in the fall. Katrina has joined BBG and it has activated her social life. Zack, our only grandson, is still playing every sport known to man but also first chair of the cello section in the high school second orchestra even though he’s only a freshman.

Who knows what this Spring will bring? Hopefully, warm weather and just enough rain to keep everything lush. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it would only rain at night? Please call if I can help you in any way, whether it be spring cleanup, pruning, maintenance, consultation or design.

I hope to see you at my annual plant sale, this year on Thursday, May 8. I’m starting something new this year by asking you to bring a non-perishable food item. The Cleveland Foodbank is always in need of food. Each person who remembers will receive a free plant.