30 April, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen: Start Your Gardens

Ladies and Gentleman Start Your Gardens
Welcome to May the craziest month in the garden business. Yes we had some teaser days in April and even a few dream days in March. Every spring has its' early warm spells which get sap flowing not only in maples but in our gardening bones as well. What seems to be happening though is the odd nice days in March and April are not just warm but WARM…..like June warm. Then the weather compensates shortly after by returning not to cold but COLD! At the end of the month the temps were actually normal after all when averaged across the whole month. It seems strange but if 15 days in April are 80* and the remaining 15 send the mercury up only to 30 the average temp for the month is……50*.
I am so glad I am not average.
I give upon April though. It seems every day is April Fool's Day. April has become a difficult time for gardeners. What used to be an early gravy month has become the month of starts and stops. June is now the month I count on for extra gardening days. If I were one who takes a late winter vacation to some place warm I would not go in March anymore but April. However April is gone and it is time to garden.
There are a lot of garden activities going on this month. I have joined an excellent online forum for gardeners and foodies alike. I think they are one and the same these days! Hudson Valley Food Network, hvfoodnetwork.com is home to local food lovers and gardeners alike. The site is a compendium of information and discussions on home farming and sourcing local food from field to table to mouth. For gardeners they have a list of seminars and events going on throughout the whole season.
The list of local classes on Hudson Valley Food Network is quite extensive. In addition there are garden activities listed for the whole season.
Another extensive garden activities calendar is located at Hudson Valley Garden Calendar, hvgardencalendar.com This site lists strictly garden related activities from classes to tours to fund raisers. I was surprised and pleased to find out the author of the site included most if not all of the seminars held at Adams over the winter. A really cool addition to this site is the ability to add comments. For instance I would want to know about a garden tour in Westchester before leaving my home in Greene County some two hours to the north. Plenty of times in the past I have read about a so called "great festival" of some sort only to drive a long way and find nothing except a card table and two people selling radishes. Well not that bad but I am sure you get idea.
Some of the offerings for May:
Build A Planter Box: Twin Ponds Greenhouses, 2865 Albany Post Rd, Montgomery, NY 12549 on Friday May 7th at 6Pm "Great workshop for Dads - bring a child to make a planter for Mom, just in time for Mother's Day. Practical advice on how to plant your box for growing success."
Springside plant sale Sat. May 8th 10AM-3PM at Springside, 181 Academy Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12602
Proceeds benefit Springside Historic Landmark Restoration, a National Historic Landmark designed by Andrew Jackson Downing in 1850
Mother's Day Garden Talk May 9th 12-4 PM at Olana state historic site on RT 9G just south of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. The talk will feature a presentation on woodland plants & ferns with Bob Hyland from Loomis Creek Nursery.
For a change of pace try an herbal tea party. Visitors can enjoy an evening with Twin Ponds. Activities include games, drink some tea, and snack on herbal cookies. Share your experience with herbs. Twin Ponds Greenhouses, 2865 Albany Post Rd, Montgomery, NY 12549
Vassar College Farm and Ecological Preserve, Raymond & Hooker Aves, Poughkeepsie will be sponsoring a benefit for the Poughkeepsie farm Project n May 15th from 9 AM to 3 PM. Visitors can learn more about the farm's food  and education programs. For more information log on to farmproject.org
Vanderbilt Garden Tours at F.W. Vanderbilt National Historic Site, 119 Vanderbilt Park Rd, Hyde Park Tours will be conducted by garden interpreters highlighting the history of the garden, design and landscape elements and care and maintenance of the annuals, perennials, roses and shrubs. The volunteers at the Vanderbilt gardens are some of the most dedicated volunteers I have come across. They are frequent guests at our annual spring show.
Hand Bouquets of the 19th Century, With Ellen McClelland Lesser, NYBG and Sogetsu School of Ikebana  Fri, May 21 at 1:00PM - 4:00PM  Olana State Historic Site, 5720 Rt 9G, Hudson.
This lecture and hands-on workshop will show you how to make your own hand bouquet or posy using correct materials in the proper style of the period. Participants must bring their favorite flower scissors/ knife
So there you have a few other garden chores to add to your list. These events are just the ones listed for May!

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