The sun is shining and spring is definitely in the air! There is much talk about the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day and so I feel virtuous as I get my hands into the garden soil. I can just about smell the flowers and taste the herbs and veggies that will fill the garden in a few months!
If you are thinking along those lines and need some help with your garden there are many good websites to check. The wonderful New York Botanical Garden and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden offer a range of helpful gardening ideas for the novice and advanced gardener. You can even ask an expert at the NYBG any gardening question. Do you want to plant a garden to attract wildlife? Or are you more interested in the color scheme for your garden? Check these great horticultural sources for help.
Cornell Cooperative Extension has a wealth of information on its website. But not everything is available online! You still must bring a soil sample to Eisenhower Park if you want it tested; check the other services available there. I know there will be pest problems at some point but right now I am optimistic and more interested in the annuals that the staff has evaluated and found promising for Long Island.
When you need more inspiration or a break from the garden chores, our area has some wonderful places to visit. In addition to the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx (don’t forget the library has a pass you can borrow to visit that wonderful place!) and the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, there are several worthwhile places on Long Island. Try Old Westbury Gardens (the library also has a pass), Planting Fields Arboretum, Bayard Cutting Arboretum, Bailey Arboretum, and Clark Botanic Garden.
I have not yet mastered gardening in the dark (my kids threatened once to get me a miner’s hat with a light!) so at night I can content myself with reading a good book set in a garden. May I suggest some books by Ann Ripley (maybe Death at the Spring Plant Sale), Janis Harrison (Reap a Wicked Harvest is a possibility), Anthony Eglin’s English Garden mysteries or Rosemary Harris’ Dirty Business series? Susan Wittig Albert ‘s character China Bayles is an herbalist. You could check out Mark Mills’ Savage Garden or The Garden Plot by J.S. Borthwick.
But now the warm sun beckons me outdoors. I must get my fingers into the dirt! If you notice I am wearing bright red nail polish you can be sure I have been happily outside planting seed, dividing and transplanting plants, or even pulling a weed or two.
– posted by Brenda, Reference Services