HELEN NICOLAOU, Special to The Standard

With a great sigh of relief, the first day of spring has come and was a welcome sight with the warm winds and longer, sunny days to melt the banks of snow almost overnight.
If you wintered your favourite geranium and would like to try your hand to propagate some cuttings. Then it’s fairly easy and nothing to lose since there’s not a whole lot of gardening to be done outdoors yet. Start by taking a 6″ cutting and removing all but the top leaves. Place the cuttings in rooting hormone to quicken the root development and place in moist soilless products like vermiculite or perlite. Once the roots are present, you can pot your cuttings until the weather is favourable to plant outside. Many other plants can be propagated by cuttings, like shrubs, roses, trees, and even herbs such as rosemary.
We were delighted to have Helen Battersby present “The Gardens of Ireland” when we needed to dream of green grass and gardens sitting in the comfort of our recliners. Taking us from the importance of the formation of Irelands “Prehistoric” bogs to what we appreciate now as the “Modern” day garden. The Newgrange Tomb is a World Heritage site located in the Boyne Valley. Constructed 5,200 years ago with a white quartz facade and boulders to anchor the internal walls brought out of the Boyne River. The Neolithic farming Community took several generations to complete this place of worship and honour, where ancestral dignitaries were laid to rest. An incredible lasting monument of Human Engineering.
The Powerscourt House and Gardens is in the top ten in the world of must-see gardens. Situated on forty-seven acres designed from 1731 onwards, a blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statues and ornamental lakes. The unique Pepperpot Tower was modelled after a pepper shaker from Lord Powerscourt’s dining table.
Helen took us to one of Ireland’s largest private gardens owned by Jimi Blake at Huntingwoods Gardens.
Situated on five acres of contemporary exotic and fifteen acres of woodland and valley gardens. Full of movement, shape, colour and texture with year-round interest. Jimi’s newest garden includes a Sand Garden complete with winding paths, planted with hundreds of succulents and cactus with a mix of desert, alpine, and Mediterranean plants.
Thank you to Helen Battersby for sharing her amazing personal experience enjoyed by all attending our virtual meeting on March 15th.
Our next meeting will be at the Nestleton Hall on Tuesday, April 5th, with Guest speakers Joe and Hazel Cook of Blossom Hill Nursery. Topic “What’s the Buzz – Be Amazed.” Specializing in hardy perennials in open fields, Native Wildflowers and Honeybees.
Members – do your stretches, shine up your garden tools and find your gloves. We are looking for a selection of perennials, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs started from seed and houseplants. We will be returning to our popular “In-Person”, C Annual Plant, Yard and Garden Sale on Saturday, May 21st, at the Nestleton hall. Your donations are greatly appreciated. More details will be announced at our April 5th meeting. Looking forward to seeing you all there.
Pineridgegardenclub.com. Where Gardeners come to Bloom.