HELEN NICOLAOU,

Special to The Standard

Sunny days have enticed us to get out into the yard to start sprucing up. Raking stray leaves, grass and picking up those broken branches caused by snow and wind damage. Blooming crocus and snowdrops are first to appear, setting up for a canvas of daffodils, tulips and hyacinths to come.

Our first in-person meeting at Nestleton Hall on April 5th was well attended. It was nice to catch up and finally see all our gardening friends once again.

Thank you to Joe and Hazel Cook of Blossom Hill Nursery, who gave an informative presentation on ‘What’s the Buzz – Bee Amazed’. They shared their passion for transforming a 20-acre barren plot over the past 28 years into one filled with perennial borders of peonies and delphiniums. This led them to plant a 12-acre field with native wildflowers and a tall prairie grass meadow, becoming the perfect location for their main apiary. Joe and Hazel dazzled us with facts about the Life of Honey Bees through all the stages, from a tiny egg to the nectar foraging adult worker bee.

With each speaker, we are learning the detrimental effects of invasive species that threaten our native species and the importance of planting native ones.

This leads us to be aware of the Invasive Asian Jumping Worms located in gardens and ravines in Toronto, Hamilton and Kent County in the summer of 2021. Asian jumping worms are damaging gardens and landscapes. Characteristics to look for would be the milky ring close to the head, shiny, smooth body, may thrash and drop tail if disturbed; soil appears loose, crumbly, coffee ground like casts, with sparse ground cover. Jumping worms are usually located in the top layer of soil. Stop the spread in your garden by producing your own compost or leaf mulch.

When visiting gardens or trails, arrive clean and leave clean by removing all soil and debris from your shoes. For more info, haltonmastergardeners.com/2022/04/15/invasive-jumping-worms—information-for-home-gardeners/

Tuesday, May 3rd at 7:30 p.m., we welcome speaker Ingrid Janssen. The topic for the evening will be ‘Peonies and Partners –Stars of the June Garden.’ We will also be hosting our first competition, the Spring Flower Show. All entries must be labelled and placed between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Late entries will not be accepted. First-time exhibitors are encouraged to participate. Show organizers at Nestleton Hall will be available to assist you in filling out entry tags for proper class, section and article.

We are preparing for our popular Annual Plant Bake and Yard Sale on Saturday, May 21st, at 8 a.m. We need your support and appreciate donations of perennials, shrubs that have sprouted side shoots from your garden, annuals, herbs, and vegetables started from seed and house plants.

Visit us at pineridgegardenclub.com – Where gardeners come to bloom.