I got bit by the gardening bug when I was very young – sometime in April, a (ahem) number of decades ago. The family love for getting out and growing got passed on to me (but surprisingly not to all of my brothers and sisters).
The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies”
April in National Gardening Month
Back in the 1980s when my friends were fussing about sea turtles and the like, I sent the equivalent of about $100 today dollars off to this group calling themselves the National Garden Bureau (NGB). Our goal was (among other things) to create a National Gardening Week. Took some legislation too. NGB worked with 23 co-sponsoring national horticultural organizations to legislate National Garden Week, and in 1986 President Reagan signed the Proclamation. In 2002, the National Gardening Association resolved to extend the celebration to encompass the entire month of April. (And yes, I am a NGB member today.)
Friendly Reminder to Get Outside
NGB reminds us that we garden writers know the innumerable benefits that gardening brings to people and their communities, and April is a month where we can spread that message to those who aren’t YET directly involved in gardening. All around the country, educational activities, public events, government proclamations, local plant sales and swaps, and garden center seminars, are all occurring this month, building excitement and increasing participation in gardening. Yes – even in these Covid-times.
Here are Some Simple Gardening Ideas
I do hope you will take some time in what is left of this month to engage your family, friends, and neighbors in gardening. Here’s some ideas to get you started.
For children: grow a hideout by planting sunflowers in a big square so they can go into the middle of these towering beauties and have a secret hideaway. Growing Sunflowers – here.
For all ages: Grow a pizza garden! Well, not the wheat for the crust and all – but most herbs are good starter plants for folks new to gardening. They are more tolerant of improper care than many other plants. Pizza herbs like oregano, thyme and basil all do well here. I have posts on them: Basil – here, and then there is Mexican oregano – here. Don’t forget some tasty thyme – here. And on another site I write for – using oregano on SavortheSW.
Want a touch of water in the desert? It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Here’s a picture of my water garden when I first started out. Kids wading pool, bricks so the plants didn’t drown, and 10 cent goldfish to eat any mosquito larvae. Then I got some desert pupfish and I am their slave because they need moving water – but that’s another story.
Create a cozy bower – a shady nook to sit in. Do this in your side yard where you can sit in the shade and read a book. You could opt for an inexpensive trellis and train some vines up it. (Vine ideas -here.)
The idea is to get outside and enjoy the spring weather and hopefully some time with your family. Help the youngsters learn the joy of gardening.
I close some words from the NGB: “Above all, have fun! When you garden, you grow.”
More about overall care of your land and landscape in this book: Month by Month Gardening for Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico (Cool Springs Press). This link is to Amazon and if you buy the book there the Horticulture Therapy non-profit Tierra del Sol Institute will get a few pennies – at no extra cost to you.
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