BIG Spring Guide #3 by Kimberly Childers •

Santa Rosa, CA. ~ May is here at last with all her floriferous- ness, beautiful! Raised beds and gardens are ready to plant seeds and starts of everything we love, strawber- ries, carrots and plenty of greens, heirloom wildflow- ers, choco- late daisies, sunflowers, Persian Carpet but- terfly zin- nias and climbing everything, for your tall tripods and trellises. Soft or-

ange, lily flowered tulips are fading away next to seed ‘skeletons’ of once blue-petaled forget- me-nots which have been cut back and bundled up for the compost. California native gardens are flourishing and intricately col- ored butterflies are instinctively ‘flitting’ from flower to flower. I hope you’re checking out all of the inspirational front yards and gardens around town, spectacu- lar spots here and there. I’ve seen a few huge fountains planted in gorgeous collections of succu- lents instead of water! Nice. Everyone’s new ponds are start-

ing to really take hold and sup- port a thriving eco system with Mosquito fish keeping things in check, elegant, yellow sweet flag standing tall and my favorite water poppy, ‘Hydrocleys nym- phoides’ floating about. On line there are hundreds of sites to help you create the pond you dream of or a facsimile thereof. So. . .what are you waiting for?!

I’ve been spending a bit of time with Alys Fowler, always in- spiring. Her opinions about the importance of ‘soil first’ in your

garden are imperative. Prepare your organic soil first, then plant your seeds. The importance of compost

cannot be overstated and with our kitchen waste we can cer- tainly make our own, be it worm bins or recycled-pallet compost bins with easily re- movable sides for turning. Order one of


amazing books, used or new . They are priceless. My fa- vorite is, The Edi- ble Gar- den, How to Have Your Gar- den and

Eat It, Too. Seaweed! Bringing the sea

back on to the land with its amazing nutrients seems to be pure magic in the garden. It is thought that seaweed synthesizes an arsenal of beneficial chemical compounds which can be uti- lized by garden plants. Locally, seaweed products are available at all our favorite nurseries and garden centers. Liquid and/or concentrated seaweed powders, you decide. Is it time to get a real indoor

compost bucket that doesn’t stink up the kitchen, attract fruit flies, etc? Look on line for excel- lent features like stainless steel, lasting your lifetime at least and size, too tall, too small, charcoal filters or not. Shop around to find the best deal. You’ve got to have the right tools for the job and kitchen composting is be- coming very important. If you’re tired of ‘sharing’

your berries with marauding birds check out Gardman’s Fruit Cages for all your berries. It costs around $50. and seems to ‘be the ticket’ for quite a reasonable

“If the ocean can calm itself, so can you. We are both salt water mixed with air.” ― Nayyirah Waheed

price. You can stand up inside too! It’s available on line and locally as well if you don’t have access to a good carpen- ter, a friend, a smart stu- dent or your grandfather. You decide. Many of you still love and enjoy roses as I do. Their evocative fragrance is unsurpassed. I’ve been spraying a mixture of 1 Tbsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp dish soap, and 1 Tbsp. horticul- tural oil, added to 1 gallon of water. Put the water in first so your concoction doesn’t bub- ble away. Shake to mix. This makes the tasty leaves not so tasty for bugs, helps with black spot, rust and powdery mildew.

Be sure to spray the undersides of leaves too. Make Make sure you feed your plants well with fish emulsion, seaweed, cof- fee grounds and aged com- post. Do not water over- head and hard prune them at winter’s end, depending on the variety.

Sunsets melt

into lingering days of late spring as frogs and crickets continue their usual, prolific

symphonies. Water bugs waltz and glide across your glassy pond. Fragrances begin to min- gle in the warmer breezes. What a simply divine time of year. . .

UPBEAT TIMES, INC. • MAY 2020 • Pg 11 Beautiful! From Flower to Flower Facts & Trivia #2

In May of 1866, Root Beer was invented by Charles Elmer Hires in Philadelphia, PA.

On May 16, 2006 the Apple MacBook was released.

In May of 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge, connecting San Francisco with Marin County, California opened. Today was “Pedestrian Day” - cars were allowed the following day.

Several centuries ago in Holland, tulips were more valuable than gold.

During World War II tulip bulbs were claimed to taste awful and dry however many kept hunger at bay by eating tulip bulbs. Some families used tulips in place of onions.

Hydrangeas’ color is deter- mined by the acidity of the soil it’s planted in. If the soil is too alkaline it will result in pink Hydrangeas.

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Unforeseen Interruptions! From time to time mini fender benders and accidents occur when you least expect them. And they do happen. We are a positive solution to these annoying interruptions. We hope you don’t have to call us. But if you do... We’ll be ready!

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5800 Guerneville Rd. Sebastopol • 829-2477

UPBEAT TIMES, INC. • MAY 2020 • Pg 9

Miz Kimberly

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