Since retiring and moving into a condo my wife and I will only occasionally miss hanging out in the yard at this time of the year, but we still enjoy wandering through the garden centres to find a few potted treasures for our deck, and really look forward strolling around the neighbourhood and watching everyone else’s magic creations bloom into amazing color and glory.
Like so many other avid and mostly amateur ‘green thumbs’ out there we somehow manage to shuffle our jobs, the kids, pets, and a little bit of a social life with trying to keep up, between showers and tee times, with nature’s delicate creations and challenges in our own little piece of ‘backyard paradise.’ Despite the weeds, the winds, and those pesky predators we hope that it will eventually burst into glorious green and colors, which we can then sit back and admire, at least until September.
As our town crews are out sweeping and sprucing up our community, it is really great to see our 4-H clubs performing their annual highway clean-up, the children frolicking around the school yards and happily filling their colourful garbage bags, as well as all those energetic citizens of all ages who vigorously get into the ‘spring fling’ clean-up mode in our river valley, parks, sports fields, and everywhere else where winter has left some trash behind. All of these efforts are super community pride, and hopefully it will rub off and be carried on by all of us as we are out and about enjoying nature’s finest to the fullest this spring and summer during Canada’s exciting 150th birthday celebration.
We are now entering a hectic time of the year when people of all ages are out and about walking, running, pushing their strollers, as well as riding their bikes and scooters, skate boards, roller blades, and whatever else will get them to where they want to go at their own pace and speed. Those of us who are behind the wheel need to pay 100 per cent special attention to what is in front or behind us, especially in the mornings when everyone is dashing off to school or work, mostly in a hurry. I was shocked last week that someone was actually clocked at over 90 clicks an hour in a school zone, and on my way back home on the QE2 on Tuesday most of us slowed down to the posted 80 km/h in a construction zone, but at least five vehicles roared by in the lane where the men and machines were working. Those who enforce the ‘rules of the road’ are very unhappy with the growing number of infractions that are occurring on our highways and by-ways, and have now increased the speeding fines by 35 per cent, as well as the demerits and suspensions going to those who have no respect for the safety of others.
How about a little gardening humour?
• The best way to do your gardening is to put on a wide brimmed straw hat and some old clothes, and with a hoe in one hand and a cold drink in the other, tell somebody else where to dig.
• A weed, especially our beloved dandelions are plants that have mastered every skill for survival except for learning how to grow in rows.
• Why are husbands like lawn mowers? They are difficult to get started, they make a lot of noise, and they don’t work half the time. A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken; because then you can sneak away to the lake to work on the tan or head off to the golf course with your buddies.
• Hey neighbour, why do you water your lawn with whiskey? So that it comes up ‘half cut.’
• It won’t be long before the really serious ‘green thumbs’ among us will be pruning and pampering their garden produce, plants, and flowers for ‘show and sell’ at the Ponoka Farmer’s Market every Wednesday morning at the Ponoka Curling Rink, with the best of the rest likely ready to go on display at the long-standing Ponoka County Fair and Ag Show in August. Enjoy the sun but hope for a little rain and have a great week, all of you.