www.whyville.net Mar 21, 2010 Weekly Issue

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Gardening 101

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Many of you have probably been enjoying the first signs of spring this past March. I know I have! Some of my favorite sports are starting up, the sun has been peeking out of the gray winter clouds, and I have been going on bike rides with my brother. These are all fun springtime activities, but none of them compare to my favorite spring hobby - gardening.

Lots of people think gardening is just for old people who are long retired from their day jobs. Others might think it is simply a waste of time. I however think it is an awesome way to express individuality, and it is also a fun way to pass time. I agree that planting the marigold seed in the plastic cup with your name scribbled on it back in grade school was boring, and I hope that isn't what you think gardening is.

To me gardening is squishing your hands through the soft dirt, smelling freshly bloomed flowers, and getting excited when you see the little green stems of bulbs or seeds peeking out of the ground. You don't have to be an expert to start a garden either. All you need is a little bit of advice from somebody who knows what they are talking about.

To start gardening, all you need is a plot of land, a shovel, and a plant. Notice I did not say seeds/bulbs. For a beginner, I would suggest something that is already well and alive. Seeds and bulbs don't always work, and are a lot harder to keep alive. A great, hardy plant for the springtime is forsythia. Forsythia is a bush that has yellow flowers that bloom right off the dormant plant from the past year. The dainty yellow flowers that cover the bush then turn into green foliage after they are done blooming.

I would also suggest for a burst of color Wave Petunias. They bloom more in the later months of spring like April and May, but really spread in your garden. Oriental grass is also a great addition to your garden. You need to be careful when picking what grasses you want for your garden however, because some are not hardy in your climate zone. If you purchase plants from a store such as Walmart, the tag will have what zones it is hardy in. If you like the grassy look but love flowers too, daylilies are perfect. These plants are grassy in the springtime, and bloom like crazy in June and July. A common, golden yellow daylily is Stella De Oro. A bright yellow daylily is Happy Return.

So hopefully I have given you some ideas on what would look good in a new garden. One last tip for a new gardener is not to be discouraged if a plant dies. Plants are like people in a way; they don't always live as long as you want them to. I have killed tons of plants in my past years as a gardener.

Time's a ticking to start planting spring flowers so please, go outside and start your dream garden today!


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