The birds are singing their hearts out yet the forecast for today is 3-6" more slushy snow. While everyone is tired of "Sprinter", the name coined for this fifth season, it's us gardeners that are feeling most on edge, and ok, maybe those kids who can't start school sports cuz their playing fields are covered in SNOW!
What to do when the ground is still frozen hard in mid-April? Well, here's a bit of what I've been doing while digging is on hold.
This month I headed out to Fergus Falls, MN, not that far from Fargo, to speak at the West Otter Tail County Garden Day. I was honored to be included in this big event that featured 46 garden speakers from all around MN and even ND. They requested I talk about "Ten Tips for Better Garden Photos", elaborating from my magazine article of the same title. Everyone was so nice, the classes were full and the event ran like a well-oiled machine thanks to the organizational genius of Jan Brooberg and her band of hard-working Master Gardener volunteers.
During a break between my two talks I was able to check out all of the garden vendors. Seeing blooming plants and garden paraphernalia was kind of shocking to the system after you become resigned to an Arctic existence.
One vendor stuck out from the rest. This guy was a natural born salesman; he engaged the customer with a personable introduction and a firm handshake. He was knowledgeable about his product and knew his target demographic. And he was just 10 years old.
Jacoby explained that their "tomato cradles" were designed, patented and built by his grandfather using re-purposed crates. I love the idea of new concept for tomato supports, and this one looks like it will indeed gently cradle your tomatoes while they grow. If you're interested in more info check out www.tomatocradles.com
Back in Minneapolis this week, I headed over to Magers and Quinn Bookstore to attend Amy Stewart's stop on her "Drunken Botanist" book tour. She was good humored about giving her talk while the snow and sleet pelted down outside, since she was booked for Miami the very next day. Her book has been a crossover success on all the bestseller lists. Only in a couple of chapters I can already recommend it.
It's an in-depth look at the botanical ingredients that made and make possible all the alcoholic drinks throughout history. As she says, look behind the bar at your favorite restaurant and all it really is, is distilled plant material. However, the book is a much more romanticized and wonky journey into the botany behind the booze.
Meanwhile planning for the 2013 Hennepin County Master Gardener Learning Garden Tour continues. As always we are cooking up lots of great ideas for the tour. This year we feature gardens in Edina, Bloomington and south Minneapolis with Master Gardeners on hand to answer your questions while you glean inspiration and information. It's Saturday, July 13 from 9-4. Check out the Hennepin County Master Gardener webpage for ticket info.
So it looks for now like all we can do is talk and dream about gardening, but surely spring and summer will eventually arrive, someday, right?