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Holidays and flowers

January 18, 2019
By H.I. JEAN SHIELDS - Garden Club of Cape Coral ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

We will be celebrating two major holidays in the next 4 days. The first one is today as we celebrate Florida's National Arbor Day. The actual National Arbor Day is in April, however all the states are free to celebrate according to their state's climate.Florida people do not want to be planting trees in the cold, or at east they do not want to be planting trees by the millions at the wrong time of the year.

Arbor Day observance helps to educate the public about the value of all trees - a canopy of trees for shade, wildlife and soil conservation. Schools, civic groups and parks will be planting trees by the dozen or one or two in private yards. The Florida Forest Service plants millions every year. You may still plant one this weekend, it will still count.

While planting, check out the big box stores for an amazing colorful display of flowers to also plant. Bright red geraniums, pentas, cute little pansy faces, petunias, several colors, Dianthus deep purple, taller dark blue Salvia and Coreopsis, bright yellow with a ring of purple.

Also several hanging baskets of crimson red shaded Calibrachea - they are a bit heavy so make sure to have a strong hook for hanging.

A wild prairie style looking plant is Bulbine. The tall spiky stems are toped with the tiniest of yellow flowers surrounded with a mass of fine foliage.

American marigolds, with bright puffy rounded heads, and the dwarf French merigold that will grow only about 8 inches high.

Thryallis bushes are bright yellow, but with dainty blooms that Butterflies love.

So many colors and choices and the singles are still under $2.

You must be sure and read the plant tag for instructions concerning sun, shade, watering and actual size.

The one exceptional plant I saw earlier this week on Pine Island was a beautiful hydrangea bush with huge white snowball flowers. A standard plant because it was growing with one strong branch to make it look like a small tree with all flowers at the top.

We cannot grow all kinds of the hydrangea bushes here in the south, this is a rather expensive plant and not the easiest care plant, but it is a beautiful plant and you do not see many of them for sale here.

These plants are grafted plants to protect them from nematodes. Check the computer for our area and read the tags.

The fluctuating weather patterns we are enduring right now seems too cool for planting, but you can hold them for a few days before planting. These are mostly annual plants and will not last forever, but you will enjoy them for the beauty the offer for as long as they do last. You will be ready for a change in the spring anyway.

The second Holiday is Monday, the 21st, and is an American federal holiday in observant of Civil Rights activist and Baptist minister, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Assassinated 51 years ago, we celebrate his life and achievements and mighty efforts during the Civil Rights movement. He was an eloquent speaker for the cause - check the computer where many of his words are recorded.

I will close with one of his many quotes.

"The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important."

Till we meet again.

HI Jean Shields is Past President of the Garden Club of Cape Coral.



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