The berries in my backyard continue to be plentiful with raspberries, blueberries, goji berries, and of course invasive blackberries creeping up from the bluff. Read about the many health benefits of berries here:
UC Berkeley Wellness News
One of my favourite resources is the book, Wild Berries of British Columbia. Let me know if you are interested in taking a peek at it. Until our library is available to us, our new library team will be lending out our own books to members.
Do you have apple or other fruit trees? Here are some good resources which you may want to consult.
SSGC member Derry Walsh has a helpful website about apples, trees, pollinators, pruning and more. Derry is also more than happy to answer your questions about fruit trees.
In this video, South Surrey Garden Club member Roger Phillips demonstrates how to use the Lee Valley Diamond Sharpening Stick and provides suggestions on how to keep your pruners in good working condition.
Recently a question was posed to our discussion list regarding disinfecting pruners. Roger and Mary Dunn answered the question and both also suggested looking at Linda Chalker Scott's website.
Main Site: https://puyallup.wsu.edu/lcs/
Specific Pages: The Myth of Cloroxed Clippers and
Sterilized Pruning Tools: Nuisance or Necessity?
Mary Dunn' s advice:
Probably the best disinfectant for pruners is a Lysol or Dettol solution, 1 part lysol to 9 parts water. A jar is useful so you can put the pruners right into it. 70% Isopropanol is also effective, and evaporates quickly. Bleach (1:9 with water ) is sometimes recommended, but is corrosive and causes damage to the blades (oil after using it, but Lysol is a better choice). Always clean off any dirt or sap before disinfecting.
Here's Roger's advice:
Here in South Surrey, the plants that need the greatest care are roses (the dreaded black spot) and fruit trees (black knot on plums, canker on apples).
1) Check the state of the pruners. They should be clean, sharp, and free of any pitted surfaces where bacteria can build up.
2) Avoid cleaners like bleach or TSP--these are corrosives and will lead to pitting the surfaces of your pruner blades.
3) Hand sanitizers that contain alcohol are good but expensive. Rubbing alcohol is cheaper.
4) Household cleaners like Lysol, Listerine, Pine-Sol, are effective. Lysol comes in a spray can, very convenient to pack around the garden (but it's an aerosol, so not too environmentally friendly). Put enough fluid to cover the pruner blades in a canning jar with a tight lid.
5) Wipe off any excess cleaner after disinfecting so that the next plant gets pruned with a dry blade.
6) After finishing the pruning, wash the pruners in warm soapy water, scrub off any sticky deposits from plant sap, rinse, drain, and dry. *** (now is a good time to get the file or kitchen steel and sharpen the cutting edge of the pruners).
7) To get those unreachable surfaces where the blades hinge, add a couple of drops of sewing machine or other light oil and open and close the pruners a few times to smear all metal surfaces.
Lorna Fraser, our current Treasurer has recently been virtually attending Ali's health and fitness classes and suggested that we share this resource with our members. As Lorna describes her experience,
“I have been stretching / strengthening regularly with Ali since late April when her Zoom classes were recommended to me by a Vancouver friend. Her hour stretch classes are wonderful--she has a light, friendly manner with good explanations and lots of accommodation for various levels of stretchability and balance.”
Here's a short breathing and stretching video that Ali made just for us. If you are interested in taking virtual classes with Ali, go to her website at:
To read her blog, visit https://fitnessali.wordpress.com/
In lieu of meeting in person for our AGM, I will share a number of short gardening videos made specifically for our members. In this first video, SSGC member Sandi Bellamy's daughter Andrea provides us with a quick overview of winter gardening. Andrea will be presenting more about small space and container vegetable gardening at our September Zoom meeting.
She suggests reading this article about why you should plan your winter garden in July.
--Why You Should Plant Your Winter Garden in Summer
You may be interested to read more about Andrea on her blog and I highly recommend that you subscribe to her (very occasional) newsletter.
One of our members sent in a few video links to virtual garden tours. I'll add more as I become aware of them. Feel free to submit them to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just click on the links below, set your screen to full screen mode, and you will feel like you are there!
New York (18:15 min)
Portland Japanese Garden (20:55 min)
Missouri Botanical Iris Garden (1:26:53 min)
Brooklyn Botanic Garden - Leisurely stroll along Cherry Walk (21:19 min)
For our online meetings, we will be using the Zoom application. Download and/or read this information about how to get ready for a Zoom meeting! Download the document here--> click me! or read it below. For more information about Zoom, go to Help, How do I join a Zoom Meeting? Zoom with your friends! (The free account lets you zoom for up to 40 minutes with up to 100 people.)
For many years, we have been using the Yahoo groups service for our SSGC discussion list. Members have regularly posted questions to the group that other members answered. Recently, Yahoo has been making many changes to their service, has phased out many functions, and made it difficult to add new members. For these reasons, we have decided to disable the Yahoo account and start a new discussion list. Please join our new group!
After you receive a confirmation email, you must click “confirm” to join. That will take you to a page with instructions. I hope that you will elect to join. Every new member who is a current SSGC member will be approved within 2 days.