What is a gardener’s best friend? Some say it’s those Felco pruners that fit perfectly in your hand, or that special Hula-ho cultivator, but few think about the tiny creatures that are essential to successful gardens everywhere — bees. Gathering nectar and pollen, these lively insects soar and bounce, filling gardens with vitality and motion. Bees are essential for pollinating flowering crops and almost one-third of our food supply depends on their efforts. A typical honeybee can visit over 1,000 flowers a day — talk about being busy as a bee!
Chilly, erratic maritime weather can make success with heat-lovers challenging for Pacific Northwestern gardeners. Since tomatoes are America’s favorite backyard crop, it’s good to have a few tricks up your sleeve. For starters, choose varieties with a strong regional track record. Cherry, grape and other cluster-type tomatoes also ripen reliably in cool-night climates like ours.
Get container garden ideas at Molbak’s free seminar
Looking for new ways to dress up your containers this season? Or new to container gardening and wondering how to get started?
Molbak’s and Karen Chapman have the answers. Chapman, designer and co-author of the bestseller “Fine Foliage: Elegant Plant Combinations for Garden and Containers” will share exciting new plant combinations and designs particularly suited for pots, hanging baskets and troughs at a free seminar, Design for Drama – Containers with Flair at Molbak’s on Saturday, May 17, 10 to 11 a.m.
Chapman will explore the basics of container gardening, how to combine plants for the biggest impact and most pleasing effect and why some combinations work better than others. Book signing to follow.
Plunge into easy water bowl gardens at Molbak’s
Having a pond or water garden is the ultimate for many gardeners, but not everyone has the space to install one. Enter the water bowl garden. Perfect for decks and patios, water bowl gardens have all the appeal of larger gardens without requiring digging or a lot of space. Learn all you need to know to get started on your own water bowl from Carolyn Whelan of Hughes Water Gardens at a free seminar at Molbak’s on Saturday, May 17, noon to 1 p.m.
Get tips on containers, design ideas and plant recommendations as well as learn how easy it is to care for your water garden so you can enjoy it for years to come. For more information on these and other events at Molbak’s, visit http://www.molbaks.com/events.html.
Steve Goto, ‘The Tomato King,’ returns to Molbak’s May 10. (Courtesy Photo)
Let Molbak’s show you how to get the most from your tomatoes this season. Molbak’s is hosting two free seminars dedicated to tomatoes. The first, Growing Tomatoes in the Pacific Northwest, features Steve Goto, a professional tomato grower, on Saturday, May 10, 10-11:30 a.m. Goto, known as “The Tomato King,” is a third generation nurseryman and will share planting tips and proven organic methods for planting and growing tomatoes. Attendees will learn which varieties, including heirloom and grafted tomatoes, perform best in our cooler maritime climate. This event is sponsored by Gardner & Bloome, producers of organic soils and fertilizers.
Spring is here! The proof is all around us, in the early blooming perennials and fruit trees, the fuzzy chartreuse of trees and shrubs leafing out, and visions of gardeners everywhere, pruning, weeding, planting, and generally sprucing. In just a few weeks, annuals and tomatoes can move outdoors, and begin their exuberant growth. Just in time, the Woodinville Garden Club presents its 30th annual Plant Sale, on Saturday, May 10.