Article by Minn Thorp, Gardener

In Alix, Alberta, author, Clubs & Associations, Gardens, Organizations on April 6, 2021 at 12:01 PM

Minn Thorpe , Gardener

From Alix Horticultural club – By A. Neilsen, Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Horticultural club, 1974

Mrs. Thorpe, a very enthusiastic gardener, wrote “Notes on Gardening” every week in the Lacombe Globe. Here is one that anyone can understand and enjoy.  August 13, 1953.


“  ‘Hoe! Hoe! Hoe!” cried the gardener.   It is too late to hoe and those energetic weeds just grow, grow, grow – until it’s cooler.  Happily, one of the nicest things about gardening is that if you put it off long enough eventually it is too late.

The best way to get real enjoyment out of your garden on a hot day is to put on a wide straw hat, cool clothes, hold a trowel in one hand and an iced lemonade in the other – and tell someone else where to dig.

If you have no one to dig, you still have a full yard of industrious helpers.  Every little winged bug and crawling insect is busy pollinating your flowers.  With the continual battle against the bad bugs, we forget the good ones. But watch a while and in a few minutes, you are lost in the spell of little things.

Over your garden, flooded with sunshine, the carefree and easy-going butterflies flutter like wind-tossed leaves, while the dragonflies are like streaks of blue light.  The heavily laden bees buzz by in their deliberate and tireless search for nectar.

We are told that bees are almost as much a part of some flowers as are stamens and pistils. If it weren’t for the bees, half our most beautiful flowers would disappear.  The honeybee does the most work and covers the greatest territory.  According to estimates a bee must visit 210,000 flowers for every ounce of honey it makes.

Monkshood, columbine and delphinium depend on bumble-bees for cross-pollination.  The common red clover is another bumble-bee flower; its mechanism does not operate for any other kind of insect.

Your eye catches a bit of brightness and a ladybug, dainty and quaint in her red and black crinoline, is quietly disposing of the aphids.  Then with startling suddenness, lemonade forgotten, ice cubes melting,  you stare breathlessly as with a rapid fire beating of wings a humming bird poises over the stately spires of delphinium, sips from the hidden nectar chalice; then is gone absolutely, leaving an empty stillness.” (end of quote)

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