Digging iris is tough work on the back, but that's what I've been doing
for two weeks, in preparation for the iris sale on July 31st. Then
after cleaning and trimming, Pete and I sit in front of the television
and mark name tags. Now that's teamwork! For members who do not have
iris to dig yourselves, how about volunteering to help other members who
need help. Cindi Davis would know who needs help if you are so
inclined. It's a great way to trade work for some new iris varieties,
if you're so inclined.
This time of year, just taking a walk around the
gardens requires carrying my handy scissors, hand trowel and marking
pen. Oh yes, and ribbon for highlighting those clumps needing
division. July and August should be known as "the month of weeds and
Oh yes, don't forget the after sale party at the home
of Billie Gray. Free food and lots of laughs. And if you won a
Presidential Rhizome, like Pete and I did, you'll really want to be
there. We each won a Presidential Rhizome the same evening, and many
members have never let us live that one down. The drawing for December
and January took place at the January meeting at our home; our five year
old granddaughter drew the winning numbers, first one for Pete, and then
one for me. Now is that karma or what?
Thinking ahead to the September meeting, I like the
idea of a program on "favorite garden tools". Come prepared to show and
tell about your favorite tool. I have three in mind, a bench, a cart
and a hoe. I have one tool to share that I hesitated a long time in
purchasing because of the cost, but now that tool goes with me
everywhere in the garden. I'll show you why in September. It was well
worth the purchase price. And I'll bring pictures from the catalog on
the one that is too big to cart to the meeting. How about your favorite
tool? Or bring along your worst tool, if you don't have a favorite.
I recently read an article in Reader's Digest about the
healing power of gardening. I was glad to hear tha fertile new research
proves that you reap when you sow. In a 2002 study of 3,310 women,
University of Arkansas scientists found that strenuous yard work
(pushing a lawn mower, pulling weeds) had the same beneficial effect on
bone density as weight training did. High bone density is key in
Regarding heart risk, in 2000, researchers in Denmark
reported that moderate exercise such as gardening decreased the risk of
heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Aim for at
least 30 minutes a day. (During the summer I do four hours a day.
For our mind, exercising mind and body has been proved
to reduce dementia risk. Gardening does both. It's an excellent mental
workout that requires planning and foresight and encourages learning,
says neuro-psychologist Paul Nussbaum.
Weed out diabetes: A 2002 Dutch study found that male
gardeners were more likely to have lower blood sugar levels. And a
University of Alabama study of 505 men and women with type 2 diabetes
found that active people, including those who gardened regularly,
reduced or eliminated their need for medication.
Finally, a 150-pound person burns 162 calories pruning,
digging or weeding for 30 minutes. Kids benefit too. A 2003 study
showed that non-competitive activities like gardening lure children away
from a sedentary lifestyle. And they learn about biology and
nutrition. A recent study in Texas found kids who gardened 30 minutes a
week were more likely to eat vegetables.