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National Gardening Assn proclaims April 2005 Garden month

  • Subject: [cg] National Gardening Assn proclaims April 2005 Garden month
  • From: Don Boekelheide dboekelheide@yahoo.com
  • Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2005 08:49:52 -0800 (PST)

Bangor, Maine, Bangor Daily News

Diana George Chapin, NEWS garden columnist

NGA proclaims 'Give A Garden' project for April 2005
'National Garden Month'

Looking forward to sinking your trowel into a new
gardening project this year? Why not include a child,
neighbor or friend in your endeavor? From its center
in Burlington, Vt., the National Gardening Association
has declared April 2005 National Garden Month. Along
with a sweeping network of educators, retailers and
home gardeners, the association is determined to
"transform lives" with their "Give a Garden" campaign.
The goal is to bring individuals just like you and
communities just like yours together through
gardening. A host of gardening businesses,
associations and retailers is joining the effort.

Since 1973, the NGA has promoted garden-based
education. The association recognizes the essential
connection so many of us enjoy among people, plants
and the environment. It promotes gardening as a means
to renew and sustain those ties, developing programs
focused on five core areas: youth education, health
and wellness, environmental stewardship, community
development and home gardening.

The Give a Garden campaign is built on the simple
premise that there is someone in your community who
will benefit by receiving a "garden" from you. Anyone
can take up a trowel and offer the vitality and beauty
of plants to another. Your endeavor can be as small as
giving a container of geraniums to an elderly neighbor
or as big and elaborate as planting an extensive
garden in a public space. The opportunity for making a
difference through gardening is as wide as your
imagination.

You can learn more about this year's National
Gardening Month at www.garden.org. If you're worried
that April is a bit early to begin gardening with
anything but peas in our chilly state, consider a
small indoor project. Cultivate a windowsill herb
garden. Pot up a peculiar plant such as a Venus
flytrap with a child you know. Grow nutritious
alfalfa, broccoli or mung bean spouts in a glass jar
or plastic container on the kitchen countertop. Or
simply watch peas, beans or pumpkin seeds sprout by
keeping them in a glass jar with a bit of water for a
week or so. Grow a terrarium with mosses and small
evergreen plants harvested from the largest colonies
you can find in your woods.

If you are working with children who like to paint and
make crafts, buy some inexpensive terra cotta pots and
let them indulge their natural creativity by painting
the pots. Repot houseplants in the pots or give them
away as birthday and thank you gifts. Alternatively,
make "pot people" by painting faces on small clay
pots. Fill the pots with growing medium and plant
grass seed, water, and watch the "hair" grow.

Make hand-painted plant markers or flashy homemade
ornaments and give them to a gardener in your
neighborhood to put between rows to frighten off
birds. Build a birdhouse with someone else. If your
carpentry skills aren't the best, perhaps you'll find
kits or plans at your local garden centers or at a
craft shop.

If you don't make new year's resolutions because you
never can keep them, consider rolling up your sleeves
for national gardening month this year. Unlike a
resolution that may be too large to accomplish, the
month will offer ample opportunity to make a small
contribution to someone else's life: even a one-time,
one-day commitment can make a world of difference to
someone who does not yet know the joy of gardening.

Looking forward to sinking your trowel into a new
gardening project this year? Why not include a child,
neighbor or friend in your endeavor? From its center
in Burlington, Vt., the National Gardening Association
has declared April 2005 National Garden Month. Along
with a sweeping network of educators, retailers and
home gardeners, the association is determined to
"transform lives" with their "Give a Garden" campaign.
The goal is to bring individuals just like you and
communities just like yours together through
gardening. A host of gardening businesses,
associations and retailers is joining the effort.

Since 1973, the NGA has promoted garden-based
education. The association recognizes the essential
connection so many of us enjoy among people, plants
and the environment. It promotes gardening as a means
to renew and sustain those ties, developing programs
focused on five core areas: youth education, health
and wellness, environmental stewardship, community
development and home gardening.

The Give a Garden campaign is built on the simple
premise that there is someone in your community who
will benefit by receiving a "garden" from you. Anyone
can take up a trowel and offer the vitality and beauty
of plants to another. Your endeavor can be as small as
giving a container of geraniums to an elderly neighbor
or as big and elaborate as planting an extensive
garden in a public space. The opportunity for making a
difference through gardening is as wide as your
imagination.

You can learn more about this year's National
Gardening Month at www.garden.org. If you're worried
that April is a bit early to begin gardening with
anything but peas in our chilly state, consider a
small indoor project. Cultivate a windowsill herb
garden. Pot up a peculiar plant such as a Venus
flytrap with a child you know. Grow nutritious
alfalfa, broccoli or mung bean spouts in a glass jar
or plastic container on the kitchen countertop. Or
simply watch peas, beans or pumpkin seeds sprout by
keeping them in a glass jar with a bit of water for a
week or so. Grow a terrarium with mosses and small
evergreen plants harvested from the largest colonies
you can find in your woods.

If you are working with children who like to paint and
make crafts, buy some inexpensive terra cotta pots and
let them indulge their natural creativity by painting
the pots. Repot houseplants in the pots or give them
away as birthday and thank you gifts. Alternatively,
make "pot people" by painting faces on small clay
pots. Fill the pots with growing medium and plant
grass seed, water, and watch the "hair" grow.

Make hand-painted plant markers or flashy homemade
ornaments and give them to a gardener in your
neighborhood to put between rows to frighten off
birds. Build a birdhouse with someone else. If your
carpentry skills aren't the best, perhaps you'll find
kits or plans at your local garden centers or at a
craft shop.

If you don't make new year's resolutions because you
never can keep them, consider rolling up your sleeves
for national gardening month this year. Unlike a
resolution that may be too large to accomplish, the
month will offer ample opportunity to make a small
contribution to someone else's life: even a one-time,
one-day commitment can make a world of difference to
someone who does not yet know the joy of gardening.

Diana George Chapin is the NEWS garden columnist.


______________________________________________________
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