A recent spell of cool, damp weather has slowed the progress of Liz Thunstrom’s beloved geraniums. But she’s dutifully feeding them “waking-up” fertilizer and remains hopeful some of the best offspring from her own collection of the hardy perennials will be fulsome enough to be sold at the Dogwood Garden Club’s annual plant sale on May 4.
Many of the perennials, plants and shrubs offered at the sale come from the club members’ own gardens. There’s also tomato plants, herbs and annuals from Devon Nursery, as well as an assortment of gardening tools and accessories. All proceeds from the sale go to support gardening workshops, horticulture scholarships, guest speakers, field trips as well as planting the community garden at Coquitlam’s Dogwood Pavilion.
That’s where Thunstrom steps in, boosting her geraniums as the perfect accent plant to keep the garden bursting with colour through to the fall, even as other perennials fade in the summer sun.
It’s geraniums’ wide array of colours — from bright white to deep burgundy — that usually first burst forth in early June that fuels Thunstrom’s enthusiasm for the plant. But, she added, they’re also easy to care for, hardy, and don’t attract many troublesome insects.
They do, however, require some tender loving care through the early spring. That includes keeping them warm, especially at night, exposing them to lots of light, and feeding them with fertilizer to encourage growth.
Pay attention to those details, and geraniums will reward gardeners with months of colour in their gardens, flower boxes and hanging baskets, Thunstrom said.
• The annual plant sale goes from 9 to 11:30 a.m., or until stock lasts, in the Centennial Room at Dogwood Pavilion. All sales are cash only and gardeners are encouraged to bring along their own bags and boxes to carry their purchases home as there will only be a limited quantity of boxes and trays available. There will also be a special raffle draw for five Coquitlam roses donated by the city.