Successful garden walk funds will help community projects
By: By JIMMY WILLIAMS Special to The Messenger
The Athena Delphian Club garden walk a couple of weeks ago met or exceeded all expectations.
Toward the tail end of the growing season in a year when just about everything bad that can happen to gardeners and gardens did happen, it was remarkable that upwards of 200 enthusiasts braved an October day with temperatures nearly 20 degrees above normal to view the efforts of fellow gardeners.
Thank goodness it was during morning hours, when conditions were more pleasant than they would have been later in the day.
The extreme declination of the sun in fall and winter actually enhances most gardens. High skies around the summer solstice tend to flatten shadows and wash out all but the strongest of colors.
Camera shutters were clicking regularly all morning as visitors to the four gardens took advantage of the softer autumn light to get shots of specimen plants and wide angle panoramas alike. There was plenty of opportunity for both.
The club will have about $1,700 or so, after expenses, to add to its kitty for civic endeavors, scholarships and aid to arts projects in the community.
I was told by one of the participating garden owners that a visitor complained about the $10 charge for all four gardens. The person seemed to think the project was a for-profit venture.
Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth. Every penny over expenses goes for the public good, and the Athena Delphian Club is to be commended for the hard work members put in on the walk as well as other fundraisers over the years.
Some Henry County child (no, many of them) will be able to pursue an art career or other endeavor because of the Athena Delphians’ concern for the betterment of our county.
And to the nearly 200 “tourists” who took in the walk: Don’t forget the same four gardens will again be featured in the spring of 2008, allowing another view, which will be totally different from the fall look. Invite all your friends.
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The drought that has plagued us for these many months now will have presently unrealized effects that will not be revealed until well into next year, or even later. Many trees that are yet leafed, at least partially, will succumb after their roots die away over the next several months and years.
Once the extension roots of large trees die and rot away, the trees will be vulnerable to falling over in wet times, if they ever come again. Those long roots anchor the tree, and when ground softens it takes little stress in the form of wind or ice loads to topple the trees over.
Following the extended droughts of the 1980s that is precisely what happened. Untold numbers of big trees continued to drop for years after the dryness went away.
Another delayed effect of this year’s drought will be reduced, or absent, bloom on some things next year. Azaleas, for instance, form bloom buds in July and August for the following year’s flowers. When growth is inhibited by drought, those buds may not form, thus reducing bloom.
Daffodils always have down years following summer dryness. They form buds inside the bulbs when they are apparently sleeping, that is, during summer after the tops have shriveled and disappeared. When bulbs have inadequate moisture they form few or no bloom buds.
Editor’s note: Jimmy Williams is production superintendent at The Paris Post-Intelligencer, where he also writes this column.
Published in The Messenger on 10.23.07
Athena Delphian Club, Garden Path, garden walk, Jimmy Williams