Along about May, my first year of owning a rain barrel (sent to me by Fiskars for trial), I noticed an extremely foul smell when I filled my watering can. I was afraid something had drowned in the barrel; it smelled that bad. Being the squeamish type, I asked my husband to remove the lid and check it out. To my relief, the only thing dead inside was pollen. It had turned the fresh rainwater putrid.
Pollen probably doesn’t coat the springtime tables, chairs, and plants in most parts of the country. Here in South Carolina, we suffer through a week, sometimes more, of pine pollen so thick in the air that sometimes it turns our whole world hazy. This is the pollen that washes into rain barrels, becomes a swollen mass, and rots. So cleaning out the rain barrel is a very necessary chore here in high pollen country.
That chore was eliminated this year for me. Last fall, we had covered gutters (LeafGuard seamless gutters) installed on our two-story house. They have kept my husband off a high ladder and pollen out of my rain barrel. Hallelujah!
If you own a rain barrel, it still would be a sound practice to empty and clean it with a spray from the hose every spring. Your gutter can deliver more than fresh water, so keep the barrels clean and the water free flowing.
By Kate Karam, Monrovia,
Photographs courtesy of Monrovia
It’s not only coastal gardens that have to deal with persistent winds – inland gardens at higher altitudes and those in flat, wind-prone areas get regularly battered, too. Since there’s nothing good about plants stripped of their foliage or rendered dry and desiccated by a gale force tempest, the solution might be as simple as using specimens that are just fine with it. Here are a few we recommend. But first, some advice.
Join fellow garden lovers, history buffs and music enthusiasts to discover the quaint towns and colorful gardens of Holland and Belgium in May of 2018.
This exciting journey will be hosted by nationally known host Eric Johnson, of Public Television's blockbuster show GardenSmart. Your river cruise begins in Amsterdam where you'll see works by Rembrandt and Van Gogh, Anne Frank's House, and see the city's most famous gardens. Then spend a full morning on the grounds of the most beautiful spring garden in the world-Keukenhof! Visit the picturesque Belgian towns of Bruges and Ghent as well as Kinderdijk, with the Netherlands' iconic collection of 19 authentic windmills that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, history buffs will experience a captivating tour of the WWI trenches of Flanders and WWII Arnhem Battlefield of A Bridge Too Far fame. You won't want to miss this extraordinary garden adventure to Holland and Belgium.
Book by November 15, 2017 and save up to $1200 dollars per person!
To register call:
Alki Tours at 800-895-2554
Click here to sign up for our monthly NEWSLETTER packed with great articles and helpful tips for your home, garden and pets!