During these recent snowy days, have you been eyeing seed catalogs with longing? Tired of gray days and waiting for the first glimmers of spring? Anxiously hoping those spring bulbs poke through?
Many of us are experiencing these symptoms and looking for a cure. Kindred spirits with similar distress signals have discovered Gardeners on the Go, a club that has been a resource in the Eagle Valley for seven years.
The Vail Daily hooked up with a couple of its members, Marion Laughlin and Jan Fedrizzi, to ask some springtime questions:
Vail Daily: Why do we need a garden club in our area?
Marion Laughlin: Gardening satisfies many basic human inner longings and is almost mystical, not to mention practical.
Don't you think that there is something magical about growing a plant from a tiny seed? Maybe you want to garden with only vegetables or only flowers. Or, you're into houseplants, growing your own pesticide-free fruit or love the fragrance of a lilac. Gardening encompasses all of that and much more.
Eagle County presents unique challenges - mainly a short growing season - so getting help from experienced gardeners who are also friends is a boon.
Summing it up, Gardeners on the Go of Eagle County is a group of garden lovers who come together to discover, enjoy, create and promote our communities flowers, gardens, landscapes and natural resources.
VD: I'm curious about your group's name, Gardeners on the Go.
Jan Fedrizzi: We are on the go, working in our own gardens and observing others. Being intrepid is part of being a gardener.
Our members, many hailing from other parts of the U. S., avidly travel for a glimpse at growing better and smarter, to size up that new perennial or to learn the latest on successfully growing tomatoes. And share all of this with friends - it's more fun that way!
VD: Do you accept newly transplanted gardeners?
ML: Certainly. Gardeners or prospective gardeners of any level are welcome. Anyone can attend any GOG event. One month, a presenter may talk about planning your spring garden; the next month could be a special trip to an organic grower. Variety reigns.
VD: What are some of your favorite past GOG programs?
JF: Some of our favorite speakers have touched on the history of Eagle County gardening, botanical illustrating, growing orchids and propagating plants.
Sessions with pizzazz have been a basket-making class, a hypertufa trough-making class, a Japanese tea ceremony and a food-preserving demonstration.
Representative tours have included a lavender farm and cactus grower in Grand Junction, Basalt Public Gardens, Denver Botanic Gardens, wild orchids near Redstone and the Palisade Insectary, which develops beneficial insects to control weeds and pests.
We have done wildflower trips, a snowshoe around Sylvan Lake, a visit to a beekeeper, a trip to view Leadville gardens and a wonderful tour of a Breckenridge horticultural experimental garden.
VD: What's new on the docket this year?
JF: This year, we are featuring several trips to nearby counties, such as a greenhouse tour near Basalt and a trip to the Steamboat Botanical Garden.
We are soon partnering with the Eagle Valley Alliance, presenting a free program on composting benefits and how-to techniques with Shawn Bruckman, a sustainability consultant. The presentation will be on March 11 at 1 p.m. at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards in Room 250. Spring is the optimum time to begin composting, so we're excited about the timing of this.
Editor's note: The workshop is full.
VD: Is there anything else prospective members should know?
ML: GOG members are interested in helping newbies and can provide a wealth of help and hand-holding. Our membership is open, with a nominal yearly charge to cover speaker expenses.We have been fortunate to have community backing and have appreciated the support of many businesses, libraries and others, such as the CSU Extension horticultural program, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and the Eagle County Historical Society.