Nature – A Great Success
Put Some Colour Into Your World!
By Christine March, Master Gardener
March 29, 2023 – Of the many joys of spring – more daylight, warmth in the air – nothing makes me happier than seeing pops of colour return to our outside world.
Who doesn’t take delight in the fresh greens of new growth, the cheery yellow daffodils, the pastel blossoms of spring flowering trees, and the incredible rainbow of colour that tulips bring to our gardens? Humans are hardwired to respond to colour and your garden is the perfect canvas to colour your world in ways that make you happy. So, lets hone in on six popular colours, listed according to where they land on the colour wheel, and the emotions most closely associated with them.
Red – passion, drama, fun
Yellow – joy, wisdom, youth
Blue – serenity, freedom, intelligence
Orange – creativity, warmth, energy
Green – harmony, fresh, natural
Purple – royalty, romance, mystery
Looking for some colourful inspiration? Here’s a selection of seasonal blooms whose colours will brighten your garden and your mood.
I can’t imagine a spring without tulips. The anticipation of their colourful flowers is the tonic that gets me through winter. With over 3,000 registered varieties spanning a huge colour palette, there are no excuses not to have cheery tulips in your spring garden.
Peonies are the Queens of the early summer garden and the beautiful blooms come in a vast array of colours, from hot pinks to yellows to magentas and reds. Once established herbaceous peonies are long-lived, easy care plants. They are colourful and fragrant must-haves in every garden.
Irises are easy to grow perennials that come in a range of colours from blues and purples, apricots, yellows, whites, even black.
If peonies are the Queens, dahlias are the Dramatic Showstoppers. These late season beauties bloom in a range of colours, shapes and sizes. With over 50,000 varieties, they come in every colour except blue and black.
Yellow seems to bookend the gardening year. It features prominently in the spring garden with daffodils, forsythia, and tulips, and also in the fall when our gardens are winding down. The jolly yellows of sunflowers, solidago, rudbeckia, and chrysanthemums remind us to enjoy colour while we can. Late season dahlias will extend the colour palette beyond the yellow family – until the frost comes.
When considering colour for the garden remember to look beyond flowers. Stems, foliage, and berries are all excellent options. For example:
Red-osier dogwood (Cornus sericea)
Golden Twig Dogwood (Cornus sericea Flaviramea)
Golden Willow (Salix alba var. vitellina)
Ninebark Coppertina (Physocarpus opulifolius)
Bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera)
Common witch hazel (Hammelis virginiana)
Black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)
Winterberry hollies (Ilex verticillata)
American cranberry (Viburnum trilobum)
Your garden is a direct reflection of you. Let it tell your story! Whatever your colour personality may be – bright and cheery, moody blue, or softly pastel – there are no wrong choices. Colour your world!
This series of gardening articles brought to you by the Simcoe County Master Gardeners, members of the Master Gardeners of Ontario. For more information, visit www.simcoecountymg.ca.
E.D.G.E. Elmvale District Garden Enthusiasts are seeking sponsors towards the hanging flower baskets that adorn Elmvale’s main street.
A basket can be purchased for $75.00.
Sponsorship can be in the name of a business, organization, individual, family, memorial or a special occasion.
Any monetary donation will be gratefully accepted.
Place your order by:
Sharon Chambers 705-322-2257
49 Archer Crescent,
Elmvale, ON, L0L 1P0
Make your cheques payable to Elmvale Horticultural Society. Sorry, we do not have e-transfer.
All sponsors will be acknowledged in the Springwater News
Let’s take pride in our village and enjoy another spectacular floral display.
Stop Ticks From Taking a Bite Out of Your Time Outdoors
Enjoying and being active in natural environments such as parks and woodlands is associated with better health and well-being. These places can also be home to blacklegged ticks that carry Lyme disease, a serious but preventable illness. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health (SMDHU) offers information to help you prevent bites from ticks so that you can focus on enjoying being outdoors.
Ticks are becoming more common across Ontario and Simcoe Muskoka as climate change is creating more tick-friendly environments and lengthening the season during which ticks are active. They prefer to live in moist shaded environments, especially leafy wooded areas and overgrown grassy habitats.
Lyme disease is passed through the bite of an infected blacklegged tick. Early symptoms may include fever, chills, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, and an expanding red rash, and may begin three to 30 days after being exposed. Most cases of Lyme disease can be successfully treated during the early stages, when the first symptoms appear. More severe symptoms including recurring arthritis, neurological problems, and heart disorders can occur if left untreated.
Avoiding bites, removing ticks quickly after a bite and early detection can effectively prevent Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. You can reduce your chance of exposure by taking the following actions when heading outdoors in grassy or woody areas:
- Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants, and shoes with closed toes, and tuck your pant cuffs into your socks. Light-coloured clothing makes ticks easier to see.
- Use an insect repellent with DEET or Icaridin, being sure to read the label and follow the directions.
- If possible, stay on the trails when walking or biking in the woods and other natural areas.
After spending time outdoors, do a full body tick check on yourself, your family and any pets as soon as you can and at least before you go to bed that day. You can use a mirror or ask someone to help you check any hard to see places. Removing a tick within 24 hours can prevent infection, so taking a shower within two hours of being outdoors can help to wash away any loose ticks before they bite.
If you find a tick, remove it as soon as possible and check the rest of your body as there could be more. Once removed, visit eTick.ca to identify the tick and follow the guidance provided.
Bearbells by Leslie Noonan
Thursday April 27, 2023 – After a week of cold and drab weather, today’s sunny skies had me taking the day off work. This is not just a great day for hiking, but a day for a long drive with the sunroof open and the music…ok, not loud, but louder than normal.
I decided to head west and back towards my childhood stomping grounds. I grew up in Creemore and loved to explore the surrounding area from the Blue Mountains, through Maple Valley and up into Maxwell along the Niagara Escarpment. Today I headed to the Devil’s Glen. It has been thirty years since I attempted this hike, and I remember struggling to finish the climb back up. But I digress. Let’s start from the beginning.
The entrance to this provincial park is off country road 124 heading into Singhampton. Watch carefully for the entrance on the “S” bend as it can be difficult to see. Parking is limited. As you start out, the main trail heads out to the lookout. This is a beautiful spot, as you can sit and enjoy the view out and over the ravine to the Devil’s Glen ski hills. If this is as far as you can make it, well the scenery is worth the drive. For those wanting to push themselves further, head down the right-hand trail. This trail is a part of the Bruce trail, so it is well trod and has clear blazes to follow. As you descend into the gorge the sounds of traffic on the highway are replaced by the sounds of the rapidly flowing Mad River. The trail can be muddy, and you would not want to attempt this trail after a rain. There are well maintained bridges over the many fresh steams that cascade down the slopes, but there are still areas of spring water that will have you contemplating how much mud you are willing to step into.
Eventually the trail comes to the bottom of the gorge, and travels along the Mad River. Just the smell of the river had me reminiscing of my childhood, and how at this time of year we would be tubing down the Mad using tractor tire inner tubes. Our lips would be blue and our teeth chattering, but what a ride! I have no interest in even dipping my toes in that cold water anymore, but I do love this little river. It is neither deep nor wide, but so active as it tumbles over rocks and around deadfalls, forming cascades and pools and an amazing amount of white water.
Eventually the trail exits out onto the parking lot for the Devils Glen ski club. At this point the Bruce trail interconnects with several other trails. Stay to the right, across a bridge, and right again. By now I had shed layers of clothing and decided to cool off on one of the last remaining patches of snow. I swear I heard sizzling sounds as I lay spread eagled in the snow! After cooling off I headed up the ski hills to a side trail, that continued to the top of the ravine. I decided to head back and used a lower trail to connect back with the main trail, passing two ladies having lunch sitting on a bridge and enjoying the suns warmth.
The trail back to the top of the Glen takes time. It is steep in places as well as muddy. Thankfully there are stairs for the steepest areas. There is no shame in stopping and taking a rest on the well-placed bench. After all, this break lets you soak in the quiet, and listen to the songs of the warblers and woodpeckers. All together, this portion of trail covered approximately six kilometers and took two and a half hours to complete. Of course, you can vary your route with the interconnecting trails to make it longer. Or you can park at the Devils Glen ski hills for a shorter route that is less strenuous.
Day Trip Gem: Beaver Valley
April 24, 2023 – When the warmer weather comes and the trees and spring flowers start to blossom, many folks start itching to hit the road and kick off day trip season. The Beaver Valley is the perfect place to indulge in a leisurely road trip that can last anywhere from a couple hours to an entire day.
Located south of Georgian Bay, in Grey County, this region has much to offer. From enjoying beautiful scenery from the comfort of your car to engaging in more active pursuits, the valley, which is named after the river flowing through it and is also part of the Niagara Escarpment, will not disappoint.
For the outdoorsy bunch the Beaver Valley is the perfect place to hike, swim, kayak and just generally embrace everything such a varied and gorgeous landscape has to offer. There are a number of access points to gain entry into the Beaver River. One is located at 235566 Grey Rd. 13 and another is at 686561 Grey Rd. 13. Both are near Kimberly. I’m also certain locals will be able to point out additional access points if you inquire. Lake Eugenia is also a great spot for aquatic pursuits. Hiking Trails abound as the Bruce Trail runs right through the valley. Kimberly Forest is another popular hiking spot. Horseback riding can also be done on many of the area’s trails. For the super adventuress why not try kayaking/ canoeing in Ontario’s best preserved hardwood swamp.
For those who love being outside but are of a more artsy persuasion, bring along your camera or canvas and pastels and/or watercolours and take in the beautiful panoramic views offered at Beaver Valley Lookout near Flesherton off Grey Rd 13 or at the Old Baldy Lookout also located off this road. Epping -John Muir Lookout and Conservation Area is also a great place to encourage those creative tendencies. The splendour of Eugenia and Webwood Falls cannot be overlooked either as both provide spectacular scenery. The Duncan Crevice Caves serve as a stark contrast to the rest of the surrounding geographical features.
Looking to move indoors for some arts and culture, Clarksburg is emerging as an artsy alcove. Be sure to check out Beaver Valley Glassworks located at 127 Hill Street. Throughout the valley small towns and villages filled with quaint shops, pubs, bistros and adorable main streets beckon. Ravenna is famous for its Country Market. Flesherton, Kimberly and Thornbury are great places to browse and embrace a small town vibe. Other interesting places of interest include Blackbird Pie, Georgian Hills Vineyard, the Thornbury damn and fishery, Kimberly General Store and the Fiddlehead Nursery. Being responsible for much of Ontario’s apple industry, a trip to a cidery is a must. Thornbury Craft Cidery and Brew House or Beaver Valley Orchard and Cidery are two good choices.
Whether you visit in the winter, spring, summer or fall, Beaver Valley has an abundance of sights, smells and sounds that are sure to leave a long lasting impression. Don’t miss out!! by Lesley Gowens