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Red, white and blue

August 31, 2018
By H.I. JEAN SHIELDS - Garden Club of Cape Coral ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Labor Day, a federal, public holiday, is Sept. 3 this year. This is when we celebrate with barbecues and socialize a lot and celebrate the end of summer. This annual celebration started out in New York City, by the Labor Union to celebrate the many economic and social contributions of its workers. So, of course, no one works too much on this special day.

Labor Day was first started in 1882 and after undergoing many date and month tweaking, finally became a federal holiday in 1984. The goal was to have an eight-hour day movement for all: eight hours to work, eight hours to celebrate, eight hours to sleep.

That sounds nice and fair, however in reality, when you add up all the eight hours, it does not leave much time to get from one eight hour period to the next.

I was never good at math so maybe it is just the way I calculate it.

What does this do mean in the gardening world? Several things.

The first and best thing is for all good gardeners to work all morning getting a barbecue ready for friends and family and a few strays, then celebrate not having to work before you cool down the barbecues and clean up the clutter and flags, to fall into bed, tired but proud and happy.

Seriously, our gardens will be coming into a new season and the color scheme of red, white and blue is great to enjoy before the browns and gold of fall colors and leaves show up.

Yes when you look closely, you will see some colored leaves here and there when the area cools down. You just have to know what to plant.

This is also a good time to check out the half price and special trays of summer plants that the big box stores are ready to throw out. Look around near the back or side of the plant areas and you can rescue some summer bulbs or straggly looking annuals to cut for a few weeks more bloom. I saved $10 earlier this week finding a big, round clay pot full of cactus plants. The plants are all healthy and just needed a bit of trimming their overgrown conditions. There were two pots but I was nice and left the other one to surprise someone else.

I noticed today that the weathermen, and/or weathermen are eagerly watching for disturbances coming off of Africa, a long way off, and also a little whirl of disturbance that may decide to be a bit stormy when it hits the warm Gulf. Of course, it has to come across our area on the way to Gulf.

Pay attention to this information though because September is the heaviest month of the year for hurricanes, big and little, to fire up and run wild.

Hurricanes are not smelly and green, but they are a lot more dangerous.

Happy barbecuing and socializing till we meet again.

H.I. Jean Shields is Past President of the Garden Club of Cape Coral.



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