Nora Jukes and a portion of her Grandview Heights garden on Nov.1.

Finish line in sight for Castlegar gardeners

Cooler weather doesn't mean work is done just yet

Each change of seasons brings a fresh assortment of familiar items to include on the to-do list. For those with the green-thumb passion the autumn is all about maintenance and preparation, not to mention a sort of last hurrah in the valued space before winter’s dormancy kicks in. Before the needed recharge time arrives there remains plenty to do with the hands and trowel.

Nora Jukes is a great spokesperson on the topic of gardening, and was contacted lately in regard to what sort of stuff is going on at the plot around this time of year.

“I’ll be in the garden until freeze-up,” she stated from her Grandview Heights home on Nov. 1. “The fall is an excellent time for planting perennials, and I like to work until you can’t get them in the ground anymore.”

A founding member of the Castlegar Garden Club, Nora agrees with the idea that autumn has a lot of appeal from a gardener’s point of view.

“I find that in the spring I’m so involved with the garden tour and other people’s garden problems… in the fall I tend to get a bit more work done.”

Jukes has a beautifully kept garden outside her home, but also has a long history of coaxing the best out of an acre and a half in Robson where she previously resided.

“It had been a nursery in the 20s, 30s and 40s. When I sold that last December the stipulation was in the contract to be able to take out 500 varieties of plants in the spring of this year, which I did from March until to the beginning of June.”

Since that time Nora has been dealing with the tantalizing challenge of amalgamating these pots and pots of plants into her present space which measures about 110’x68′.

“I didn’t take 500 varieties but I did take 800 to 1,000 plants… about 300 day lilies (Hemerocallis)… varieties,” she recalls, “in that sense it was massive.” Jukes received welcome help from fellow club members in potting up inventory for the popular sale held on first weekend in May, something she says she and colleague Kay Ross do a fair bit of each year.

The term Labour of Love doesn’t quite describe the level to which Jukes is involved with gardening.

“It’s a passion of mine,” she concluded with a chuckle. “I’m just thrilled. I’m really loving the garden right now. And I always try to extend the blooming season to get the very first blossoms of the spring to the very last blossoms in the fall. There are lots of varieties of things that are still blooming right now (Nov. 1) even though we’ve had some light frost.”

As described above, Nora Jukes is an enthusiastic spokesperson for the Castlegar Garden Club, and she’s not alone in her zeal. For information on the club, please phone Rose Cheveldave at 250-365-9600.

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