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Plan now for your harvest later, says Marlene Link

There are a host of plants to consider planting this year to reap the seeds and flower heads to later dry and use in numerous ways. The most commonly used are dried herbs in cooking, e.g. oregano, tarragon, thyme and peppermint for tea.

Lavender is used in many ways, especially for its aroma and for essential oils.

The annual flowers, such as the strawflower (helichrysum bracteatum) was quite popular several years ago, but recently I have found it at only a couple of garden centres. The blooms are very stiff and can be used for potpourri. Their colours range from white to rosy pink, or purple and hot yellow to gold. They can also be easily grown from seeds. They love hot, dry weather and with regular harvesting of the flower heads, they will continue to bloom until frost.

Globe amaranth (drumflower) and statice are both favourites for flower arranging. Celosia and Nigella (love in a mist) and salvia can also be used for drying.

Sea oats is one of my favourites with its flat, pointed oval seed heads, and can be used in floral arrangements or pressed for cards and small framed pictures. It is a perennial grass, but be cautious where you plant it, as it will self-seed under the right conditions.

Harvest timing is important for drying flowers. For example, the salvia should be picked when the bracts are fully coloured, or when the bottom two or three flowers are open.

Now is the time to think about what you want to plant. So, plan ahead for what you want to harvest later in your garden and always have fun and enjoy.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Dunnville Horticultural Society has suspended member meetings. If you have questions or comments, please contact president Deb Zynomirski at debzyn@gmail.com or check out our website at www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org.

Memberships for 2021 are currently available through mail. Send a cheque or money order ($10 for a single membership, $15 per couple) to Dunnville Horticultural Society, P.O. Box 274, Dunnville, Ontario, N1A 2X5.

Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

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