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We all have different interests. That is what creates vibrancy and makes life interesting. I am a strong believer that we each need something, call it hobby or passion, that we are interested in. Life has it’s share of frustrations. Without enjoyable diversions it can get one feeling downcast and stale.

I recently read a quote from Dr. Allan Armitage, who was quoted in an article as being, “horticulture’s great ambassador.” I unabashedly admit to knowing nothing of Dr. Armitage, but I really liked his comment, “Gardening gives us something to look forward to and feel good about.” Upon delving further into the article, he stated that horticulture workers are essential, “…provid[ing] hope, a future and, most importantly, therapy.”

This resonated with me because it conveyed some of how I feel and what I hope to achieve. Gardening is less about growing produce or crafting an appealing yard. It is more about creating beauty, providing solace, and delivering a sense of independence. The reasons someone gardens are less important than how it fulfills their needs, be it temporal or emotional. I believe you can fulfill most of what gardening provides even while failing miserably at the task itself. What it does for you is bigger than what you get out of it.

Three upcoming classes in Franklin County deliver opportunities to enhance your horticulture savvy. All classes are held at the Extension Office (561 West Oneida in Preston) from 6 – 8 p.m. The class on March 24, will cover fruit tree pruning. Fruit tree pruning is simple once a few principles are known. Drop the intimidation and learn to make the cut! On May 5, class participants will learn the background and skills necessary to graft fruit trees. Each participant will graft and take home two apple trees. Peach rootstock will also be available. Grafting peaches is done later in the year (about June) and will give you opportunity to try your grafting prowess on your own. On May 27, we will teach the skills needed to install drip and micro-irrigation. There are many options that make this an exciting and simple way to water your plants. The benefits go far beyond water savings.

All classes will be broadcast live via Facebook at University of Idaho Extension, Franklin County. There are costs associated with in-person classes and online attendance is free. We are happy to have you in person or virtual, though I recommend you experience the hands-on learning in person if possible. Call the Extension Office at (208) 852-1097 to RSVP.

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