Gardening this year has been off to a slow start. It seems like all my neighbors are still busy trying to get their yards in order, and I’m anxiously waiting to see if my new rose bush survives my planting efforts and if last year’s planted hydrangea bush will come back and bloom this year.
If you want to change up your yard, you might want to check out the Plant Swap and Sale at Pendleton King Park, at 1600 Troupe St., Augusta on May 4.
You may bring your own plants to trade with others, register as a seller or buy new plants from local enthusiasts.
Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer any gardening questions you might have.
The proceeds from the day go to the upkeep and improvement of the park.
With the school year ending at the end of May, the planning for many graduation parties and celebrations is underway. Parents can save money on party decorations by taking advantage of the 40 percent off craft store coupons to purchase party favors and supplies. Party City often has coupons on its Web site for $10 off a $65 purchase in stores. You can also find some great graduation-themed items at Dollar Tree.
For party foods, look for specials on deli and fruit trays in the grocery stores. This is also a good time to find deals on memory albums and scrapbooks to cherish those “end of the school year” memories.
Cinco de Mayo
Next Sunday marks 151 years since the Mexican Army defeated French troops at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. That event is more commonly known as Cinco de Mayo.
Around town, many Mexican restaurants will have food and drink specials all day and grocery stores will have many Latin foods featured.
There will be several other promotions in May. National Pet week starts May 6. Many grocery and pet stores will offer promotions on cat food, dog food and pet treats.
Mother’s Day is May 12, so look for deals on flowers, cards and gifts.
Memorial Day is May 28. Over the last few years, Memorial Day has been a major weekend sales event, with many stores offering steep discounts. If you can take your vacation before Memorial Day, you can save a lot of money. Prices on hotels can shoot up by as much as 30 percent or more after Memorial Day.
May is also the time to start preparing for your family’s summer needs. If you are an avid couponer, keep a sharp lookout for a few summer coupon booklets that will pop up in grocery stores.
With the warm weather, look for sales based around grilling, barbecues and picnics. Look for specials on grilling meats such as ribs, steaks, sausages, hot dogs and hamburgers. Sales will also include picnic items such as hamburger and hot dog buns, cheese, barbecue sauce, ketchup, mustard, relish, mayonnaise, potato chips, dips, salsa, sodas and ice cream. Picnic supplies on sale include coolers, grills, charcoal, lighter fluid, paper plates, napkins and plastic cups.
Non-food products on sale in May include allergy medication, insect repellent and sunscreen. This is also a good time to find early sales or last year’s clearance on camping goods, outdoor furniture, pools and supplies, garden decor, beach towels and sand toys.
Vegetables in season include artichokes, asparagus, avocado, beets, carrots, green beans, pod and shelling varieties of peas, new potatoes and Vidalia onions. Fruits in season include strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.
As of mid-April, the local-you pick farms are open to the public. There are “U pick” strawberry farms in Wrens, Ga., and in North Augusta. Find your nearest farm at www.pickyourown.org.