Monday, October 23, 2006

Trailer Trash Gardener

Exactly what I feel like some days. I read through seed swap lists, but know I can't afford the postage. Maybe for something really special I want. The only time I did, I stole the stamps that were suppose to mail bill payments.

I wonder about all those people that order off the net or take an expensive trip to the local nursery and comment that they spent tons on plants and seeds because they just couldn't resist. Do they ever really end up planting or growing them? Do they appreciate them as much as those of us less fortunate? Do they stare in wonder at their beauty, or do they just take them for granted because they didn't have to scrimp and save to obtain them?

I'm not complaining, just curious. It completely caught me off guard one day when I found myself sitting quietly by the pond gazing at the flowers and suddenly welled up with tears from the sheer beauty of it all. Granted, there's nothing super special about the flowers I was looking at, but it took me 24 years to get where I am, and I appreciate every single plant or flower I have.

There's just something so special about a garden. Maybe it's more of a spiritual thing for me, or then again, it may just be PMS. What do I know?

Do the people who can afford to throw money to the wind walk by their plants every day and not even look at them? I can't walk in my front door (not even with my hands loaded with heavy groceries) without stopping at the front garden to admire something, even at this time of year when there isn't really much to admire. There's something very sad about knowing that the people who can most afford it don't appreciate it. But, I suppose that's the way it is with most things in life.

I know there are more out there like me...gardeners on social security, disability, or simply down on their luck that read through plant and seed swap posts and wish they could, just once, ask for something they want.

I've read through tons of garden journals this weekend and am thoroughly humbled. There are so many awe inspiring gardens out there. But, I still wonder - what did it take for them to get there? Did they start out on nothing and slowly build up over the years, or did they have the means to order, plop in the ground and say, "Look what I did"?

The gist of this long, pointless rant: I feel like an outsider of sorts. And I'm positive I'm not alone.

The reason for this long, pointless rant: Someone asked me why I never post pics of my flowers. I don't have a cam, can't afford one, and if I could, the money would be spent on plants and seeds instead. So, now you know.


Leslie said...

No, you are not alone...and yes, lots of us started with little to nothing and have been able to grow our gardens over time by dividing plants as they grow, getting cuttings or starts from friends, or, as I see you've done, getting great deals that non-gardeners don't realize are great deals. And I think some of who can now afford to spend more after the kids are grown and needs are less do appreciate and look at what we have. Maybe it's because we started out with so little,maybe it is the spiritual connection or maybe it is hormones of some sort...I don't know either!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I've never thought about it as a money thing, but I have often wondered if those people who never touch their gardens, but instead have a "service" take care of their landscaping beds, appreciate the beauty of it all. Or if they just look at it as the siding color, etc.--all part of the curb appeal package.

One additional thought: As someone who has saved lots of seeds this year (and who has other packets of seeds from which she has grown what she wants, but doesn't want to throw the "extras" away) is there anything in particular on your wishlist? I personally would rather pay a buck or two in postage to send seeds to someone like you who would appreciate the growing plants than to dump my extras in the compost bin or trashcan for free. So if I have anything you want, I would be glad to send them.

I collected tons of seed from my cerinthe this year, have various herb and veggie seeds, some sunflower seeds that I won't use next year, etc...

snappy said...

Interesting post.I have had problems this year with paying bills etc so there were no new plants.The upside of this is i have collected seeds from everything i could to try and regrow next year.I have been helped by people giving me seeds or plants.No postage costs.
Seed heads are often around when you are out walking or in a park.The council just dug up all the summer bedding plants.I got french marigold seeds.
I blog a lot about beauty surrounding us, and people being blind to it.At least you have your eyes open to it.

sewobsessed said...

See! I'm so glad there are gardeners like you out there. Those that worked hard for the gardens they have and started on nothing. Sometimes I wonder if adversity really does make us better gardeners.

I wonder about those people too. When I look at some of those gardens all I can see is perfectly manicured lawns, severely clipped bushes and God forbid a blossom have a wilted petal. I imagine an army of workers and vehicles rolling up the graciously curved drivways ready to pounce, savagly slice and chemicalize everything. Formal is one thing, but I think of these gardens more as.....sterile. I'm betting the people who live on those properties have no clue how lucky they are to have that kind of beauty available to their eyes every day. I'm cynical, but I know for a fact that there are rich people who like to get their hands dirty. I just wish I knew where they were!

Oh, please don't throw the seeds away! I'd be more than happy to grow them for you! lol. Seriously, if you really don't mind, I'd love to try anything you'd be willing to send my way. If you honestly don't mind the postage, give me a hollar. (without the _) I just figured out how to add links in the code, but haven't gotten the jist of the email link quite yet.

There aren't any parks around here that I can get seeds from. I really wish there was...I'm much too rural. Though I did embarass my husband by snatching a couple of seeds from a viola at one of the big box stores. He about died when he realized what I was doing! He saw me eyeing the petunias in a container at a local gas station and just muttered, "Don't you dare!".
I'll just have to learn to be sneakier. lol.

Trudi said...

You're not alone. Almost all of my plants are ones I grew from seed myself, or the originals were divisions that were given to me by friends or family members. I even started a small business (selling perennials), to help pay for my flower seeds! :)

Apple said...

I'm just starting out with my garden and it has been fun to see what I can grow from seed. I did buy a few plants but mostly I got donations from my sister or members of the garden club. I could afford to maybe spend more but I enjoy being able to say "I grew that!"

It's nice to find another local blogger. Hello from Palermo! Enjoy the CNY sunshine today, I don't expect it will last.

Girl Gone Gardening said...

Hey there, your certainly not alone :)

I guess you could call me a Trailer Trash Gardener (I do live in a trailer ;) )

I buy the cheap seeds (10 cents a pack) I cruise the clearence racks whenever I have a few extra$$$ to spare but mostly I can't afford the plants I really want. Luckily I found a great on-line group who when I first joined sent me TONS of seeds they had saved from their own gardens. flowers and veggies, and even cuttings and small plants. From those, I've saved seeds over and over and use them in trades. I do feel a bit of envy to those people who can miraculously till up a big swath of ground and fill it with plants imeadeatly, in one weekend! I use a good old fashioned shovel, and do the task myself even if it takes me a year to do it, and then because I cant go buy plants to fill it, I throw wildflower seeds down to cover the area and to keep weeds from growing while I try growing perrenials in flats to plant later.

I also have a few flower seeds I can send you (no postage needed) I don't have a lot as I had to start over from scratch this year (we moved in febuary) but of what did bloom and make seed, I have plenty. The extra you don't need you can use to trade with neighbors :) LMK, mscmbackpacks AT yahoo dot com. also check out, the garden forums, . Everyone there is great with newcommers.