Now why didn't they have stuff like this when my kids were little?
Ah, that's right...mine wouldn't have had the patience.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Hobbies - there's tons. But exactly what is it with beginning gardeners that seems to make them think they have to have the perfect garden right off the bat?
Beginner knitters don't go for a fair isle sweater pattern, they try scarves.
Starter crocheters don't grab beadspread directions first, they try hats or potholders.
People who have never picked up a scrap of fabric before don't go gungho on starting with a wedding gown.
Beginner quilters don't try for a Baltimore album, they go for bears paw, nine patch or split rail.
So why do beginner gardeners think they have to have something yesterday that would rival the nearest public or botanical garden?
Gardening is a long slow learning process. Emphesis on long here. Honestly, I think it's part of what holds my fascination with gardening. I can only go so far with the sewing, knitting, quilting (yes, there are usually some little tricks or tips for the repertoire) - but there's always something to learn as you go with gardening.
That's exactly what flips my skirt, floats by boat, suits my fancy. Learning. I get to absorb something new every day.
And I make mistakes. 40 years of gardening and I still make lots of them. But, like knitting or sewing, you rip, tear, unweave and begin again.
Beginning gardening is no different than beginning any other hobby. You don't put together a 6 foot model of a DC-10 when you start fiddleing with airplane models. Unless, of course, you're only there for the fumes.
Maybe that's why I dislike all these 2 day garden programs. What happens when those hosts walk away? Are they conveying anything about how much water or other care these plants are going to need before the poor victims see thier backsides slide into a rig and wave buh-bye?
Maybe it's all the garden porn available. Come on - everyone drools over the porn! Look at the catalogs oozing with fabulous velvety leaves, plump blooms, glossy foliage, achingly sensuous colors splashed across the pages. Modesty be damned! And that a government agency actually delivers this luscious porn straight to your mailbox, without even a blush of embarrassment, is a total plus. Say it - you know you want it. You want it all.
Everyone wants it in their yard. Rows of alluring color. Fanciful silver foliage. Tempting, glowing softness dancing appealingly in warm summer breezes, tickled slightly with dabs of sunlight through rich, full, powerful trees.
And it used to drive me nuts that everyone else's garden looked so much better than mine. This is where I get to blame you bloggers. What IS wrong with you people, smattering porn all willy-nilly across the net and making the rest of us feel so totally inadequate? For shame!
I remember watching a garden show a while ago that had the most perfect garden. Or so I thought. Rows of grand flowers bending their blooms in the warm sun, fabulous color and design aspects, a different but electric feel in every part of that sucker. Until they got to the courtyard with a paver floor, all space between gloriously rich and full with baby tears. And then the host bent over and plucked a weed from the center of that green, lush, perfect garden. I felt so vindicated! Even perfect gardens have weeds! Even perfect gardeners aren't so perfect after all. Ah-ha!
Sorry people, but that 'perfect' garden that you drool over? You're not going to have it yesterday. Hell, you probably won't even have it in five years. I'm quite sure it only exists in our own gardening-warped minds. Relax, take a breath, stare at the porn and plan about what you will someday have. Don't feel overwhelmed, just start with that first patch of bare earth and a plant you love.
Gardening starts with that first spark of excitement. It expands, but it never ends!
And, by the way, there's no such thing as a perfect garden.
Monday, October 29, 2007
A lady from Kentucky sent me some interesting seed to try for next year. Well, probably more interesting to me than to people that grow them every year.
Thanks barnbatt! She also sent me some Nicotiana, which isn't new since Kim sent me some last year, but they never seeded for some reason. I loved them though, so am so glad I have some more to grow next year. I'm going to try them in a different spot, I think.
We had our first hard frost last night. I haven't been out yet to check on damages, but thought I'd record it so I can look back on the date in future.
I finally cleaned out the mailbox bed. Sad to see it so bare.
I can't imagine if I could afford to do seed exchanges all the time. I dunno, maybe no lawn would be a good thing!
I don't know why I keep watching gardening shows so I can drool. I'll never have beautiful rows of azaleas, perfectly clipped hedges, enough spectacular flowering trees to divide my garden into 'rooms'. Why, oh why do I punish myself with garden porn?
In reality, I know it's nothing but a dream anyway. Who could manage to take care of that much garden? Being surrounded by farm fields, I have enough trouble keeping the weeds out as it is! Hmmm, the one downfall to living in the middle of nowhere? Not so funny when the air is so full of puffy weed seed that it looks as if it's snowing in August. And guess where they all land?
Well, for cats and drying flowers it is. lol. Ok, and for planting pond plants (but only a certain kind!), and soaking up oil, and for slippery sidewalks, and, and...
I never tried flower drying that way before so thought I'd give it a wing. It worked great! I got much better results than I figured I would. Two weeks and voila! They came out perfect.
Well, maybe I'll just have to give some kissing balls a try.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Growing kiwi in Canada? Who knew!
Well, honestly, it isn't solely the novelty of the fact you can grow something towards tropical way up here in the great white north of Central NY, it's more about the form of this (vine) tree. It's fantastic! I wish I could find a decent pic somewhere on the web that really shows it off. Alas.
"A. arguta-Once established, they require minimal care. Vines are very hardy and can be grown northward into Canada and south to Zone 8. The plants are relatively insect- and disease-resistant."
Now, tell me, what's not to love about that?
"The fruits taste similar to those sold in food stores, but are much smaller, have smooth skin, and do not store well. Unlike A. chinensis, the fruit of hardy kiwi may be eaten skin and all."
Besides, it even tickles my crafty side:
"Cut vines can be fashioned into decorative wreaths much like those made from grape vines."
"Large, dark-green, oval leaves that are very hairy underneath adorn the vines. Fragrant, white flowers make it an asset in the spring landscape."
I can sooo picture three of these little darlings lined up beside the driveway, trunks surrounded by heaps of fabulous tulips in the spring. Sigh.
Why, oh why, wouldn't this be sold at every nursery to replace those God-awful problem children like Bradford pears that are seen in every landscape from here to Timbucktoo. It looks so wonderful when pruned into a tree form.
Really, would a little once-a-year pruning be too much trouble? Ok, so you have to have room enough for 2 - one male and one female. But, for the life of me, I can't really find a downside to this (vine) tree.
Why do I always seem to find the perfect plant I can't have? lol. Ahhh, well, it's definitely still on the top of the want list!