Friday, October 15, 2010

My Green Thumb - Tales of a West Coast Gardener - Fall 2010 Article

This article is now published in the Barkley Sound Community Journal - The West Island Quarterly.

Confessions of a Garden Addict

Every morning, with my cup of coffee in one hand & the computer mouse in the other, I explore the world of internet gardening. While the dew is still damp on the grass & flowers, I can share horror stories of what the deer have done, find out the name of a new bug, garner techniques in growing heirloom veggies, swap seeds & in general connect with other addicts just like me… All before the end of my coffee & the start of my day.

I’ve recently connected with the ‘Dirty Girls’ in Skagway, Alaska. There’s a garden coach down in Oregon, a few hard-core gardeners on the mainland & all the way back to Ontario. I’m a member of a garden community that spans the globe & I’ve learned so much over the last few months, I really need to keep better notes on my own yard.

During one of my morning sessions, a web-gardener shared a list of symptoms to help one figure out if they are truly a Garden Addict. I’ve modified some of them slightly to make them my own & for local flavour.

You Know You’re Addicted to Gardening When…
  • you have to wash your hair to get your fingernails clean
  • you talk ‘dirt’ over dinner or while fishing or anytime/anywhere
  • when considering your budget, plants & garden supplies they are more important than groceries or clothes
  • you can give away plants easily, but compost is another thing
  • your form of relaxing after a full day of work is to spend 2 hours weeding the flower & veggie beds
  • on your day off, you have no problem getting up at 6 a.m. in order to work on gardening projects
  • your preferred reading material are seed, bulb & garden tool catalogs & gardening magazines
  • you take every single person who enters your house on a ‘garden tour’
  • you grab other people’s banana peels, coffee grounds, egg shells, etc for your compost pile
  • your boss makes ‘taking care of the (office or lodge) plants’ an official part of your job description
  • you find yourself feeling leaves, flowers & trunks of trees wherever you go – even in city parking lots
  • you always carry pruners, garden gloves & plastic bags in your extra large purse or cloth bag ‘just in case’
  • you like the smell of compost, dirt or a full day of outdoor work better than Estee Lauder
  • you have pride in how bad your hands look
  • you’d rather go to a nursery or garden centre to shop than to a clothes store
  • you ask for tools for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries & any other occasion you can think of
  • you can’t bear to thin seedlings & throw them away – replanting them into empty spots all around the yard makes you rich
  • you scold total strangers who don’t take care of their potted plants
  • you give free ‘lessons’ on how to dead-head flowers
  • And last, but not least – you know that the four seasons are:
    • Planning the Garden
    • Preparing the Garden
    • Gardening
    • And Planning & Preparing for the next Garden

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