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Friday, July 06, 2007

My role as gardener

This morning, I took Matt to the train station (long story) and I told him that I could go head-to-head with anyone about any subject. He answered back, "You know what I love about you: your modesty."

I say, If you act like you know what you're doing, then people will believe you. I mean, isn't that how our president got elected (oops, sorry, no politicking here). When it comes to gardening, I don't know anything but I must act like I do because I find people asking me all these questions. I want to look at them and say, "I don't have a clue what I'm doing." But they see living plants and they somehow believe that I have something to do with it.

I'm just like a babysitter; keep them happy until mommy comes home. Other times I feel like a landlord -- "bloom or you're outta here." Sometimes a nurse -- "there now, do you feel better with more sun?" And even once I felt like a ship's captain trying to prevent mutiny -- "we're all in this together, let's not get too overgrown.". But never, ever, do I feel like I am the boss.

But gardening helps me with my Type-A personality. I can't boss them around; I can't argue with the plants; I can't make them see eye-to-eye with me.


Campanula (purple) with her new friends

I just have to do their bidding, make them happy and in return I'll be happy. I think they should teach this in an MBA program.

But here's what I am learning from gardening:
1) Have no fear. Plants won't kill you in your sleep if you prune them way back. Or tear them out.
2) You can admit you didn't read the label and planted the plant wrong. Just don't tell anyone and fix it.
3) It's okay to trial and error, it doesn't mean you suck.

For instance, I planted two clustered bellflower (campanula glomerata) along the fence because I wanted it there, pay no attention that it needed more sun than shade and the fence garden is a black hole of darkness. This is where I was determined to plant them. They bloomed, I was happy, then they got leggy and then they fell over. "Aren't you happy here?" I pleaded,"Sun is bad for you? UV-rays." Nothing. They weren't listening.

So after 1-1/2 months of darkness, I bit the bullet and finally moved these 2 guys to two sunnier locales: triangle garden & kitchen garden. Now all I can do now is wait and see.

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