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Posts will be published on occasion and irregularly as I am able.
Some of these posts are from my web site The Garden At Crocker Croft.
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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Are All Gardeners Eccentric?



Granted, gardens are, or can be, very personal. Certainly garden writer Henry Mitchell didn't want anyone else to touch HIS garden. No one else was allowed to do any of the gardening there, it was all his. No one else was permitted to do any of the digging, any of the planting or setting out, none of the leaf raking or pruning, either.

Me: save my soil! Over and over, I beat that drum: "Save my soil! Clean those roots. Don't throw away my soil with the seedy weeds headed for the landfill! Every grain and smidgen - and! --- toss it uphill. Gravity and the ground hogs work together to send it all downhill to the creek. Clean those roots. Toss all loose bits of soil UPHILL. I've read it takes 100 years to make 1 inch of loam! We paid a lot for this dirt; don't send it to the landfill. God's not making any more real estate. We're on limestone here, soil's extremely shallow, not much soil. Save it, save it." Like a stuck record, stuck on: save my soil! Eccentric? Whooooo? Me?

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Being Realistic
There is no way I could care for my garden alone. I would like to, I wish I could, but I have to be realistic; I'm not able - physically or mentally. Age, too many pounds, and Fibromyalgia will do that to you..... So, will sitting at the computer too much.

I lack self-discipline there, nothing I'd rather do than write, read, and garden; if I can combine all it's double - no - Triple fun! Thus, here I am at the computer again..... every chance I get.

14 comments:

tina said...

Gardens are extremely personal. I don't particularly like anyone messing with mine but do realistically know gardens survive whoever the gardener. So helpers can be welcomed.

Frances, said...

Hi Barbee', thanks for a thought provoking post. Henry Mitchell was brilliant. I love his writing and could imagine his garden as being such a personal part of him. Your tirade about saving the soil is funny and true. Good for you letting whomever know what's what about that. Plenty of eccentricity here. ;->
Frances at Faire Garden

Carol said...

Hi Barbee, I just found your blog and am enjoying it! Gardeners? Eccentric? I'd have to say... well, let's just say that in my family I am probably the most eccentric and I am the gardener. It must be my hoe collection that gives me away.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

joey said...

Great post, Barbee ... I find it impossible to garden, photograph, post and read during this awesome spring. Something must give! I have always been known as 'eccentric' and love it! I crawled out of the garden today, delighted, (especially since my husband prepped dinner while I check fun posts like yours). Perhaps I will post, perhaps not since my eccentricity also runs the gamut regarding food (tonight's dinner), photography (downloading), family (hugs and visits), and simply walking the garden from morning to evening. Life is good filled with passions!

Barbee' said...

Love it, each and every one of you and your fun comments. We are a fun bunch, aren't we!

Cinj said...

Me? Eccentric? No way! Ha, ha. I do allow helpers, I have to. How can I not? I've got kids! There are a long list of requirements we go over before they're allowed to do anything near my garden.

Cheesehead was a bit miffed that I used his car washing towels for my plants. Well, better them than my sheets, right?

Barbee' said...

cinj, absolutely better than the sheets, but we know how men are about their cars. You were walking on thin ice.

It takes a lot of teaching of the younger bunch to make gardeners out of them. It will be interesting to see if any of your children take to it when they are older. I had one helper who said he'd learned one thing: That he never wanted a yard of his own to have to take care of. I told him he had learned something valuable about himself.

Amy said...

I'm sure my neighbors think I'm pretty eccentric when they see me constantly climbing all over my rock wall to get pictures of my plants. I just hope and pray I don't slip and break the camera!

My mother has FM and it's been so hard to not be able to do all that she wants to in the garden (and in other areas of life as well). I have some problems with chronic joint pain since childhood. So, as much as I would love to do everything out there by myself, sometimes I'm forced to accept some help.

Anna said...

Miss Barbee--I hope your photographer hunky hubby is doing better and I think you are terrific. I do like this blog best for commenting on. It's easier to check on feed back from you.

I'm nuts about my soil too and just had 14 truck loads delivered personally by hubby--as you sweetly commented about. You said it was a labor of love. He got Prime Rib today for it.

When it comes down to an experienced gardener--it's the soil that is the soul of the garden. So yes..I'm down right insane about the prep work.

Barbee' said...

Amy, Hello to your mom, I feel a kinship with her. And, you know what would be great, would be photos of you taking those photos! I don't see how you do it considering the joint pain problem. Please be careful, you might break not only the camera.

Anna, husband/best friend/chief photographer is much better, but still recuperating. Right now he is in the attic with a new roofer talking his ear off, I'm sure. He's been lonesome, but getting out more now.

Oh, yes, the blog is a whole different animal than the web site. When I finally figured out what I needed to be able to participate in Blotanical, I whipped up this blog and been sailing ever since.

Don't overwork that sweet husband of yours; good ones are hard to find!

Barbee' said...

Oh, gads, Anna. Roofer is gone and hubby just told me he got on the roof and the roofer had to "talk him down" saying "You'd be a hard one to catch!" (6'-2", big boned heavy, and will be 72 yrs. old Saturday!) What are we going to do with these boys?!

Melanie said...

I love this post! Now I'm going to shout "Save my soil" as I dig and divide my perennials.

Actually I do save every drop. I shake what I can off the roots and all those "shakings" make up a huge pile which top dresses the leaves in my compost heap.

Barbee' said...

Melanie, you sound like a pro. Nothing like a good compost pile. Never enough of the good stuff. It just shrinks like crazy. I plan to harvest mine soon, but I have so many places I'd like to use it; it won't be enough. I do have some commercially made, but I always think homemade is the best.

Anna said...

What?! He climbed on the roof? Is he mad? Well fortunately---you have saved your soil and if lands in the right spot--it will be nice and soft for him.