Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sasanqua Camellia...Looking On The Bright Side

Here is a sweet sasanqua camellia blooming today. I'm concentrating on that because I can't think about the ferns, geraniums, plumbago, potato vine, limonium and begonias (that were still blooming) that have been zapped. We haven't had this kind of a killing freeze for a number of years...and when we did I had a much less diverse yard with fewer sensitive plants. All I can do is wait and see what comes back. Although I have to say...I'm not too sad about the limonium...they've gotten too big for where they are and they actually look pretty sad each spring from (less) cold weather. So now I'll have all kinds of lovely dead looking plants for a while until it's safe to prune them back...about March or so. For now the dead branches will protect the core of the plant and hopefully allow it to survive.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Snow? Probably not, but I can dream!

Preparing for some below freezing nights as a cold air mass moves into our area I've covered the lemon and lime trees (in pots) with burlap and turned on the lights I use to help them make it through the night. I've got some old three-sided hinged tomato cages (worthless for tomatoes) that I strung Christmas lights on several years ago. Since they fold they're easy to store off season, just pull them out of the ground and fold, without removing the lights. When the first possibility of frost comes around I put them back up. They support the burlap on three sides and a stake on the fourth side completes the system. We're hearing of possible temperatures in the 20's which doesn't happen a lot here. Once in a great while we'll get a little snow...could this year be the year?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Am I A Gardener? Yes!

Carol at May Dreams Gardens has asked another question and I've been dying to read other responses but wanted to think mine through here they are...
Do you consider yourself a gardener?
Yes...that's why I'm always out there playing.
How did you decide you were a gardener?
Probably when I realized I needed to garden for my mental works to energize me, calm me down, and make me feel good. No matter how hard the work might be, or even if the outcome is not what I hoped for (plants dying or not living up to expectations, snails eating the lettuce before I can, etc,) I find it to be fun and satisfying in the end and apparently worth it...because I just keep starting over!
When is the first time you referred to yourself as a gardener?
I don't remember...but I've always gardened, even as a child, and have had my own garden since I was in college.
Where and how did you learn to be a gardener?
Some of my best childhood memories are of helping my parents in our yard, planting and eating peas, cucumbers, radishes. My maternal grandfather and my paternal grandmother both had large gardens. These things all taught me that there was value in gardening. But I learned most of the nuts and bolts (seeds and bulbs?) of gardening from years of trial and error, years of reading every type of garden writing I could find, and the Sunset Garden Book.
Has anyone ever introduced you to someone else as a gardener?
Yes, whenever garden/plant/hobby conversations come up.
When someone tells you they are a gardener, what image of them does it bring to mind? What do you expect of them?
I picture someone who enjoys and needs to garden and someone gets their energy from gardening. I expect them to do their own planning and to do all the work they are physically capable of doing. Other people doing your work means you have a garden...not that you are a gardener. And maintaining a garden is not really enough...I think real gardeners need to keep adding, changing, adjusting, experimenting because it is the physical act that is enjoyable. Just like artists always start another picture, quilters always make another quilt, authors always write another book.
Can a gardener live where there is no place to plant anything, and still remain a gardener?
Yes, because being a gardener is what you are in your soul...but I imagine it would be difficult to be happy or centered until you find a place to garden...a community garden, a school or a friend's place?
What about horticulturalists? Are they a subset of “gardeners” or a whole different group? might become a horticulturalist because you are a gardener but most gardeners wouldn't need to in order to be happy...and I don't think it adds to the joy and peace gardening can provide. It's just another way to follow your passion.
I'm thinking about why some people are gardeners and other aren't, and how buying a greenhouse won't suddenly make someone a gardener.