Hey everyone, I would like to introduce my husband Ed, he has some words of wisdom to share, I think you’ll really enjoy it!
As always, please leave comment and suggestions.
This weekend I had a wonderful opportunity to assist GG in the garden. I asked her if I could share my experience on the blog, so here we go. Here is what I learned about gardening working with GG this weekend.
GG, me, and the garden.
I woke up naturally Saturday around 9:00am to an empty house. After feeding the cats and making coffee, I made my way outside to find GG in the trenches, surrounded by rakes, shovels, daggers (which I have learned are soil knifes), wheelbarrow, buckets of dirt, and uprooted plants.
“Good Morning, where do we begin?” I said with coffee cup in hand. Immediately I was put to work, sans coffee, on trimming Salvia. Little did I know, this is where I began, GG began at 7:30 outside and already had two flower beds transplanted.
Lesson 1: Gardening takes devotion. GG was drawn to the garden within minutes of waking up. Me, it took an hour to mosey on out there.
Now I’m trimming the Salvia, which all I can think of is that is sounds a lot like Saliva. The Salvia has gotten too stringy and is falling all over. GG is going to transplant it and cut it way down, and I mean way down. These stalks were 8-12 inches long and I was trying to take the top 4 inches off. I was then shown that we were cutting them all the way to the base, only leaving potential little stubs of green and even some of those could go.
Lesson 2: Gardening can be aggressive. Even cutting the plant all the way down it will come back even stronger.
Next we moved on to the mini Zinnia’s(that’s with two n’s). I had to find the flowers that had already gone past their peak or were dead and follow their stalk down and cut off as low as possible without cutting other stalks that had potential new blooms. (Yes, I know, a run on sentence is bad form but that’s how it felt to remember all that info to me). At first this seemed drastic because there were still bright reds and oranges left in the flower heads. But GG explained that these were done and there were plenty more flowers to bloom. By cutting these it would force the plant to put more energy into the new blooms. This would extend the length of color we have moving into the fall season.
Lesson 3: Gardening is like being a plant supervisor. Plants have plenty of energy but sometimes they need some help as to where to focus that energy.
Next GG was looking for a place to move one of her climbing roses. She asked me my opinion as to where we should put it. I made multiple suggestions. Each suggestion was met with a realization that I didn’t know what I was talking about. “How about here?” I would ask, only to find out that the soil was wrong, there wasn’t enough sunlight, not enough water, not enough drainage… what color are the roses again?
Lesson 4: Gardening takes knowledge. For every plant GG has in her garden she knows all the different variables. How does she know this? Education and experience (shhh, I think I just gave away her secret)
In addition to the above things I worked on I did other stuff too. But as it is a day later I can’t remember the names of the plants I worked on (except Saliva and Zinnias). I tried to write more but I kept asking GG, “What was the name of the plant that I worked on next? You know the one in the back yard by the other plant?” Rightfully so it was pointed out that we worked on many different plants and me saying “you know the one I trimmed,” doesn’t really narrow it down.
So if I can’t remember the plants, I’m afraid to cut down too much, I don’t jump out of bed at the crack of dawn, and I need a kneeling pad when GG works on her ‘core’ all day, why do I volunteer? Two reasons. When we moved in and GG started gardening with 2 trees, 3 shrubs, and a handful of ground cover, I thought it was boring. We would work our butts off and at the end of the day we still had dirt. After getting frustrated I took the next year or two off of helping. All of the sudden we had a beautiful garden that I could take no credit for! This is truly GG’s garden and masterpiece.
Lesson 5: Gardening takes vision. GG is able to really picture what a plant will look like in a few weeks to a few years. All I saw was dirt. I now know that even though I can’t see in my head what the plants will look like next week I know it will be beautiful.
The other reason I volunteer is that for 4 hours (yes, I only was able to put in 4 hours) GG and I got to create something together. Not only did we plant, transplant, and trim, but we also talked. We talked about our week, TV show plots, what we wanted out of the garden and life. No interruptions, just GG, me, and the Garden.
Lesson 6: Plants are not the only things that grow in a garden.
Until next time….
GG and Ed