Saturday, January 8, 2022


 even if it ends up being a bad decision, you've satisfied the longing.

When we lived in Singapore, I got tired of seeing orchids everywhere you looked.  Granted, beautiful beyond belief, especially the vendor's cart  loaded to the max and being pushed down the neighborhood streets hawking their beauty and unbelievable cheap price.

I finally wrote my mom in Wisconsin to please send me some zinnia seeds.  Maybe it was an underlying degree of homesickness or maybe I wanted something more structural in form--who knows.  Neither one of us had any knowledge of customs regulations, etc.  They finally arrived through the regular mail process.  I didn't have to go to the customs office or offer lengthy explanations of what they were.

I asked our gardener to plant them in the window box.  It would have been unheard of for me to plant my own seeds.  We lived in a local neighborhood not a designated American community so I am sure the word passed quickly about the crazy American lady and her window box.

It pained me to see someone else planting my seeds--different worlds, different cultures.  I had to remind myself that was part of being where we were--learning.  Sadly the seeds never produced  the vase full of flowers I wanted to see on the dining table.  But I probably provided more giggles for the neighbor ladies.  That has to have some value.

The point in sharing the story is to recognize where you live NOW and to help teach others to avoid costly mistakes in purchases.  Now I look back at the missed opportunity to absorb and learn about orchid culture.

When we moved "south" to Bend from Anchorage I was so filled with gardening optimism that I ordered Luffa Sponge seeds (maturity 110 days!).  Little did I know, but it certainly didn't take long to learn, the erratic weather patterns in Central Oregon.

However it happens, we are heading into a new year of teaching gardeners new to the area or maybe new to gardening about how to be successful.  The Master Gardener program is so valuable and satisfying to all of us who like getting our hands in the dirt.  It's our responsibility and obligation to continue to foster the "research based" credo, and not rely on beautifully formatted publications.  The pictures are always eye-candy and many times we are able to visit national Botanical Gardens we would never be able to travel to, all which has its value.

Bottom line is--spread the gardening word whenever and wherever you can.  Central Oregon is a great place to garden--once you get the hang of it!   

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