Sunday, November 23, 2008

The best teacher is experience…

As long as there have been gardens there have been gardeners that have opinions about what, when and how to garden.
I received a call at work a few days ago from a customer who had just heard on a T.V. show that you should not transplant Camellia’s. The person doing the show said that if you moved a Camellia it might and most likely would, die.
Well, I can assure you that after a lifetime of gardening I have moved countless Camellias with great success. My first reaction was, ‘What a quack”. But then I thought about it for a few moments….
I know a lot of wonderful people in this industry and not one of them would ever even think about giving out wrong information, it is just not in their nature. So why this bit of misinformation?
Well, I can tell you that the person that said this really believes it IS accurate.
So what is the public suppose to do, how do they know what information is accurate and which is not, or more accurately, which information will garner them the best success in their garden.
One of the easiest things any gardener can do is A) try it yourself and B) pay attention! There is no information out there on gardening that can compete with your personal experience. I take all the info I can and then process that into a formulation that I can use in my gardens at home. When I hear, ‘you can’t do it that way”, well I just give it a shot! “Those won’t live here”, We’ll see about that! “You aren’t supposed to move those plants…they just do not transplant well”, Tell that to my peonies that have been moved countless times!
What I am saying is that each one of us has more to learn, each of us has ideas and desires for our own spaces and many failures and successes to have. Listen to everything that professionals say and then strike out on your own! It’s your garden with your sweat and efforts pored into it. And then pay attention to your space. Nature is so good at telling us exactly what it needs, we need only pay attention. If you are stumped, take a sample and your questions into any independent garden center, they are chucked full of people that have years and years of experience. But more than anything else…have fun! Take some time this winter to do some planning. How about a new vegetable garden? Maybe you have been waiting to expand your perennial beds, or put in a pathway. It is all with in your reach and you will have plenty of time this winter to plan it all out. And then that first day of warm weather hits and you begin whatever it is you are planning to do.
I know I have already started planning my veggie garden, tweaking it from last year, adding some things, removing some. Successes and failures, but always, always learning.
What can nature and experience teach you?
Warm Thoughts,

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