January 30, 2006

Garden blogging begins

  1. A person new to a field or activity; a beginner.
  2. A person who has entered a religious order but has not yet taken final vows. Also called novitiate.
Welcome to my first ever blog. I'm not sure how long it will take me to master the art of sticking links in the messages like all the fancy people do but, hopefully I will keep you entertained. First a little background: I am a city kid. I love the outdoors but, I wouldn't say I know much about the natural world and how things work "out there." Somehow, I have become obsessed with gardening. I don't know much about what I am doing but, amazingly, I can make things grow anyway. I love it. Much of the credit (and thanks) goes to my Friend from Green Bay who let me work as her apprentice two summers ago. Last summer I got my very own plot in a community garden on my corner and I am excited and afraid of all the things I will succeed and fail at in the world of gardening in the months to come.

Its the end of January and you might think that its way too early to start freaking out about my garden but....you are wrong. I just started "gardening school" which is a volunteer master urban gardening program. I go to class every Saturday from 10 - 3:30 and learn what I like to call "advanced garden basics."For example, this weekend I took 11 pages of hand written notes on "plant pathology" and the differences between a virus a nematode and a fungus. Pretty nasty stuff. We looked at lots of pictures and had to raise our hands and say "sick" or "normal" based on the photo. Sometimes things that look sick are perfectly healthy (like some friggin ugly striped flowers we saw) and sometimes things that look healthy are sick and dying. The only trouble I have is that everybody seems to be talking about things that I haven't yet learned like "you'll get this when you don't prune correctly" or "you have probably seen this in your milkweed or roses." My what? Among other things I learned that I really need to clean my "shears" with a bleach solution to guard against all manner of garden evil. All I own are scissors and as I recall I didn't even wash them with water all summer. I might have to pick and choose the information I take seriously in this class I mean...to hear them talk my germy, fungal, non-shears make me a walking garden hazard!