Monday, April 17, 2006

Gardening Birthday

Today is my gardening birthday. I’m one year old. From the snobbish way I speak of plastic plants and annuals, you’d think I would be older, but I guess I’m just precocious.

I’ve been interested in plants for as long as I can remember. Over the years, I’ve grown a redwood from seed (it didn’t live long), started wildflowers in ammo boxes (again, didn’t live long), and maintained oodles of houseplants (lived a bit longer, when I didn’t chop them up in a berserker rage). My undergraduate degree is in botany. I spent a summer identifying meadow and forest plants for the National Biological Service in Yosemite. Strangely, though, I’ve never actually “gardened” until last spring.

When trying to determine the actual day I was “born again,” I wasn’t sure which event to use. Did I become a gardener the first time a contemplated a landscape plan? Was I born when I sowed seeds last winter? I made a somewhat arbitrary decision to choose the day that I first planted something in the ground, April 17, 2005. On this day, I planted a sweet bay magnolia and a gardener was born.

I had no idea what I was doing. I did have the wisdom to place the tree at least five feet from the sidewalk and driveway, in anticipation of its future spread. I did not, however, amend the soil. I chopped the dirt up into golf-ball sized chunks (as directed by Gardening in Ohio), but was not yet aware of the need to add manure and peat moss to the heavy clay. Thankfully, I chose a tree that is tolerant of clay soils. It survived the winter and looks as if it will bloom again this June.

Happy Birthday to me!


Blogger Jenn said...


11:38 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Happy birthday! Lovely tree!

12:38 PM  
Blogger Takoma Gardener said...

Since you were born again, have you started knocking on doors looking for converts? Susan

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's been a good year. You are an asset to the neighborhood.

9:04 PM  
Blogger OldRoses said...

Happy Birthday! Isn't it an amazing hobby? You can never get tired of it because there is always something new.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Garden Obsession said...

Congratulations! It's fun to have someone around the same gardening age as me and watch the progress as it unfolds. Here's to many more years!

5:49 AM  
Blogger Zoey said...

Did you bake a birthday cake?
Here's wishing you many more gardening years.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Peter A. said...

This Spring is my first attempt at anything gardenlike. Right now I'm all about the Clematis and Climbing Hydrangea I just got. They're the first plants I've bought with a plan in mind. I wonder what my garden will look like in a year. More at my housblog

2:52 PM  

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