Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dating or How to Find the Right Plant for the Right Place by KCB

KCB is a professional gardener and friend who does wonderful work in the Greater Portland area. KCB is also an accredited Master Gardener by the Cooperative Extension Service and we are proud to tell you that KCB rules as the 2008 Maine Master Gardener of the Year. And we are honored to have KCB as part of our Skillin's Garden Log family.

Dating is not an easy thing. Not at my age, anyway. Not sure how many reading this are married, in a ‘committed’ relationship or singular by choice or chance.

Living alone, for me, is refreshing. While I do miss having a faithful canine companion, the 2 legged roommate is best left to someone else. Yet it would be nice to have a special person of the opposite sex in my life. Some one to date.

If this was spring, summer or even fall I wouldn’t even have time to think about dating. Alternatively, it’s hard to be attractive when there is dirt under your nails, your knees are caked with compost, you sport a uniform of cargo pants (or shorts), tank top and hiking boots.

I must admit said hiking boots make for interesting tan lines when replaced with strappy sandals after work hours. This in itself can be a conversation starter. I’ve tried wearing garden clogs or other low slip-ons yet for some of the garden gymnastics I find myself doing, ankle support works best. Did I mention dirt? Not only are my clothes streaked with the stuff, my face sometimes gets a dose. I won’t even begin to talk about the scent of a woman during the dog days. Ah, I can hardly wait to be that person again. For now I will lament over the pros and cons of dating.

I do realize that this is a blog about gardening. For those of you who are faithful readers (thank you one and all) you have come to expect everything that touches my life, perhaps yours as well, has something to do with gardening.

Dating and gardening conceivably have more differences than similarities nevertheless both can be heady experiences in the beginning. One comparison would be the new trendy place to meet after work vs. your favorite local nursery and garden center.

Imagine you are meeting some friends after work at the hottest place in town. You’ve heard good things about this restaurant for starters they have the best Nachos and Margaritas this side of the Rio Grande. It is a social Mecca for all walks of life. Singles and couples alike fill the seats and all around you are streams of smiling faces. The wait staff is eager to please and all seems right with the world. Sustenance, merriment and beverages, adult or otherwise, fill the bill. Electricity pulsates throughout and within as you make your way to a seat at the bar or a waiting table. You peruse the room and few interesting prospects catch your eye. So many people, so little time. You are giddy and nervous all at once. You don’t want to appear too eager; people will think you don’t have a life. This Friday Happy Hour is a tradition for many. Who knows a special friend may just be in your future.

Now compare this to the garden center in May, not to mention June, July, ok for me August, September and who can forget October when the bulbs are available. Nevertheless, there is nothing like those Spring visits….. OK, now where was I?

The garden center is a buzz of activity. The staff is all smiles and eager to please. Fellow gardeners are milling about. Currents of excitement emote from plant and person. Couples, families, singles all are there for a different kind of nourishment. You look around and see many interesting prospects. Color, texture even fragrance abounds. You are giddy and nervous all at once. You don’t want to appear too eager. Those around you will think you don’t have a life. So many plants, so little space (or money). For many visiting garden centers are a ritual all with hopes that a special plant, shrub or tree or two will be in their future.

An understandable difference between the bar scene and the nursery is that you simply are able to walk up to a plant, pay for it and make it your own. Some may say buying a drink or 2 for someone is a far reach of the same scenario but I am trying to be somewhat sensible, at least for now.

When taking plants home it is permissible to take 3 or more of the same or many different kinds. You can mix and match, marry them as in perennials, shrubs or trees or just enjoy a brief affair as in annuals.

With people only a fool or a glutton for punishment would attempt to be involved in more than one intimate relationship at a time.

You want to be careful when dating. In trying to keep this light and somewhat short I will highlight the most obvious. You want to choose carefully. There may be a lot of beautiful and interesting people out there but not all may be right for you. You want someone who is healthy in mind, spirit and body. Someone with whom a true relationship can grow and offer a sustainable future.

In choosing plants for your garden careful choices are also advisable. Only healthy plants should make their way to your garden. You want plants that will grow and offer sustainable beauty. You may have to try several plants before you find your one true love.

Okay, who am I kidding? When it comes to ornamentals I for one will never have one true love. There are plants and shrubs I love for the woodland setting, others for the sunny border. Then there are those that attract wildlife. What about most loved fragrance? It is all about variety while still adhering to the right plant, right place rule.

I can not wait for spring. Will finding just the right date ever be as easy as finding the right plant? Moreover, since I can not seem to find my one true love of a plant as I so love them all, is this the burden I must bear throughout other aspects of my life? So what to do tonight? And the next?

My first reaction would be to just get a Golden Retriever. Since no dogs or cats are allowed in my new home perhaps I will just get a goldfish.

Please do not think that this is a thinly veiled ploy for another way to get a date. It is just a way of sharing.

Some of you will know what I’m talking about, others should be glad this is one ritual they have left behind. There may be some who long to be playing the field. For those I warn, the grass may just BE greener on the other side.

KCB for Skillin's Greenhouses
January 28, 2009

No comments: