Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The more you know

Every once in a blue moon I feel like my brain is firing on all cylinders  But most days I feel like, if my brain is a car, I left the parking brake on and I'm trying to drive down the street, wondering why I can't go very fast and what that whining noise is. And do I smell something burning? I came to gardening late and I feel like I've managed to amass a fair amount of plant information in my brain but there's just so much to learn

Scott and I went to the Clackamas Master Gardener fair with six billion of our friends and neighbors (so crowded! so hot!) and he'd say, "Ooh, what's that?" and I'd wager a guess like, "A fern?" and it would turn out to be a cactus or a magnolia or a small child or a ceramic pot. It was like I was picking words at random. It's a toaster! It's a park ranger!

Then he said, "Oh look, it's the Wind Dancer booth!" which my brain interpreted as Dancing Oaks, and I wondered aloud, "Why did they only bring grasses?" Scott gave me a funny look and then I started talking about how "I hate that guy" while staring at Carolyn Kolb's husband. Some guy at Dancing Oaks gave me a dumb answer to a stupid question at the HPSO sale and I was confusing him for Mr. Wind Dancer WHO COULDN'T BE NICER. 

Chug, chug, whine whine whine goes my brain. And you know what? The rude person at the HPSO sale wasn't even from Dancing Oaks; he was from some other nursery. Do you smell smoke? 


This spring I've been inundated with tiny red seedlings in my front yard. There were probably a hundred in the rain garden. I've never seen them in my garden before, so I assumed it must be something thuggish I planted in the last year. After talking to Linda about how completely Sedum Angelina has colonized in her yard (it grows in the cracks of her street) I started to wonder if it was that. 

I found a more mature seedling that was putting on green growth and posted a photo to the Oregon gardeners Facebook page and asked for ideas. Turns out it's not a creeping yellow succulent. It's Doug Fir. I felt so dumb. 

In my defense, I've lived here for four years and never seen these seedlings before. And there's not a single seedling in the backyard . . . you know, where the Doug Fir is. I'm starting to think my garden is conspiring to make me look dumb.

Edited to add: Wow! Some of my sentences didn't even make sense. Sorry about that. 

14 comments:

  1. Welcome to the wonderful wolrd of gardening! I feel dumb most of the time. Fortunately, gardeners are very forgiving and like the French, if you attempt to speak their language (Acer palmatum, quercus dentata pinnatifida) they'll be really helpful. "Oui, l'érable et le chêne!" (yes, a maple and an oak.) On the other hand, if your mouth starts to taste like pennies, seek help!

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  2. I'm glad to be in such good company. :)

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  3. MY garden is trying to kill me. Twelve ticks so far. And don't get me started on the poison ivy.

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  4. Comedy Central is full of smart people playing dumb. You would fit right in...but the late nights might interfere with your gardening...and truth be told, we would like to keep you for our own personal amusement.

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  5. Oh no! That's so much worse! Stay safe out there--ticks are awful.

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  6. I blame any such faux pas on the heat and the plant frenzy that overtook us ;-) Plus, if it makes you feel better, I always feel like I'M the spaz. How about when we were looking at Hostas and I was all "I like this one even more than that one...and they were the same variety...oops ;-) I actually remember, a few weeks ago, before the plant swap, someone mentioned they were bringing Acanthus, and I was all "Hell yeah, I want some Acanthus". When I got to the swap, I realized that I had actually been thinking of Alchemilla...DOH! You are most definitely NOT alone!

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  7. Jennifer DennisMay 8, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Um yah, you're not the only one and the Master Gardener show this weekend was *hot*!! I can never pronounce the plant names correctly. Never. I feel like a tard.

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  8. Glad you cleared up that rude person confusion as I was having a hard time seeing either of the very kind Dancing Oaks guys being rude to you!

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  9. I'm all yours, lady. But trust me, it's not an act! The other night I asked Greg something and he waited about 30 seconds to respond . . . when he finally did I had to ask, "What are we talking about?" I had forgotten already.

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  10. I'm so glad we get similarly goofy in hot weather. And man, now I want some alchemilla.

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  11. I always do that harried, "Did I pronounce it incorrectly?!?" hand-wringing thing every time I attempt Latin. I feel your pain!

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  12. Tammi@1914houseMay 9, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    I found one of those seedlings in my front yard today. And only because of this blog post did I know what it was. The more you know...(I sing it to the "CBS Cares").

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  13. My ignorance hasn't been for naught! Hooray!

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