In a time of what seems like nearly constant bad news (war, economic instability, climate-change fears, environmental devastation, etc etc), it is easy to become misanthropic and feel like humans do nothing more than mess up the planet and fail to learn from history. Or, at least for me it is.
On days when these feelings prevail, one remedy is to spend time in the garden. Somehow, the plants restore my faith in the world, at least for a while. Or at least they give me the renewal of hope that is necessary to dive back into the human fray and keep swimming. I’m betting I’m not the only one who uses their garden as therapy in this way.
Another antidote to all the bad stuff, recently, has been the truly wonderful group of people that have come together as SAGBUTT (Seattle Area Garden Bloggers United To Talk – the joke name which seems to have stuck). As already so ably chronicled at Petunia’s Garden and Garden Muse (and probably elsewhere – I’m a bit behind in my blog reading this week), our most recent meeting was possibly even more fun than the initial one.
Paula (aka Petunia) did an amazing job of organizing the event, which lasted 3 1/2 hrs. but seemed to go by in minutes. It was great to see folks returning from last month, plus it was lovely to put a few new faces to names, as in the case of Catherine of A Gardener in Progress, Bob from Bob’s Garden, and (the most un-curmudgeonly) Curmudgeon of Weed Whackin’ Wenches.
Our special international honored guest, Matron of the UK’s Down on the Allotment, supplied a wealth of veggie-growing tips and a uniquely across-the-pond perspective, kindly taking time out from her visit with friend Debbie, who also attended.
A lot of the chat was about seed-starting, never my forte, but it was fascinating to hear about everyone’s successes and struggles, and to learn of resources and suggestions in case if I ever get around to learning this valuable skill. Among the more exotic (to me) things mentioned – Bulgarian giant leeks, gym exercises for seedlings, purple podded peas, “a cabbage summer,” barley and rye grass for dogs’ digestion aids, and poached-egg flower.
The seed and plant swap that followed was the most polite, careful exchange imaginable. Everyone made sure to only take what they thought they could use, asked others if they wanted something before nabbing the last of anything, and graciously thanked all donors. And the only person who wasn’t able to bring something along gave tantalizing descriptions of divisions to come next time – sedums, crocosmia, hardy geraniums, and perennial herbs, among other possibilities. Wow, I don’t want to miss that meeting!
Here is the heavily-laden table, mid-swap:
Curmudgeon graciously offered to “host” next time, April 18 (Earth Day!) at the Good Shepherd Center in Seattle. Details TBA at WWW soon.
Oh, did you think I’d forget to say what I scored in the swap? Never fear.
- Baby soft-neck garlic starts and red celery seeds from Molly of Life on Tiger Mountain
- Sweet flag from Gardeness
- Coffee grounds and aloe plant from Paula (plus some pumpkin seeds which I left behind)
- Hellebore seedlings and poppy seeds from Catherine
- Tomato seeds from Matron (gifted to my mom, who sent seeds along for the swap)
Thanks to everyone for all the swag and for notching my opinion of humanity a little higher this week.