Gardening where the sidewalk ends

I Heart SAGBUTT March 24, 2009

Filed under: bloggers' gathering,swag — greenwalks @ 10:18 pm

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)

Plant swap swag

Thanks to everyone for all the swag and for notching my opinion of humanity a little higher this week.


10 Responses to “I Heart SAGBUTT”

  1. shibaguyz Says:

    Please please please email us about details of the next meeting… we’d love to get together with you all… even host one!

  2. easygardener Says:

    It sounds a great event and I think the name of your group is very catchy!

  3. I’ve been reading everyone’s accounts of this meeting and it sounds like you all had a whole lot of fun! I’m glad to hear I’m not the only non-seed-starting gardener. After reading so many posts about seedlings lately, I’ve been feeling like the odd gardener out! Love the SAGBUTT acronym. It reminds me of that saying about aging gardeners, that they’ve reached the “snapdragon” stage–when your knees start snappin’ and your butt starts draggin’! (I’m sure you’re all a long ways from that, though…) šŸ™‚ Have fun with all your new loot!

  4. Catherine Says:

    It’s fun to read the other posts on SAGBUTT because everyone remembered some different things, except for the seedling workout, which seems to have really stuck in everyones mind. It was sure a lot of fun! I hope I can make the next one, if not that the next one for sure! Thanks again for being the one of the first to get this started!

  5. RainGardener Says:

    I’ve also loved reading about your get together and only wish I was a little closer or that there were other gardening bloggers down my way. None that I know of – if fact when I tell people down here what I’m doing the response is “What’s a blog?” which was me too a week before I started doing it. LOL O’well maybe I’ll have to start something!
    Karen, thanks for inspiring me on the parking strips (or whatever they are called). People are liking my post and writing wonderful comments. I emailed ya to let you know it was finally posted. Linda

  6. Grace Says:

    What a great time you must have had. There is nothing like visiting with other garden gurus. Maybe you all will tour each other’s gardens this summer and take tons of pictures. šŸ™‚

  7. Matron Says:

    I had such a great time meeting fellow garden bloggers and swapping seeds! I managed to ‘score’ some red yard-long beans to go with my green ones! Fantastic!

  8. Aerie-el Says:

    Wow, that is a great table setting!
    I’m catching up reading the blogs about the recent SAGBUTT meeting. What a treat to have Matron from across-the-pond visit! I’m looking forward to actually being able to attend the next one, and maybe toss a few seeds and starts out for grabs-I mean gentle selections. šŸ™‚

  9. That sounds like a blast! I wish I could get something like SAGBUTT going here in LBB. Ah well, maybe someday…In the meantime, I’m really enjoying living vicariously through the blogs.

  10. kanak Says:

    Hi Karen, I have been reading the SAGBUTT posts and I must say I envy you all. It sounds so wonderful–the meeting, the exchange of ideas and seeds! I’m not going to miss any of these posts! Thanks for sharing!

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