Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lament of a Garden Center Employee

I remember when I started gardening..many moons ago. I sat down with a few books from the local library and started a little something called RESEARCH. Those of you who don't comprehend what that means....it is a fact finding mission where you gather information, analyze it and come to a conclusion. Plain and simple...right? To me, there is a straightforward approach to finding out information you require for any project, let alone gardening. There is an abundance of information out there concerning the act of manning a shovel or water hose but like anything else, you must decide what is truly best for you and experiment. Gardening is about using your God-given brain and trial and error to find what works.

I honestly enjoy discussing gardening and giving good advice.... BUT... can anyone tell me why millions of people descend upon their local garden centers each spring like a bunch of hungry locusts and drive those of us who work there to the point of madness with idiotic questions and I might add, the same questions over and over. Then also tell me why most of my conversations go something like this: Scuse me! Can you help me? I have an area that is such and such a size and I want a plant that is drought tolerant, blooms all summer, and doesn't get any higher than this(as they show you with their hand how tall off the ground they mean), and I don't really have time to fuss with it. Inside my head I am choking this individual within an inch of their sorry existance...but I smile and gather all the pertinent information and try to come up with an idea as I flip through my cranial rolodex. As with many of the customers, I finally give them a suggestion and the reply is "I don't like that"...so back to the choking image I go and think of another direction to turn. The problem is that most people want the biggest bang with not a lot of work. Hmmmm...imagine that! Hence the lazy, self indulged gardener. Yes, the same one who instead of taking time to enjoy the beauty around them says to me(because I am the first person they see) scuse me!...do you work here?(as the company name screams off my tshirt)....where are the vegetable plants? I point ten feet away and turn back without uttering a sound.

I can certainly distinguish between who is genuinely trying to understand and has done a little homework and the ones who just get an idea stuck in their heads because they saw something they like and want it in their very own yard. Sorry folks...here's the wake up call....nature does not...I repeat, does not alter itself so you can be the envy of all your neighbors. The very act of gardening is supposed to bring a calmness to a few hours of your day. Mother nature rewards you when you pay attention to things like natural light, wind direction, water requirements and most of all, using the gifts she has provided to get the best results, instead of the man-made super problem solvers. Coexisting in harmony with nature is the key to a beautiful sanctuary. You can see who is a true gardener just by looking at the natural beauty they have surrounding them.

We are now starting to wind down from the height of the season and the craziness but please do us ALL a favor.....next season be a little less demanding, a little more patient and... FOR PETE'S SAKE DO A LITTLE RESEARCH!!!



Sid Raisch said...

Blogging is a good way to release your frustrations after a hard spring. Those locust borne questions can get to you after a while. Then, like a spent flower we rest, rejuvenate and build strength for the next spring.

Angelo de Gioia said...

Sid, thank you for the understanding words. I take it you are an avid gardener by the gardening blogs you follow :) As you can see I have been way to busy to write but am now slowing down to write more about positive gardening articles...lol.

You are quite beautifully correct on your comparison of us to a flower. Great insight :)

I am honored that you have added me to your list of blogs to read..many thanks!