Monday, May 16, 2011

A chuckle (at another’s expense, of course!)

I found myself in quite a quandary a couple of days ago.  My Friday evening was spent, spade in hand, lifting perennials.  How sublime, you’re thinking. Not really.  I fit about three wheelbarrows’ worth of plants into one load.  Very irresponsible, but quite efficient.  What’s the quandary, woman, you’re now thinking.  Well, the owner of the said perennials mentioned I could take as many as I wanted as she was moving and turning the house into a rental.  The problem?  I have nowhere to put them.  At all.

early summer bergenia 003

On to new and totally unrelated topic: Fellow bloggers, have you ever checked under “Search Keywords” and discovered just what phrases tapped into a search engine led a person to your blog?  It’s such fun!  I often wonder if said person feels quite deceived when they land on my blog, as I’m sure the poor sap who searched for “buy miniature evergreens” did.  No evergreens for sale here, my good man.  In fact, you’d have a dickens of a time finding any in the state of Alaska.  But I’d check Faltz Nursery if I were you…. 

I feel as a courtesy I should be attempting to answer at least some of the queries, and address (if humanly possible) the statements, however bizarre.  (Long time readers know I make “bizarre” something of a specialty.)  So without further blather, I give you actual, real examples of search terms that led people to my blog.

Search: When can I plant in the ground in Anchorage, Alaska?

Answer: The jaded Alaskan gardener in me wants to answer “about three weeks before the first snow flies” but I mustn’t be bitter, so instead I write: Wait a bit.  The traditional planting out date is Memorial Day weekend (last weekend in May), so a couple of weeks yet for most ornamentals.  For cheaters (like myself) as soon as the birch leaf out…so pretty much anytime now.  Also, the soil in containers is warmer than the ground, so I plant my containers early as a general rule. 

My lawyer tells me I need a disclaimer, so here goes.  Disclaimer: Anchorage has had late frosts in June before, so you’ve been warned.  Don’t blame me if you plant early and your heliotrope turns brown or your impatiens go to mush.  It’s risky, I tell you, risky!

Search: What can I have in my yard that the moose won’t eat?

Answer: A grizzly bear, a blue tarp, or a rusted out Chevy Camaro.  Old timers also swear by tall fences, junkyard dogs, and Plantskydd, a blood-based repellant.  Good luck.

Search: “Sneezy” from Snow White psychological disorders

Answer: Blame your parents, kid, everyone else does.  That’s what I get for writing a post about Snow White. Which coincidentally is my most popular post.  Go figure.  Here’s a tip- write a post about a Disney character, prominently mentioned in your title, and prepare to have all blog records broken.  Disney isn’t a brand, it’s a cult.  (If anyone has tips for visiting Disneyworld, let me know.  I am being forced to go in October.  I’ll need a double ration of Paxil.)

Search: “Garden whirligigs”

Answer: No thanks.  But if they tickle your (ulp!) fancy, head down to Alaska Mill, Feed, and Garden Center.  They have an unrivaled assortment.  Hopefully my neighbors aren’t reading this.  If they are, I say, “I am already dealing with your badly behaved dogs, don’t you dare add whirligigs to the mix!” 

Search: snow garden pictures

Answer: If you figure out how to garden in the snow, let me know.  I assume a snow garden picture is as easy to find as a documented sighting of a sasquatch.  If you’re referring to strong design and lots of evergreens making a garden interesting under snow, well, why didn’t you say so?

Question: And just what did I do with that aforementioned barrow load of perennials?

Answer: There are nestled in a blue tarp, one on top of the other all higgledy piggledy inside the wheelbarrow.  No fence to keep out bunnies and moose.  No safe ground (we have some drainage issues and need to do some re-grading).  At this point, I’m thinking a few bags of compost inside the abandoned dog run, heel in, water, and call it good.  Or maybe I’ll search for “place to plant perennials when there is no place to plant” and land on one of your blogs….

Questions?  Answers?  Amusement park tips or horror stories?


  1. OMG,so funny. The moose won't eat the grizzly, but the grizzly will surely eat the moose and what a mess it would leave in the garden. And I thought an American Kestral eating a dove in my backyard was gruesome. Yikes.

  2. @gardenwalkgardentalk.comIf the grizz ate the moose, I could just use the left over bits to enrich the soil, right? Or maybe the coyotes would clean up after the bear. But I like what you wrote and think it would make a fab new slogan for our state: gruesome Alaska!


  3. My most visited entry is one I posted a couple of years ago about the ranch of a cult leader. Did I know he was a cult leader at the time, no.

    Do I lay awake at night wondering if Texan cultist will take their revenge... sometimes.

  4. @lifeshighwayWow, a feature on a cult leader!? Sounds like you're ready for CNN...wait, isn't Katie Couric leaving her show?


  5. I love your humor! Also I feel better knowing I am not the only person in the gardening world that dares not plant before Memorial Day, without the understanding that I have a better chance of winning the lottery than not being froze out. Good luck with the plants.

  6. @Birds, Bees, Berries, and BloomsI stil l hold out hopes for the lottery myself. That would certainly help with the grading anyway....


  7. I got one email asking if I still delivered manure as I posted once about a guy offering free manure.

    I was also asked how many raised beds would fit into a given area, how much did they cost and what type of payment did I accept - I suugested a company he should contact.

  8. Where to with the plants in transit? Containers? That's what I did. But then I had just cuttings, not huge shrubs??

    I have had someone looking for - an elephant named Diana ;~)

  9. @Sue@Green Lane AllotmentsWhat's your price on delivering manure? Do you accept paypal?

    About handful sized perennials is what I'm dealing with. They went into the old dog run. After I laid down newspapers, soil, and compost, in they went. No doubt all the horsetail and wild grasses will grow into it like gangbusters....


  10. Great post as usual, Christine. I was going to say, if you can't find room for planting your newbies in-ground, just stick them in pots.

    Btw, my blog address is NOW I'm just letting everyone know. Thanks.

  11. Hello, Alaska sounds like a complicated and ever-so-slightly confusing place to live...

  12. LOL. What are the current temps in Anchorage?

  13. @Grace,
    The pots are filled with with newly planted bits, alas.

    Yes, very confusing and I was born here!

    @Indoor Fountains,
    We're in the fifties, sunny today. That's not to say it couldn't be forty tomorrow with a stiff breeze....


  14. I always enjoy your humor, Christine. My all-time favorite search term that landed someone on my blog was "husband won't mulch." I've always wondered whether the searcher was looking for (a) a way to get her husband to mulch; (b)alternatives to mulching; (c) instructions on how to mulch herself; or (d) a new husband. -Jean

  15. @jeansgardenBut Jean, now I'm really dying to know how to get a husband to mulch! Maybe you should start a garden/relationships column hybrid, I believe there is a hole in the advice market for that subspeciality.



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