Monday, June 27, 2011
Alaska Gardener Answers the Unanswerable
My writing options this week as far as subject matter goes were, and I quote verbatim: 1. the bunny and the dandelions, 2. something about the clouds, 3. something about gardening because this is a garden blog, and 4. the tortoise almost ran away. As suggested to me by my sounding board of 12 years whilst I was collapsed in a heap regretting I had nothing to write about (again). All were rejected in favor of answering reader “questions”. Much more entertaining. And I would have to do actual research (sort of) to find out about clouds beyond what I learned from Sesame Street and the ninth grade.
I had great fun answering the search queries that led to my blog here. Now trolling keywords in blogger has become an addiction for me, along with jelly beans and cheap trowels. Judge me not…I know each one of you has a similar cringe-inducing habit. Otherwise, why the plethora of lawn gnomes, movies starring terrible actors, brisk trade in white tube socks, and extensive chocolate-themed aisles at Costco?
Query: those things in Alaska with the color
Answer: Subduing the natural urge to write “huh?” I take it to mean you are referring to blue tarps, that purple house on Hillside Drive or one of it’s many brightly hued brethren around town, or the approximately one trillion yellow dandelions around here.
Query: Keep closed unless airborne
Answer: If by keep closed, one is referring to a motor-mouth or a full purse, then I say “hear, hear.” Actually, those needn’t be opened on a plane either. I spilled the contents of my purse on a flight once and it wasn’t pretty. My favorite lip balm is probably still rolling around on some Delta flight, tripping up little old ladies in velour track suits. And as for the blabby guy with the carrying voice that seems to be on every red-eye flight I am, well, I guess I didn’t need those five hours of sleep anyway.
Query: trees that moose won’t eat
Answer: I’ll let you know if I hear of one. Even if they won’t eat it, they can still snap off all the leaders or mar it in some other conspicuous way before determining the tree is not snack worthy (my poor, poor Prunus maackii trees will never be the same). Stick with evergreens, kid, and you may have a chance.
Query: alaska, when to give up on perennials
Answer: When you spend more time spraying, dividing, and coddling them than with your family, job, and other hobbies combined. Have the Extension Service do a soil test. Are you trying to grow them in construction backfill or a swamp? And try the easy ones first. In Alaska that’s Trollius and Iris. Take a garden class at one of the nurseries. Pick a veteran gardener’s brain. Enroll in the Master Gardener course. Say it with me: “I can do it.”
Query: gas station plants
Answer: No. You can’t make me.
Query: difficult neighbors and fences
Answer: If I had the answer to this, I’d be richer than Bill Gates, more revered than Mother Theresa, and probably a top advisor to the President of the United States. I think this problem is ubiquitous, and generally speaking, difficult neighbors will still be difficult whether or not there is a fence involved. So why not get the fence and then you will see/hear less of them. I prefer a ten-foot brick wall with razor wire running along the top and accompanied by a drooling pack of mastiffs, but strangely enough city ordinances frown on this approach. If all else fails, try cookies or homemade bread.
I’d like to thank all of those earnest searchers out there who were brave enough to tap out their heart’s desires, I’d like to thank Google for referring them here, and I’d like to thank you all for reading this goofy blog. Next week, I really must write something about gardening. Or perhaps I’ll run out of time (as usual) and be left with one of these lovelies: “Strolling with Stratus,” “Counting the Cumulus,” or maybe “The Nimble Nimbus.”
Do you search for garden answers on the internet? In books? Or in person?