Living With Limitations: Fair-Weather Friend

Header in Water Falls, November Colors

I don’t truly consider myself a fair-weather friend to my garden. I am out there on occasion in less than desirable or comfortable weather. That is especially true at this time of the year when we have cold fronts passing through, drizzly days, and those sharp winds from the north. There are times when a job simply has to get done before truly uncomfortable weather comes in and remains.

Walking Fern on Mossy rock in Water Falls

I remember my father, being the town barber, often got comments from a customer in his chair, “How come you are not out fishing today, Elmer?” Part of that was a snarky remark on his actually being there to cut hair as opposed to being on a creek bank where he often was. My father would reply, “Well, if I have to be miserable to have a good time, I will wait for another day.”

With COPD emphysema I am sensitive to weather conditions. Cold makes it harder to breathe and get oxygen into my system. A shortage of oxygen in my systems means I lack energy, tire more easily and quickly. That effects when and how much I can have a good time without being miserable. Usually I prefer being in my garden mornings, be it to take photos, transplant, the next project, or simply being there for a walk. With frost and freeze becoming more frequent those mornings are pretty much a no-show in my garden. Afternoons have now become my time to work in my garden. Soon those afternoons will disappear as well, becoming only fleeting appearances. Winter is just off stage ready for its appearance.

Christmas Fern seedlings on mossy rock in Water Falls

My hopes for the immediate future are to cut and remove debris from the garden. It is a task I very seldom get completed and it bothers me when I take a winter walk. Just a neat and clean path can help define a garden of pride. If I can get to the tall standing dead of deciduous shrubs, the hardy gingers, delphiniums, and so on, I feel even better when walking. I take pride in my appearance and, since my garden is a part of me, want it to look its best as well.

Transplanting is over unless I end up giving in to a last minute bulb order that cannot be resisted due to price and must-have impulses. There is one sweet deal on Martagon Lilies that I may consider this week. I have been working on half-completed project remaining that may, or may not, get completed. If the weather cooperates I just may get that one completed and it will become a new bed receiving choice plants in a premium area of the landscaping. Any plant remaining in a container gets to spend the winter in the greenhouse keeping me company on foul weather days.

So. What comes next? I just labeled a folder Garden 21 and it has pages from a catalog with some Hardy Gladiolus photos circled. Included is a ruled pad for notes that will be made over winter on my walks. While the garden is more-or-less bare with its bones showing its a good time to do evaluations, and then remember the changes. Move this plant or that, eliminate the thug, bring in more winter color. If I cannot be out in the garden physically, I sure can be there in spirit, doing what gardeners do best: dreaming of the best garden ever. The one next year.

 

Aging with your garden? You need my book “A Gardener Grounded”

May not cure your ills, make you younger, but it could help you Feel & Garden better.

Living With Limitations: Shifting Winds

Helleborus foetidus buds

While Shade Garden Solutions is the name of this blog, Living With Limitations has been the theme for some time now. That theme should perhaps have been Gardening With Limitations. Beginning in 2021 I may change the theme title of my blog to more closely reflect what I write about. It will certainly be gardening first, health concerns second. That is the way I try to live my life at this point.

European hardy Cyclamen foliage

Gardening Companions

That is not to say that my age and health are not concerns, for they define the paradigm I garden within. In January I will become 81 years of age. Helping me celebrate my age will be serious chronic health problems with both heart and lungs, among others. I try to think of my aging and disabilities as gardening companions, letting them walk beside me, but not to get in front as we move about.

Wisdom

Having said that, I will add that this has all been discussed with several specialists, in particular cardio and pulmonary. The heart specialist has reminded me that, at my age, even without my medical problems, my mind will always be much younger than my body getting me in trouble. Balance being one of the primary areas of discussion. I am much more prone to falls with my conditions and medications, combined with age. Broken bones from falls usually leads to rehab and stays in a facility with no more gardening at the end. Of course, my younger mind does not listen as closely as my body.

Shrub Border with Bottle Tree

Tough Teachers

My body has been teaching me new ways to approach gardening. Reality is a strict and forceful teacher and I am slowly learning to think rather than reacting to my emotions. It is so much easier to go with the flow of emotions.

Two years ago I sold one half of my hillside garden to a botanical garden. There was a long period of agonizing over that sale, but I know with both head and heart that I could no longer care for what I had put together over thirty-plus years. In time, there was acceptance and then the letting go.

Giving to Get

This past late summer and fall I have marked another one quarter of the remaining garden for sale. More reality as they two years progressed and I found even with some help my garden was coming apart and I was more frustrated than ever before. I came to my senses, admitted to myself that I would have to give in order to receive. Give up another section to keep gardening. Reaction has been good and fellow gardeners have visited and purchased many of the plants. Other plants I have moved to the oldest section of my garden, the one I am continuing. Come spring there will be sales on the ephemerals and then the area will be gone to grass.

As Martha would say, “and it is a good thing”, this realization that reducing the overall size of a garden to the reality of what can be kept up with (and enjoyed) as a first step. In my case, I will be able to complete projects I promised my garden when I first began. The concepts are still clear in my mind and would really make the garden come together in the way originally envisioned. My focus will remain on the one area, without my attempting to spread across the hillside with my visions.  Now, perhaps with a little help from my friends….

Aging with your garden? You need my book “A Gardener Grounded”

May not cure your ills, make you younger, but it could help you Feel & Garden better.

Living With Limitations: Gladly Learning

Fall Foliage Oakleaf Hydrangea

I am glad to have relearned a lesson while relearning Gladiolus.

Monkshood with early frost

Last blog I told the story of how, as a young boy, I formed an opinion about Gladiolus. That vision was carried for the past mumble-mumble years. Since I already knew all I needed to know about Glads, there was no reason to pay attention to further details. When photos appeared in plant catalogs, on nursery websites, I turned the page without truly seeing what was before my eyes. In my defense I will say I specialized in shade gardening and most Glads do best in full sun, or so I understand to date. And, if any of my gardening friends every mentioned growing Glads I never heard them.

I was recently surfing plant porn on one of my favorite rare plant nurseries when a photo appeared that caught and held my eye. Click bait for sure. I hit my mouse button and opened the photo to find out what those captivating blossoms were. Caught! I was staring at a stalk of Gladiolus flowers in my favorite color blend in a shape I never imagined for a Glad. No flouncy blooms resembling a Southern Ladies’ hat to me: rather a delicate in appearance, almost translucent, but definitely open formed flower. You could see into their Biblical parts. For sure nothing like my vision of what a Glad should look like.

Gentiana saponaria with fall foliage

First I went with impulse purchasing and ordered three each of two named cultivars of Glads: three for container growth only and three for my garden. While waiting for the orders to arrive I ordered a hard copy catalog and began to read information from bulb specialty nurseries. I could not have been more wrong about Glads. There are species Gladiolus, and their cultivars and hybrids, with different colors and color blends. Different heights and different bloom times, along with different hardiness zones. All without the stiff stimmed formality appearance of my limited vision.

Thus far I have one order for spring delivery ready to place. I can picture Glads weaving in and around my summer and fall section of the garden along with Monkshood, Asters, Lilium, Daylilies, dark foliage hardy Geraniums. And more. Much more. I am still researching for bloom times and heights for my hardiness zone and know another order will be placed before spring arrives. Then the fun will begin with my new vision of Glads.

My eyes were opened: bit of a revelation on the garden path I travel. I learned and continue to learn: the best part being experiences to come with design, transplanting and growing on with the rest of my garden.

If we were speaking of humans, in Psychology 101 there is a lesson about perceived judgements or opinions. Taking a specific instance and transferring it to a general feeling toward another. I saw one type of Glad and decided all Glads were the same.  Truth be known, I formed an opinion about Glads without having sufficient knowledge. Being a human as well as a gardener I cannot help but wonder how many plants and people I have mindlessly misjudged with no real effort to actually know. How many wonderful plants, how many links with a fellow traveler have I missed in my lifetime?

Aging with your garden? You need my book “A Gardener Grounded”

May not cure your ills or make you younger, but it could help you feel better.

Living With Limitations: Glad to Know You

Gladiolus Boone
Photo Far Reaches Nursery

Have you ever tripped over something that you knew was there, have walked around, avoided, for years? All of a sudden a renewed awareness, right?

I have been aware of Gladiolus flowers long before I became a gardener. I remember seeing Glads, Corn Lilies, or Sword-Lilies, in floral arrangements, quite often at a man’s funeral. Over the years a picture formed in my mind of those funneliform, irregular, flouncy flowers lined up on one side of the stem in neat formal rows. I came to think of Glads as tender florists flowers and not suitable for the open garden here in the mid-West.

Surfing a favorite nursery site for rare and unusual plants I came across a photo that caught and held my eye. You guessed it. A Glad. The attraction was strong enough that I began to read the description for details. Gladiolus dalenii ‘Boone’ had petals shaped different from my preconceived expectations, colored in rich apricot touched in peach at petal tips and throat. A summer blooming, four foot tall plant hardy to zone 6. Really? Zone 6?

Geranium pratense Black Beauty photo Monrovia

I went on to a couple more sites I trust and order from finding other Glads listed into Zone 5 hardiness. Thus far I have ordered two Glads: Boone of course, and a red with white splotch petals named Cardinal which is a zone 8 for container experiment. Several other zone 5 hardiness species and hybrids have been marked for further study (meaning orders in spring).

I will be concentrating my search for hardy Glads on the species G. communis from the Mediterranean region, along with G. byzantinum from the same region, along with G. illyricus from Europe and England. The mix will give me different colors, heights, different bloom times and full hardiness here. All corms of Glads can also be buried deep to avoid winter freezing, adding to their adaptability to gardens.

I also ordered a hard copy catalog from Old House Gardens which seemed to be a wealth of information on the subject. There is far too much information to go into in a blog, so I suggest that if you are not familiar with hardy Glads begin a search for more detailed information with a visit to Old House Gardens website www.oldhousegardens.com/HardyGlads

I have a location in my garden prepared for at least two different hardy Glads with a companion plant as well as the container concept. The garden site is well drained and I have mixed large amounts of soil conditioner together with composted manure. I will transplant a few corms this fall to see how they perform as well as spring transplanting. For companion plants I am considering Geranium pretense ‘Black Beauty’, or Geranium p. ‘Purple Ghost’. There are several other dark leaved Geranium pretense available with varying degrees of darkness with different color flower petals. I am trying to stay toward the purple or blue colored petals to go with the warm colors I have in mind.

Color choices could be imagined from the containers I am ordering in Tequila Sunrise with a base of chocolate. Throw in some soft peach and orange/yellow along with purple-black and I think I have containers that call for a space on the patio near the water falls.

Always about that next plant discovery, the next garden, the next season.

Aging with your garden? You need my book “A Gardener Grounded”

May not cure your ills or make you younger, but it could help you feel better.

Living With Limitations: Modest Miracles

Tricyrtis, or Toadlily

Actually, if I were not being so modest, the miracles I have experienced are monstrous.  Miracles like events that have never happened to me before in my garden. Not once in my thirty–plus years history of gardening. And, to be honest as well as modest, I will have to say I owe much to the COVID 19 virus.

Hemiboea in Flower

Minor Deities only know, the virus has certainly provided all the time needed to perform monster miracles. I have been in self-quarantine since February. Few distractions, indeed. No doctor appointments, no tests, for eight months. No trips past the end of the driveway, very little company. Just me and my garden (with my wife performing all the risky business of the outside world).  Certainly time to play in my garden. A place to maintain what little sanity remains.

From the very beginning of my career in gardening I cannot remember a fall where I actually accomplished all three of my major ‘putting the garden to bed tasks’. This fall I find myself so close to completing all three it’s like, well, a miracle (not all miracles are of the religious nature).

For sure there has always been sections of the garden I was never able to weed before they matured and set seed. By the time I got to one end of the garden, weeds had returned to where I began. I have not shied away from my own contributions this year, but it has been my friends who made the weeding a miracle a reality. This fall I can stand and see only a small area remaining to be cleared. And, there was the bonus of their company while they waved their magic weeding wands.

Zingiber mioga Krug’s Zing

This fall our drought has brought the leaves down early. It’s only the middle of October and my wife has been picking up the leaves from the lawn with the tractor and emptying the baskets of golden mulch on the freshly weeded sections of the garden. She is well over half way through that project. Normally that project last until late November, sometimes into December, but this year looks as though this month will see the end of that task. Seeing the garden put to bed with those blankets is so pleasing to the eye, so satisfying to see another fall project so close to completion.

Only October and usually I am still working into first part of December to complete transplanting. This year I have moved more, purchased more, than ever before. I shut down one more large section of my garden and have been moving my ‘must keep’ plants to the part of the garden I wish to be my final garden. There is a single shrub and perhaps half-dozen perennials to transplant and that is it for the season. I will be able to concentrate on my writing over winter.

In so many senses I am where I am supposed to be with an expired to-do list and a very short lust-list.

This calls for a celebration of the highest order: a favored web nursery to place orders for more plants.

Aging with your garden? You need my book “A Gardener Grounded”

May not cure your ills or make you younger, but it could help you feel better.

Living With Limitations: Fall Rituals

Sedum and Fallen Leaf

My Rituals

My fall rituals have begun; first a trip to the grocery to create a big pot of chili. First sign of frost or falling temperatures demands the tummy-warmth and coziness of a bowl or two with celery sticks and pimento cheese. We end up having that pot spread out over three or more days eating lunch and dinner.

While the chili is simmering on the back of the stove winter clothing comes down from the attic, gets into the dryer for a fluffing while summer weight is folded and finds its way back up the steps.

Container at Julia’s Garden

Fall Tea Time

Afternoon tea in winter calls for home baked apple cake warmed in the microwave. Gads! The aroma of tart Granny Smith apples, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Throw in a bourbon/butter with deep brown sugar sauce not drizzled but spooned upon. Well, about a close as you can get to heaven without passing away.

Still Hope

There will still be days of clear brisk weather to play in the garden before it gets put to bed. I still have some perennials I want to transplant, a design or two began that needs completing. The biggest task around here is picking up falling leaves and shredding them with the lawn and garden tractor. Chopped leaves are pure brown gold for the garden.

We (mostly my wife now) run over the falling foliage and vacuum them up into baskets. When filled those baskets are carried up the hillside one basket at a time and spread over cleared garden beds. The brown gold will form a blanket tucking in the roots of plants, helping to keep them sleeping peacefully and later, as they decompose, provide nutrients and humus. This task usually takes all of October and most of November, but has already begun with our dry September weather.

How About Your Fall

What will you be doing with your time normally spent in the garden? If I may make a suggestion, why not remember those shut in by self-quarantine? This coming winter is going to be rough, even more so than the past months. There is already those months of isolation demanded by those with age and health problems. Add on more months to come in dreary months of winter and the threat not only of COVID-19, but also the danger of a double whammy of flu. Dangerous times, indeed, for your elderly garden buddies.

Visiting inside closed areas will be difficult, but there are cell phones and bit of time to share. May even help you pass your days of gray, perhaps help you feel a bit better?

Aging with your garden? You need my book “A Gardener Grounded”

May not cure your ills or make you younger, but it could help you feel better.

Living With Limitations: Color for Summer and Fall

Spirea Double Play Doozie Photo Proven Winners

Sunshine showed up in my garden and has remained a permanent guest. Trees died and it moved right in. If you are a shade gardener where do you go from there? What is your next act? Plant more trees at age eighty? I don’t think so: my children have no interest in my garden.

Aster Kickin’ Sapphire
Photo: Proven Winners

Resisting the Inevitable

I have put my summer hat on, picked up a larger water bottle with cold drink and embraced the change. I am thinking of the change this way: a perfect opportunity to visit the garden center and purchase more plants. (And, if my wife does not catch me, my mind will. “What are you doing purchasing more plants? You can’t take care of what you have now. Where will you put it? Yada-yada-yada” Yea, yea, I know…. Sigh.”) Meanwhile, I go right on with the excitement of designing, weeding and prepping the scorched area for a new life. This time around more color for summer and fall.

Imagination

Most, if not all, plants I intend to use are already available in the garden or past purchases remaining in containers. I may not actually have to purchase anything to complete what I have in mind. You know how it goes: I seem to always have more imagination than space in the garden. Plants in containers are impulse purchases that have not found a space in the garden as yet, some left over from not fitting into the intended design.

The area I will be redesigning is irregular in shape, somewhat unusual. There will be a path outlining one side, which is open to sun, while the background will be a cliff face dropping behind the bed to a lower level. Large stones with soil between them form the drop. An existing mature Oakleaf Hydrangea forms a background for part of the bed, and another oakleaf forms the opposite end.

Hakonechloa macra All Gold with Spigelia marilandica in background

Late Summer and Fall Color

So let’s begin. As you walk up steps and take a turn to the right there is a drift of Epimedium. The Epimedium ends at a flat stone ledge which is used as a base for a large ceramic ball in crackled deep green. The new bed begins with the ending of Epimedium and ball.

I have on hand a drift of Hakonechloa m. ‘All Gold’ which is my favorite Japanese Forest Grass. I will be using this as a play off the ceramic ball and stone, the epimedium, and as an introduction to the new bed. Hakonechloa All Gold is a cushion of arching slender blades of golden yellow reaching fourteen to sixteen inches.

Following the mound of golden grass I have placed Aster Kickin’ Sapphire. A selection of a native species dumosus, or Bushy Aster. Height is about two to three feet, and covered with lilac blue rays with a yellow center reflecting the golden grass. Behind the golden grass and the blue aster is Spigelia with its upright habit of dark green leaves, red and yellow flowers appearing in summer with the grass.

Holding center stage next is Spirea Double Play Doozie that will form a lose mound about three feet tall and across. A rebloomer in bright clusters of pink-red fuzzy flowers and the spring foliage is red. In the background will be a mature Oakleaf hydrangea. Between the Spirea and Japanese forest grass I have a stand of lilies in deepest red-black for additional summer color.

Stepping down the Spirea is Solidago Little Lemon that sends up spikes of bright lemon-yellow flowers over rounded foliage, leaves growing smaller as the ascend the stems. Only reaches about a foot tall, as much in width. Late summer and fall blooming.

To the left of the Spirea and dwarf golden rod is another stand of lilies, another Kickin’ Sapphire aster with one more stand of golden Hakone grass in the rear. To the left of the grass is another stand of Spigelia.

Still a bit of space remains driving me to distraction. This calls for a trip to a garden center.

Aging with your garden? You need my book “A Gardener Grounded

May not cure your ills or make you younger, but it can make you feel better.

Living With Limitations: Portrait of a Weed Pile

Portrait of a Weed Pile

Name your Poison

Weeds received almost as much press as the perennials they compete with in gardens. Your university extension office issues white papers after research on every aspect of weed identification, its effects upon agriculture and horticulture, and how to eradicate. Billions are spent each year on chemicals to combat their existence. Then there is the time element of spraying fields and the environmental impact along with equipment costs. The manual labor of crawling about in gardens with your favorite implement popping them out by the roots most often is the least favorite approach to weeding.

Branched Bugbane Actaea

Name Calling

I always enjoy the attitudes expressed by garden writers in gardening magazines and books concerning weeds. A few take the technical approach all very direct and informative, while most authors have a more philosophical viewpoint. Sometimes lines of print get stuck in my head as I read. Such as “a weed is a plant without a publicity agent”. Another that I hear often is “a weed is a plant out of desired place”. My final favorite is “the more perennials you have in the garden, the less room for weeds”. That one has a ring of truth, but also a touch of nursery promotion. Personally, I tend to wax a bit philosophically on weeds.

Exercise Program

I am aware of all the chemical answers to my weed problems. However, my preference is to crawl about on hand and knees and physically remove unwanted plants. I have my dovetail weeder and time. Time to myself in my garden with head down where I cannot see, nor hear the rest of the world, as my cell phone is never with me in my place of peace.  Weeding is an active meditation. All the repetitive motions of removal, the devotional actions of kneeling, then standing to carry debris away, returning to kneeling. That is the physical aspect of weeding.

The physical side of weeding is also a part of my exercise program along with walking up and down my hillside garden, carrying the debris away. I have a problem making myself ‘work out’ but no compulsion against weeding activities.

Behind Bellybuttons

A spiritual side exists in removing weeds. A removal of weedy thoughts as well the undesired to simply be in the garden. I also find a cleansing, a sense of renewal, the polishing of the space where perennials remain so they can look and be their best.

I may look a bit grubby leaving the garden, and these old bones are sore and tired, but that is only the outward and the physical. Behind my bellybutton I am a bit lighter and brighter from removing a few personal weeds.

Having Said That

The bellybutton approach does not always work. Taking my age, my medical condition into account, there are times when I do not have the energy nor the will to give what it takes to physically weed. Also, some conditions will not work with simple weeding. Yes, I now use the occasional spray to kill off the most noxious and persistent. There is the world as I would like for it to be and then there is the world of reality.

If you garden with limitations, You are in my book. Order your copy now.

Living With Limitations: Moonlight Sonata

Kousa dogwood Snow Towers bloom

Sitting on my hillside deck beneath cedar trees, looking across and down, is among my favorite garden views. The vignette is framed by the open branches of a white variegated Redbud tree. A path climbs the hill leading to the deck and is intersected by a path across the hillside. At that junction is a raised bed which is the dominant portion of the view.

The deck is a perfect place to sit quietly with a glass of chilled wine, listen to music, and watch the sun set behind the garden. One evening, while enjoying the better things in life, one of my favorite pieces of music by a favorite composer kept me still. The music was Ludwig van Beethoven’s piano sonata number 2, or as commonly known, Moonlight Sonata.

The word moonlight merged in my mind with the romance of a white blooming garden. I had a white and green frame for the picture to be created, so why not complete the concept? I do not normally sit on the deck after sundown, but a white garden with emphasis on variegated foliage can be just as lovely in daylight, I thought.

Re-Design

In the thirty-plus years the bed has existed I have had several designs over the years, none of which ever satisfied me, came unraveled over time, or survived only to be torn out and restarted. This time, I told myself, it will be different. I will design a white garden; a garden that will survive the test of time and my sense of satisfaction. And, with one exception, I already have the plants scattered throughout my garden.

White Flowers

The raised bed is approximately six foot wide by twelve long, primarily viewed while walking up the path into the garden, and of course, viewed from above when seated on the deck. My center piece, placed off-center, is a Kousa dogwood ‘Snow Tower” (Cornus kousa Snow Tower). I have chosen a small tree that matures twelve feet tall and four feet wide to stay within scale of the raised bed and area it will have to fill out over time. Its growth habit is upright and tight, leaves rich green, large crisp-white flowers in abundance. It performs best in plenty of light, but appreciates some shade toward afternoon.

The Two Brunnera with Fire Pink

Companions

Forming a drift I have two varieties of Brunnera, both of which, are my favorites to date. I have 3 of Brunnera macrophylla ‘Looking Glass”. The individual leaves are large, heart-shaped, tending to cup . Leaves are rimmed with a dark green border, a central green vein, all on solid silver background. Foliage forms a mound about twelve to fifteen inches tall, blooming early in the season in open sprays of blue with a white eye just above the silver and green.

Heart-Leaf Brunnera m. “Emerald Mist’ has large heart-shaped leaves have lacy collars of silver, then a light dusting of silver overall. There is brilliant green in the center of each leaf forming an intricate pattern. The green and silver is in perfect balance on leaves reaching twelve to fifteen inches in height with same spread over time as “Looking Glass”. I have transplanted two of this variety. Three of the Looking Glass, two of Emerald Mist, then a single Looking Glass”. It has the same forget-me-not blue and white flowers.

Ferns

Japanese Painted Ferns (Athyrium nipponicum var.) have sprung up throughout my garden so I have a good selection of choose from. At this time I have chosen two nice clumps to play off the Brunnera, and I may chose a third later on if the rhythm calls for it. The fronds reach fifteen to eighteen inches in height, quickly forming good sized clumps. The green of each frond tends to be pale, but most of the frond is a whitish-silver which creates quite a show in a dark corner.

Polygonatum odoraatum Byakko Photo Edelweiss

Upright Architecture

With mounding and airy forms in place it is time to change gears and transplant another of my favorite plants for the shade garden.  ‘White Tiger’ Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum odoratum ‘Byakko’) was a gift to me, and I have two starts to use for this project. The variegation on this cultivar is different from all others I have seen. Cream-white irregular blotches begin where the leaf attaches to the stem and spreads outward, often covering well over half the green leaf. Leaves are alternate on some-what zig-zag red stems. No two leaves are the same. Height is from fifteen to thirty inches depending upon who you read. The starts I received were sixteen and eighteen inches, so I am going to guess, when well-grown, two feet.

You could also try the most often used P. variegate with small white accents on each egg-shaped leaf, or go for the gusto with a real kick of white using P. ‘Double Stuff’.

I am still considering a spray of Hakonechloa macra White Variegated to use in the corner of the bed so it can arch and soften the stones defining the path junction.

If you are experiencing limitations in the garden, You are in my latest book: A Gardener Grounded 

 

Living With Limitations: Modern Magic

Hymenocallis occidentalis: Spider Lily

Occasionally when I come out of the garden and return to the real world I experience real magic. Because it can be explained in some cases people call it science. In other cases it can be woo-woo spiritual. Then there are the times when magic is like pornography; you know it when you see it. Difficult to describe to another, but there it is right in front of both small gods and man.

Quarantined

Those of you who read my meanderings know I have strictly quarantined myself from the COVID-19 virus. My meds come through the mail, my wife does all shopping. I simply stay put in my own little world. That does create problems in the real world. After all, man cannot life upon bread alone, he must have peanut butter (Biblical quote) sandwiches when he spends the day at garden centers.

Frustrations

Following a recent update on my computer I turned it on the next morning to check my email and nope! Software would not load. I spent a day fishing around trying to get access to my email with no avail. If I had enough hair remaining I would have pulled it out. Also wanting to do email and having no access creates one hell of an itch that cannot be scratched. Finally I admitted defeat and went searching for a local computer tech.

Tech Magic

Some techs wanted me to drop off my computer since they could not come here. That was not working for me. Then I found an up to date tech who actually accepted a text and responded before I could seriously pace the floor once more. We sat up an appointment for the same day! He would not come here and I did not have to go there. He used remote magic.

Magic Wand

I have had the service used on my computer before, nothing really new, but I suppose my sense of isolation enhanced the appreciation for this service. My Computer Guy called me back and we talked on the phone while he connected to my computer remotely. I set back and chatted, described problems and

watched the curser move about the screen. While he worked on my email problem he went on to clean up and speed up my old computer, getting rid of small nuisances I had intended to tackle one day. I had an intelligent ghost in my machine. One that waved magic wands.

To shorten the story it has been sometime since I was that pleased with another’s service. Nothing teaches appreciation like missing what you took for granted.

My gift to you this week is his contact information. He, Kevin Clark, My Computer Guy, is on Facebook. 812 572-9820 Not an advertisement, a recommendation.

 

Gardening With Limitations? You are in my book; A Gardener Grounded