Corona Garden Diary 4/1/20: You’re Wearing THAT?

In these difficult times, it’s only natural to take a step back and reflect on what’s truly important.  Your family, your friendships, your health, sure, sure…but let me ask you this:

Is your gardening wardrobe meeting all of your needs — practical, emotional, and spiritual?  Is your gardening attire suitable to wear during a possible global economic meltdown but also fashion forward?

Or are you still going outside every day in that disgusting t-shirt from that Fun Run you did in 1996?  If so, let’s get to work on that.  What else do you have to do?

I think you will find this next image inspiring.  It’s an ad that appears at the back of my English Garden magazine in almost every issue, and it shows how those clever Brits have eclipsed us Yankees not only in gardening but in gardening fashion!


Man: “My shovel has disappeared into the mist.”  Woman: “Nigel, come back to the yurt.  I made scones.” 

Just because the man is wearing the same outfit your great-uncle Jimmy wore as a dockworker in Baltimore in 1935, just because he looks like he is about to walk into a pool hall and punch somebody in the face, doesn’t mean he’s not the pinnacle of garden style.  It’s the 21st century! If you aren’t wearing work clothes made from wool or flax — or spun from straw — you will simply not be trending.

Notice what it says in the text about how this couple is going to pass these bespoke garments on to the next generation.  Can you say the same about those Hanes sweats you wear out in your sad flowerbeds?

Check this out.  Here is the couple’s only son. It didn’t bother him that mum and dad didn’t pass along their vast seaside property; he is happy to have inherited the tan pants.gardenclothes2

He would be smiling except that the wool overshirt has caused excruciating rashes all over his torso.  But like a true Brit he keeps calm and carries on: through weeds, viruses, Brexit, or dismal English weather.

Friends: the lesson learned is that we can overcome any obstacle as long as we stick together and as long as we are properly attired in heritage rural workwear.



Garden Designers’ Roundtable: Two Maintenance Ideas

"That a-hole designer said these would be low-maintenance."  (Nick Daley/DigitalVision/Getty Images)

“That a-hole designer said these would be low-maintenance.” (Nick Daley/DigitalVision/Getty Images)

True story: last week, while waiting to get a haircut, I flipped through a local home and garden magazine and stumbled upon an article about garden maintenance. Mostly I skimmed it, but then my eye caught a quote from a landscape designer based at a local nursery. He said, “If a landscape is designed right, there should be NO maintenance. None at all. That’s what a designer is for.”My jaw dropped. No maintenance at all! See, if you hire the right designer, you’ll never have to so much as pluck a leaf off of your zero-input lawn! Apparently this guy can even design it so all the leaves from your trees blow into your neighbor’s yard, too!

I almost wanted to stand up right there in the hair salon and be, “ya’ll won’t BELIEVE what I just read here in this magazine, ladies!” but they probably would’ve thought it was some juicy sex tip from Cosmo and been disappointed when it turned out to be faulty landscaping advice — shocking though it was!

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Mary’s Garden Story in ‘Washington Gardener’!!!

Okay, Washingtonians, the latest issue of Washington Gardener is hot off the presses and wouldn’t it be delightful to open your mailbox and spy its colorful, glossy pages ready for your reading enjoyment?  If only you were a subscriber!!!

You should really subscribe because the magazine is tailor made for us, gardeners who live in our specific EPA Eco-region.  In case you weren’t sure, our eco-region is classified by the EPA as  Chesapeake Rolling Plain Variable Winters Humid Ass Summers Worthless Clay Soil, so Washington Gardener won’t frustrate you with articles like “Ten Fantastic New Lupine Cultivars!” that will only fill you with envy and remorse.  All of the articles are geared toward our climate, our soil, our local horticultural attractions.  Everything is relevant!

The other reason you should subscribe is because in this issue you can read about a fascinating Washington-area gardener named Mary Gray in the “My Garden Story” column of the magazine.  That’s right, you can read the intriguing story of how I, personally, became a gardener (hint: it wasn’t at my grandmother’s knee.)

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A Walk on the Wilder Side: My Review of a New Garden Mag!

The typical glossy gardening mags that I mentioned recently are a bit like that plate of mini-cheesecakes you ate that one time.  They’re fun to indulge in and they create feelings of giddiness, but after your tenth one, you crave something less sugary.  Many of us want something more nourishing and substantial in our garden-related reading, but it’s not easy to come by.

One remedy you might consider for overindulgence in glossy garden eye-candy is Wilder Quarterly – a new print  publication launched this fall that wants to reach “people enthralled by the natural world.”  Both the content and style of WQ are earthy, wholesome, satisfying.   The first issue – which I read from cover to cover – offers up a wonderful smorgasbord of articles.  Here’s a taste:

1. no-nonsense profiles of the carrot & dahlia plant families

2. how to grow Cheddar cauliflower (I read the whole article and I don’t think it really tastes like cheese)

3. a charming and funny piece by Dominique Browning about the pleasures of weeding herb beds

4. a Q & A with Russell Stafford, purveyor of rare bulbs

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