You Grow Girl was launched in February 2000, as a community for gardeners not unlike myself; people who want to grow but whose garden space is less than ideal. And for those of us with shallow pockets but a big, crazy love for tending plants and making a meal from homegrown fare, wherever home may be. – Read on…
Thanks so much to everyone who donated to the House of Hope Drive, promoted it on their blog, retweeted etc. The total is going to convert to around $3000 EC (Eastern Caribbean Dollars). Really, really fantastic!!
I’ll have an update from Celia next week with photos.
I am asked now and again if “I am a gardener too” and my answer is an invariably unsure, “Well, yes and no, I help.” As Gayla’s partner I am often by her side in gardens and a certain level of gardening knowledge has seeped into my brain via osmosis. I garden, therefore I am… a gardener? What would Descartes do?
My hesitation in claiming the title is common. Over the years many people I’ve met with Gayla, and many more who have come to the You Grow Girl site, have either shied-away from calling themselves gardeners or have simply stated that they are poor ones—the infamous black thumbs club. What I’ve realized though, and seen Gayla champion on many occasions, is that if you get a thrill from seeing any plant grow and you actively want to plant and foster more of that lovely green growth yourself—you can wear the title gardener with pride.
I thought of my own trepidation when Gayla asked me to write a short something about my experience with Dominica’s beyond lush, wild, varied, and rainbow vibrant plant growth. That feeling came up… who am I to write about plants or most especially gardening? But here goes… I love plants. My affection far outstrips my knowledge and so I chose to write about how much I loved the very bane of gardeners everywhere, those climbing, twisting, cover-everything plants that are especially pervasive in vastly sunny and moist Dominica.
In Dominica they struggle year-round to slash and burn back the beautiful twists and turns of plantlife. Flowering vines adorn every pole and telephone wire. A nuisance sure… but gorgeous and wonderful especially to us Northern plant lovers beaming at every bit of warm moving colour so contrary to the cold stillness of our winter.
Those wild dense spaces—bursting with life—do drive the most plant-fond gardener to the brink of sanity. But I think even those Dominicans who complained about the constant encroachment of nature had a passion for that same indomitable green force.
I choose to embrace the beauty in nuisance plants and I think that actually makes me more gardener than not.
Just a reminder that the House of Hope Drive is on until Saturday when I’ll be drawing a name for the prize. We’re currently up to $1, 130, which is crazy INCREDIBLE! Thanks so much for contributing!
My friend Celia, who lives in Dominica, is going to be visiting the House of Hope on December 21st. She is going to bring the total donation number to them and take a few pictures to send back to us.
I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but I could use a little colour right now. I took this photo last year while visiting the gardens of two of the women responsible for the House of Hope.
Back in the spring, when I guiltily purchased this kalanchoe tubiflora (aka Widow’s Thrill) on impulse, it was all about the tall, spotted tubular leaves and the way it looks like a bottle cleaning brush.
I didn’t look for photos online or in books to see how it would turn out down the road. I repotted it, watered it, and let it tell me what it needed. I let it be and enjoyed it as it evolved through several stages into this wonderful surprise.
I didn’t realize it would bloom through the first cold and dreary days of winter. I didn’t think about the flowers or imagine that they would be such a beautiful shade of orange, nor did I consider how much delight they would bring me as I trudge through the emotionally turbulent final days before I hand over my next book manuscript for scrutiny.
After all of these years, I think I’ve finally come to understand what a necessity it is to keep a few plants that will make pretty, colorful flowers when we need them most. They’re not decadent or self-indulgent; they’re essential.