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BookClubEditor
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Introduce Yourselves

Reply to this thread to introduce yourself to the group! Let us know what you love (or hate) about gardening, and share some of your favorite gardening ideas, as well.
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KathyS
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Hi! From Southern Calif.

Hi, all! Becke, it looks like I've finally stumbled into the right place! Nice to finally meet you in your element! And I'm looking forward to picking your brain! LOL

I'm Kathy S. from So. Calif. I really love gardening! But that's pretty general...actually I love to landscape with color and design, and build garden structures around me, creating a moveable "eye" feast! I love to get my hands in the dirt, and plant! I'm an artist/potter, and live in Southern Calif. I make anything and everything that can be made from clay. For the garden, there are fountains. They're in the beginning stages, but are growing with time.

At the moment, my plants and flowers are budding and blooming, and we're hoping for rain! We plant here, with water conservation in mind. But I don't like working around cactus...so I don't plant them....I've had one too many stuck in places I don't think you'd want to know! We do have freezes here, in the semi-arid area of Homeland. It's considered the Inland Empire, about an hour and a half drive South-East of Los Angeles. But it's not the desert. Hope to get lots of ideas and maybe I can contribute a smidgen of 'whatever'.
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becke_davis
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Re: Hi! From Southern Calif.

Hi Kathy! To those of you new to BN.com, Kathy and I have been chatting in other groups, so we know each other already. We've been discussing the difference between senility and forgetfulness in another group -- I may forget where I put my car keys (or my glasses, or any number of things) but I don't call that a senior moment, even if my kids do.

Anyway, Kathy, I envy your artistic talents. Those can be a big help when it comes to landscape and/or garden design. Planning a garden can be a lot like planning a painting. I know paints are not the medium you normally work with, but you obviously have an eye for color and texture. I'm sure that helps a lot when you are choosing plants for your garden.
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KathyS
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Re: Hi! From Southern Calif.

Becke,
I've been extremely lucky to have studied art in all forms and mediums, and I can never say enough about the study of design. But for anyone that hasn't had this background, there are so many great books out there, as we've seen from those shown on this site, to give inspiration to all who simply have a love of nature and the beauty that can be created from it.

We all have our own likes and dislikes, and color in the plant world is a full palette! And you're right, it is just like painting a picture. I've painted murals, but painting with nature gives you something much more in return!
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LizzieAnn
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Introduce Yourselves

Hi, I'm Liz from Western NY. I'm truly a novice gardener but enjoy the experience. However, it's a little difficult to think of landscaping, shrubs, and flowers when there's so much snow on the ground! :smileysad: In fact, I woke up to several new inches this morning. (Don't say it Kathy! I know you have the sun shining!) I'm looking forward to this discussion for providing me with a way to plan ahead!
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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becke_davis
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Welcome, Liz! I made the mistake of sympathizing with my brother in Vermont when he said he had about 20 inches of snow. Turns out he loves it -- he's obviously nuts, but he likes to ski so I guess that explains his temporary insanity.
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becke_davis
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Re: Hi! From Southern Calif.

A lot of people are naturals at garden design, but so many people who are extremely talented gardeners are just intimidated by the concept of design. I know that my book, Garden Blueprints, was popular because it included plans, plant lists, etc. A lot of people look for layout ideas, plant combination suggestions, color combinations, etc. because they don't trust their judgment. A lot of times it boils down to what just feels right -- if a garden design is out of balance, it tends to make you uncomfortable when you look at it.
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KathyS
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Garden ideas

With my over-active imagination, you don't know how often I sit with books piled around me, pencil in hand, trying to decided on what will 'fit' in my plans. Either the size of the space won't accomodate the plant, or the other way around; or the combinations of colors and textures look odd, or like you say, something just doesn't 'feel' right. Plants can be moved, usually, but once those posts are set in concrete, you'd better get it right the first time! So looking through books, and mulling over is what I do best! :-)
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KathyS
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Hi Liz! Yes, the sun is shinning today, amongst the clouds! We had rain yesterday and snow in the mountians! A blustery - Winnie The Pooh Day! And a lot of happy skiers!

I hope the discussion will get you looking forward to Spring! Maybe some pictures of flowers will perk you up! Get out the books and magazines, then close your eyes, and think SPRING!
Now it's time for some lemonade! ;-)
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mairwill
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Hey, KathyS, Lizzie and Becke--

I've "chatted" with Lizzie before and KathyS and I are great friends, and, Becke, you and I live within 100 miles of each other--I'm 100 miles south in central KY.

I'm a container gardener and have been to the Cincinnati Garden show a couple of times.

Later--

Mair
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KathyS
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Hi Mair!

Mair! Wait while I pick myself up off of the floor...I just fell out of my chair...okay, I'm upright now! I'm glad you joined us!

I was just checking the weather, and see ya'll are really getting some rain right now...of course, you know that's not going to last - snow is on it's way! (sorry :-( All I see here is blue skies, noth'n but blue skies, from now on!

Thank goodness it will be clear, here, for the Oscars tomorrow! I'm going to the nursery tomorrow and get some flowers to plant in my garden for you all....and think of you poor people who are under a cloud!
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LizzieAnn
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Hi Mair

[ Edited ]
Hi Mair,

Great to "see" you again! How's the weather there in central KY? Unfortunately here in western NY, we expecting snow again tomorrow! At this rate, I'll be planting a spring garden on Memorial Day Weekend!! :smileyvery-happy:

Message Edited by LizzieAnn on 02-25-200712:00 AM

Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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becke_davis
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

We are practically neighbors! If you come to the Cincinnati Flower Show this year, stop by and say hi. I'll be teaching a class on April 29 and on the riverboat on the Wednesday of the show, whatever date that is -- don't have my calendar handy.
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mairwill
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Re: Hi Mair!

KathyS--

Hope you didn't hurt yourself when you fell out of your chair! No snow for us.

Way too early for me to be buying flowers. Wish I could though.

Later--

Mair
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mairwill
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Re: Hi Mair

Hey, Lizzie--

Yes, I saw on the forecast the snow was moving your way. I think we are done with the snow this year.

Thankfully, I don't have to wait till Memorial Day to plant my flowers and herbs.

Later--

Mair
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mairwill
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Becke--

We ARE practically neighbors. We used to come up to Cincy all the time for the weekend, but haven't in a few years. Don't know why. We've spent many a festive birthday/anniversary weekend at The Cincinnatian.

What are you teaching at your class on April 29th? I enjoyed walking through all the big displays the times I've gone to the Cincinnati Flower Show. One year we went they had this awesome Japanese garden.

Later--

Mair
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caroline88
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

[ Edited ]
Hi Becke,

I cannot say I am a novice because I had my first garden when I was 6. A small corner of one square meter. I hunted the forests for beautiful white stones. So I made a very neat circle and sowed my own African marigolds. The garden was always spotless, and I also grew wild strawberries there.

Alas, I have moved a few times since then and in my previous home, the strawberries died on me. And as I moved into this home, I found that the person who used to live here, had stolen almost all of the plants. I did not have the budget to replace them but aquilegia and digitalis were donated from above. I always thought my neighbours hated my wild garden because it is so unlike theirs but recently, she commented me on how lovely it looked. They spend tons of money, buy expensive new plants every year, and simply toss them in without a plan.

I live in The Netherlands and my snowdrops are in bloom, the daffodils are pushing up green promise. It is raining today. I am grateful that the soil is very rich and also good at keeping enough moisture. I make my own compost and in wintertime, I spread it around the roots of my plants and over the bulbs if I can remember where I put them. I always let my plants know how much I admire their strength and their beauty and they forgive me all of my tresspasses against the "rule books". Like moving plants at the wrong time of year, things like that.

I learned a little bit about design from the BBC program How to be a gardener. I am not a designer but I think it did raise my awareness a bit. For some time, I logged my garden. What is coming up and at what time does it look good? My purpose is to have a garden that looks good all year round and is also low maintenance. The traffic is horrendous, the air is so polluted that it is unhealthy to live here but looking out of the window into my garden is one of the biggest joys of my life.

Caroline

Message Edited by caroline88 on 02-25-200706:36 PM

Belief in your mission, greet life with a cheer
There's big work to do, and that's why you are here
~ Caroline
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KathyS
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Hi Caroline~

Hello, Caroline! Nice meeting you!

After reading your intro., I had a few questions for you. I live in the southern part of the state of California, in the US. I know my weather is a lot different than some of our other states, but I was wondering what your weather contitions are like throughout the year. Also, what types of flowers and plants do you like to grow?

You mentioned that the previous owner of your home had stolen almost all of his plants. How do you mean this? Did he go up and down the neighborhood and take them out of everyone's garden!? Or do you mean he propagated them from other plants?

It's always fun to see flower surpises in your garden! I have Daffodils and Hyacinth coming up and blooming right now. And other bulbs that I transplanted last year, but I can't remember, either, where I put half of them!
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caroline88
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Re: Hi Caroline~

Hi Kathy!

Nice meeting you too. I enjoyed reading your posts. Our weather? Mild and gentle. It never gets very hot or cold. But I live close to the sea and that means it is often windy (like Beaufort 4-8). They say it rains a lot. Which is not true. But it rains enough to keep my garden alive. I only water when I move some plants or plant new ones. And so my plants only get rain water (I have a water-butt).

The person who used to live here was not the owner but he rented the house. And the garden was empty, except for a few weeds and a few bulbs that he failed to find. Which is illegal but I was too ill from divorce to put up the fight. And there was a huge reconstruction project at the time on the house so I had my hands quite full.

The landscape in my garden is defined by the buddleia, the skimmia and the rhododendron. The last one is really tiny but they were on sale and they give me beautiful flowers and they are growing very well. Patience is a good thing to have, when gardening.
Many kinds of herbs, which are quite decorative too. Some little plant whose name I forgot but I planted it because I learned it is a good home for the lady-bird during winter and lady-bird is a good friend to have stick around in your garden because they eat the plant-flies (aphids?) Petunias, begonias, astilbe, and I also have lavender but I think I am going to toss it because it is a very disappointing specimen. The begonias and astilbe were leftovers from the previous gardener because they disappear in wintertime and the what we call in Dutch "cobbler's plant" but I forgot the official name. It is a very small plant which is an excellent self propagating ground cover and it blooms on red stalks with real tiny white flowers.
This is my front garden which is at the NorthWest so it gets sun in the afternoon. The side which is closest to the home, gets the sun quite late and God decided to toss in a few light green ferns there.

But the buddleia steals the show. Last year, I successfully propagated them and my babies have already had flowers. I felt like I had won the lottery when I saw that :smileyhappy:
From the BBC program, I learned that I have to cut them back in March, after the frost is gone. The first time, I was terrified! I did it in good faith, knowing what avid gardeners the British are, I figured that the BBC was keeping close tabs on their gardening programs. My neighbour obviously does not study gardening and left hers alone. My bushes were much higher and thicker! Not that it is in any way a competition but it was a great test case since our weather conditions are a 100% match.
Cutting them back to almost nothing and seeing them grow so big and beautiful and so quickly, what better proof can you see of the strength of nature?

Caroline
Belief in your mission, greet life with a cheer
There's big work to do, and that's why you are here
~ Caroline
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becke_davis
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

I work with the Netherlands Bulb Council on occasion, and I think a lot of us on this side of the ocean think the Netherlands are synonymous with bulbs! Do you have big flower shows there in spring to showcase the bulbs displays? Or are you more interested in perennials than in bulbs?

I'm always excited when we get people from around the world participating in our garden discussions. Your name is familiar -- did you take part in my gardening courses in the past?