Month: February 2011

Get your gardening juices flowing

As we near the end of a snowy, snowy winter, Connecticut gardeners could really use the gardening boost offered by attending the Garden Conference at UConn in Storrs. I’ve attended this conference many times in previous years and always came away with renewed gardening energy and a good amount of useful information.

Visit the link above, check out the list of speakers, and make sure to get your registration postmarked by March 4, 2011 (or register online by this date). Early birds pay $80, late birds pay $90. This price includes morning coffee, tea, goodies and a hearty lunch.

Make it a day with a gardening friend. You’ll come out inspired and ready to start the 2011 gardening season.

Note: I’m still posting from a remote location … hence no photos. Thanks for bearing with me till I get back to my usual posting self.

Just 7 days till March, when Spring begins!

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There’s no place like home

I’m far from home without my usual blogging tools, but feel the need to check in with regular readers. It will be some time before I again sit at my computer to draft a blog post on some aspect of gardening in Connecticut.

With a family issue consuming most of my brain power I’ve had little left to wax on gardening. Even the gardening-related reading materials that accompanied me on my journey remain untouched.

But my gardening senses are not in full hibernation, though based on what I’m seeing, I almost wish they were.

I am staying in a condo complex that pays to have their shrubbery regularly mutilated. Boxwoods are nearly unrecognizable as such. Instead of loosely pruned mounds of greenery that beckon with deep green color, these boxwoods stand as barely green, marshmallow-shaped blobs. Each outer leaf bears the brown-edged scars of dull mechanical pruners. Holly shrubs that should require only a snip, snip here and there to maintain their natural forms are instead sheared into large egg-shaped blobs. Not one branch or leaf is out of place.

The ultimate gumdrop landscape.

I feel obliged to apologize to each shrub I pass.  ‘I’m so sorry,’ I say. ‘It’s not your fault.’

Un-sheared leaves peak longingly toward the sunlight. They want to grow outward and upward but seem haunted by the knowledge that their currently unscathed surfaces will not escape the wrath of the dull mechanical teeth that have already masticated their stem-mates. Those displaying the audacity to grow beyond the arbitrary, man-imposed shape limits will surely suffer similar mutilation.

I’m breaking all the blogging rules by not uploading photos of these poor, unsightly boxwoods. I did not expect to be away this long and did not bring the proper photo-loading tools. Besides, it just doesn’t seem right to further humiliate these poor innocent victims. They have no control over their victimhood. They cannot run from the mechanical pruners that shape them into someone’s strange idea of what makes shrubbery attractive.

I find little beauty in the un-natural shapes these boxwood and holly are forced into. It’s like I’ve been transported into a strange land – think Oz – where surroundings are unfamiliar and unexplainable and only ruby slippers will transport me home.

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