Whiskey Sours, Camelia Japonica Platinum, and iPads for everyone.

I’ve taken a long hiatus from blogging on Visionary Gleam, a fact that has been noticed by all twelve of my regular readers, who have been struggling to find meaning in their lives without the wit and wisdom of the zen master of incompetent gardening.

Truth be told, I’ve been incredibly busy, having accompanied a student group to Spain for 10 days while preparing for our accreditation visit at work, and boning up on iPads. (We have also announced that next year we will be a Pre-K 12 iPad school–a Herculean administrative task.) Oh, and I have this little thing called a “family,” which comes complete with a wife and three kids who have managed to put up with my absences and distractibility. To be honest, it’s not looking good for keeping the old blog up and running…at least not at the rate I once did.

But today I’m home, with preparations underway for our usual Oscar party. Marcia has suggested whiskey sours, having found a nice recipe, inspired by Rachel Maddow, who makes cocktails on her show. I may miss some of the red carpet stuff, as a dinner will keep me out until 8:30 or so (I will be wearing Mens’ Wearhouse with a Jerry Garcia tie) but we’ve seen most of the best picture nominees and are looking forward to it.

The final nominee for the Best Plant in Jim’s Garden comes from my walk around the garden today–Camellia Japonica, the state flower of Alabama, home of my nephew’s fiance.

What kind of crazy plant blooms in February?

This smallish Camellia bush decided to spring into action and has the most beautiful pink blooms. A favorite of southern gardens, these bushes can get quite large and love the heat, humidity and soil of Dixie.

A native of Japan, the plant does speak English, although with a rather thick Asian accent. The plant has often told me how “solly” she is that I am taking care of her, preferring Barbara who was, of course, fluent in Japanese. I have never noticed this flower or this bush before on account of the fact that I am morally opposed to winter gardening and try not to look at my plants during the cold months. Summer = gardening; winter = basketball.

Amazing blooms...

The cut flower looks even better if you put it in a nice, decorative vase. As you can see, it was easy to find such a vase; I had several in the refrigerator. The cobalt blue bottle of this popular beverage makes for interesting possibilities for cut flowers. I highly recommend that you pick up a twelve pack of these vases. They are very fancy, because they have “platinum” in the name.

The beauty of a flower is enhanced by a really nice vase.

Enjoy the Oscars. My choice is Hugo, but The Artist will probably win. That’s a great movie, too. I just liked Hugo better. Looking forward to watching it on my iPad.


Filed under Garden Photography, Gardening, Gardening Blogs, Humor

In Which an Award is Presented To a Plant from the Carboniferous Period

This wildly popular garden awards show, featuring top plants from Jim’s garden, is turning out just like the regular academy awards:  it’s getting rather long and people are beginning to lose interest, especially since the real academy awards nominations have been announced.  I mean who wants to watch some shrubbery win an award when we could watch Brad Pitt, Selma Hayek, and Martin Scorcese present the award for Best Lighting in a short foreign film?  (Personally, I was shocked when they passed over “The Toes of Ponce De Leon,” last year in that category, but there’s no accounting for taste.)

Part of my vexed shade garden

Now it is time to present the award for the best shade plant.  I’ve not had great luck with my shade garden.  I keep putting round plants in square holes (a gardening pun, how delightful!) and not watering enough.  I think.  Truth be told, I have no clue why some of the shady plants have blinked out of existence.  But this year, I do have a winner, a plant (or category of plants) that predates all of the animals and plants in my garden, with the possible exception of the squirrels, who have always existed and will never die.  It is a plant that must be hardy, since it literally was watching our amphibious ancestors crawl out of the slime and decide that lungs would be rather helpful.  The winner is:  The Autumn Fern (or is it an Autumn Fern?)

These ferns have spread and grown on the side of the house. I think they're autumn ferns of some sort, but who knows?

Any plant that produces spores has to be pretty darned old in the evolutionary tree, as flowers came along after this point.  They always look lush and thick.  This fern of mine changes colors somewhat throughout the year, but is pretty consistently this color.

Now that the boring awards are out of the way, we can look for our 4th nominee for the highly prestigious award for Best Plant in Jim’s Garden.  This year, we have asked Miley Cyrus to present our fourth nominee for Best Plant:

“Hey, y’all!  I love plants as you all know, and when they asked me to present the next award to a Salvia, I got very excited.  Salvia is very legal to smoke, and….what?  Excuse me.  Oh, I’m being told by the producers that you can’t smoke this kind of salvia.  But I thought it was Mexican.  What? salvia, so…has anyone ever tried?  Oh.  I’m kind of confused.  Oh well!  Rock and Roll!  This year’s 4th nominee is Salvia Leucantha, Mexican bush sage!  It loves warm climates, just like me!  And blooms for months on end, well into the fall, as late as November in South Carolina.  Thank y’all so much!”

Yeah.  Miley probably wouldn’t have come to the awards if I had told her the full scientific name of this species of salvia.  Oh well, at least she’ll have a great time at the post awards parties.

This picture, also featuring previous award winner Lacebark Elm tree, features my two stands of Salvia Leucantha, to the right and in the background left.

There are sometimes so many bees on the flowers that they droop with the weight of them. And they smell wonderful, drifting all over the late summer garden. They love southern heat and sun, and don't need too much water once established.


Filed under Ferns, Garden Photography, Gardening, Horticulture, Humor, Miley Cyrus, Salvia Leucantha

Treebeard presents the award for Best Large Tree in Jim’s Garden (with apologies to Tolkien)

"Things have changed. Some of us are still true Ents, and lively enough in our fashion, but many are growing sleepy, going tree-ish, as you might say. Most of the trees are just trees, of course; but many are half awake. Some are quite wide awake, and a few are, well, ah, well getting Entish. That is going on all the time." I WILL PRESENT THE WINNER OF THE BEST LARGE TREE CATEGORY. ALL OF SARUMAN'S ARMIES CANNOT KEEP ME FROM PRESENTING THIS AWARD!

Needless to say, the Ents showed up for my Garden Oscar Awards Ceremony.  I did manage to convince them to stay off the lawn, but I’m not going to lie to you–they scare the crap out of me.

The good news is that we have similar tastes in trees.  The focal point of this garden is the 3 River Birch Trees, whose soft wood and tendency to drop leaves, twigs, branches, and other crap make them very untidy.  Both Treebeard and I dislike these softwood trees.  And the bark?  According to Treebeard, that peeling bark we all love so much makes them the lepers of the tree world.  (I’m actually glad–these trees, as shady as they keep my lot, are the bane of my existence.)

The bad news is that the Ents didn’t like any of my trees all that much, because they’re kind of young.  My oldest tree, the Water Oak, commanded some respect, but again, this is not some regal oak from Nottingham Forest–it’s a mutant, spiny narrow, native oak that can’t quite decide if it wants to be evergreen or not.  What kind of tree loses its leaves in February?

Wait….Treebeard is growing angry and impatient.  Quiet.  Shhh…Here it comes….


I tried to point out to him that this tree was beautiful, but that it dropped little tiny seedlings all over my beds.

“AND THIS IS A BAAAD THING????” he asked me, which just about made me wet my pants, and I thought he was going to step on me, so I agreed.  “Oh, no, no, it’s really great….a sign of real tree virility…ha,ha…Good choice, Greybeard. Way to go!”

The Lacebark Elm spreads nicely, providing some nice shade from the Carolina heat. Maybe Greybard knew what he was talking about.

Thankfully, the Ents went back to the forest right after Greybeard’s presentation, and we could get on with the third nominated plant for the Jim’s Garden Plant of the Year, the highest honor, this one presented by Rob Schneider.    In retrospect, Rob Schneider following Greybeard the Ent may not have been the wisest juxtaposition.  He did his best, but still, the audience seemed less than impressed.

Yeah, maybe not the best speaker to follow Greybeard.

“Hi everybody, I’m Rob Schneider, and I’m funny.  I would like to present the third nominee for Plant of the Year in Jim’s Garden, and have been given instructions not to try to be funny, although I really am a funny guy.

OK:  Our third nominee proves beyond a doubt that a plant can flower for a short period of time, but in that time, the world is a better place.  The genus “Helianthus” or sunflower is well known to many gardeners, and there are as many hybrids as there are bad movies that I have made.  Lots of them.  But this hybrid is a real winner: you guessed it, “Helianthis Maximiliani.”  Another native American Sunflower that routinely grows to between 8-10 feet tall.  The prairies of the Midwest were once filled with this sunflower, as far as the eye could see, but it is easily grown in the garden and flowers in early or midsummer in the south and later in the north.  Very hardy, it grows and adapts to its surroundings, as far north as Minnesota and North Dakota.”

Helianthus Maximiliani: Pride of the Prairies.

A closer look at the flowers. They are astonishingly tall and command much attention in a typical Southern garden.

Only 2 more nominees to go in the Plant of the Year Competition.  Which one will it be?  American Fringe Tree, Maximiliani Sunflower, or Indian Pink?  Stay tuned!


Filed under Fantasy Literature, Fictional Plants, Gardening, Helianthis Maximiliani, Humor, Lord of the Rings, Nerds, River Birch Trees, Tolkien

A Rose By Any Other Name Would Still Probably Not Like My Garden

Our evening continues! Welcome back to Jim’s Garden Oscars, where we honor those plants who have survived another year in my Zone 8 garden, despite my usual gardening techniques of over and underwatering, over and underfertilizing, overpruning, general neglect, and lack of pest control, since I am proud to be a chemical-free garden. My garden has been named a National Bug Sanctuary by Insect Illustrated.

Nolte showed up late and drunk to present the award for Best Performance for a Rose, so we decided not to let him go out there, although he did wear his best gardening shirt, pictured below.

If your roses look like this, time to dig them up...notice the ironic flowers on his shirt. By the way, this pic is proof that awards mean nothing. This man was once named People Magazine's Sexist Man Alive. Just sayin.

Truth be told, a drunk Nolte is a perfect metaphor for how I care for roses–after a few months of my care, the roses do start to look like him. (I haven’t the slightest idea what I’m doing when it comes to roses.)

However, this garden actually has three successful bush roses, all of which deserve mention: Rosa Chinensis Mutabalis, called Mutabalis Rose; the giant but ubiquitous Knock-out Rose which I think Barbara jacked up on steroids, and the spreading low groundcover rose that is featured in the masthead of my blog. Perhaps you’ve seen it. However, despite internet searches, I’m still not sure what hybrid or cultivar we’re talking here, with the tiny red flowers–maybe Red Drift or Red Cascade, but they just look different to me. Oh well, perhaps one of my rose friends will identify. But no plant without a name can win.

Positive ID rose friends? There are three bushes planted about 4 feet apart that spread out, and will bloom all summer if watered, but the Spring and Fall are prime times.

All three of these have the distinct advantage of being care-free and disease and pest resistant.

And the winner is, Mutabalis Rose, despite the fact that I constantly have to prune my two bushes to keep them out of the driveway and the road. The changing color of the flowers and nearly constant blooming (they take only a couple of months off in the heat of the summer) makes this bush a constant delight.

I have other roses, 3 climbers and a small rose, but we won’t go into that. They have not done much, other than taunt me with their lack of success, although one of the Don Juans is showing some signs of real health.

But now we are ready for the second nominee for the coveted Plant of the Year Award. I can only imagine the excitement that is building throughout the gardening blogosphere, to find out which plant will win!! (If you read the last sentence out-loud with irony dripping from your voice, I am not offended.) Roll the tape.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I am honored to present our second nominee for best plant. Another native American plant/wildflower, this two foot high clump forming perennial ground cover has a dark green color, thrives in shade or partial sun, producing the most memorable late spring flowers shaped like fireworks and enjoyed by hummingbirds and insects. Spigelica Marilandica, or Indian Pink, as it is commonly known, remains healthy throughout the summer provided it is protected from afternoon sun, and has a nice color in the fall. It mats together well, keeping weeds out, and by staying close together gives a uniform appearance. Flashy only in bloom, the rest of the year its lush, dark green foliage brings out other later blooming partial sun and shade flowers.

Indian Pink is not widely available to gardeners and is probably available only through the mail.

This was another mystery plant, now Identified as Spigelica Marilandia, Indian Pink. Nice foliage and very cool flowers.

Time for yet another commercial break. Hey, a guy’s gotta pay the bills. My commercials also feature important tools I use in my garden, such as shovels, hedge clippers, and beer. When we return, we will have a real Ent present the best performance by a large tree. (I hope they don’t step on my house…)


Filed under Gardening, Horticulture, Humor, Indian Pink, Minature Roses, Roses

Cue the Music, Quiet on the Set, Drum Roll, Please…

In South Carolina, we have been overrun by these weeds that have popped up, unwanted; it seems like you just can’t escape them. They are everywhere, and as much as you might like them to go away and leave you alone, they just keep coming back.

I am talking, of course, about the Republican presidential candidates, who will finally end their assault on both our airwaves and our brains today, when the primary finally ends. Now that I think about it, Fire Ants are a better metaphor, except this time they’re moving in reverse, south to the Florida primary where no pesticide known to man can rid you of their attack. Their nests are known as SuperPacs.

Do you have Newts in your garden? They have been known to intimidate the other animals.

So it’s time to change the channel to Barbara’s Jim’s Garden Oscars, where the plants in my garden compete for the highest honors. (Actually, that’s not quite true–the highest honor would be if a plant were transplanted to the garden of a guy who actually knows what he’s doing.)

As I said in my last entry, why not? Film buffs are anxiously waiting for their Oscars and, lord knows, gardeners don’t do much this time of year, except pretend to enjoy plants that provide “winter interest,” or snap a few photos of tree bark or maybe a bush covered in snow, always a winter classic.

You might think that movies and gardens do not have much in common, other than obvious fact that both eat up large quantities of our time, but that’s not true. It ends up that there are gardening movies, as pointed out by Kevin’s blog that I admire very much, so I stand corrected. I had assumed that gardening was so boring that there was no way Hollywood could have taken it seriously.

I have selected this as my Gardening Oscar trophy. Try not to look too closely.

So, off we go.

I feel the need to be transparent about the nomination and voting process. The categories were created by me, with the nominations also carefully selected in a collaborative process between the part of me that is serious about gardening and the part of me that is not serious about anything.

It was a very tight race this year, with only one vote separating the winners and losers in each and every category. That’s because the voting and judging was done by me and I didn’t think it was fair to vote for more than one plant. By the way, I am convinced that many of the other official garden/plant awards are also voted on by one or two people. I mean when you have: “South Dakota Nursery Growers Woody Shrub of the Year” you can’t have too many voters, right?

Our first category is: “Best Performance By a Plant That Shouldn’t Have Been Planted in the First Place.” a category designed to acknowledge the survival efforts of plants planted in the wrong hardiness zone by an ignorant gardener. This year’s Oscar goes to:

Tecoma Stans. This happy little tree bloomed all summer and well into the fall. It remains to be seen if it will come back, as it's a Zone 10 recommendation. It looks pretty bad now.

Now, like the Oscars themselves, it’s time to feature a brief introduction for each of the nominees for the Jim’s Garden Plant of the Year award, to be given out at the end of the evening after everyone except Jack Nicholson is asleep. Picture, if you will, George Clooney reading a synoposis of this outstanding plant, although he flatly refused to attend the ceremony.

Our first nominee for Plant of the Year is native to our great nation, and the State of South Carolina; it’s so native that it even has Virginia in it’s scientific name: Chionanthis Virginica. Sometimes called the American Fringe Tree, the root and bark of this small, ornamental tree were used by the native Americans to treat skin inflammation, although native Americans were not allowed to vote in this contest, by SC law. Known affectionately as Grancy Greybeard, because of it’s indescribably willowy, snowy, drooping flowers, this small tree is favored by gardeners for its multiple trunks. When pruned, it has a dwarf magnolia feel. The plant appreciates the full sun of zone 8b, provided it stays well watered. According to the Master Gardener, that being me “This droopy flower tree-thing is freakin’ amazing in the spring!” Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Chionanthis Virginica, The Grancy Greybeard:

Chionanthus Virginica, Grancy Greybeard in Bloom

Behind the purple asters you see the thin and sculpted look of the Chinanthus Virginica when not in bloom.

It’s time for a commercial break. After we return, Nick Nolte presents the award for Best Performance Perfomance by a Rose. Stay tuned!


Filed under Chinanthus Virginicus, Gardening, Gardening Movies, Grancy Greybeard Tree, Horticulture, Humor, Tecoma Stans, Yellow Elder

…and this year’s Oscar for Best Performance By a Zone 8b Groundcover goes to….

My wife Marcia and I have a tradition each year regarding the Academy Awards.  Being movie buffs, we try to view all of the nominated films (next to impossible since they have expanded the field to 10) and then have a special evening on the night of the Oscars.  Our “off-the-hook” Oscar party typically goes as follows: we open a bottle of our best Virginia Wine, cook a nice dinner, watch the red carpet festivities and promptly fall asleep after the Best Supporting Actress Award, around 10:30 pm eastern time.

The perfect dress for the gardening Oscars.

For those of you who think this is lame, I would remind you that 10:30 is a full hour later than we usually fall asleep on a Sunday.  (Jack Nicholson has several times requested to come to our Oscar party and we have politely refused.)

The first one to wake up the next morning checks their smartphone, nudges the other one and mumbles something like:  “Eastwood…thank God,” or “No Country for Old Men,” which elicits groans, since we didn’t like that one.  As old married people go, we do have different tastes in many things, but when it comes to movies, we typically agree.  And when we don’t, that’s OK.

Awards should be for those they honor, don't you think?

It’s time to have an awards ceremony for my other best friends; I’m talking, of course, about my plants.  (My profession of school administrator has required I give up real, human friends.)  For the next few blog entries, I will be nominating some of my “Chlorophyll Companions” in a series of categories as part of Jim’s Garden Awards Oscars.

I probably should have this award in the spring or fall, though, so my plants could get dressed up, slap on a flower and parade the red carpet.  There are no azaleas in my garden, on account of the fact that Barbara actually had taste, so they can’t steal all the attention and win all of the awards.  And we won’t have to look at their dress, which would almost certainly show too much cleavage.  Yeah, I’m not an azalea fan.

Followers of this blog will remember that I do, in fact, have an award winning plant in my garden.  Nellie Stevens, my charming Holly tree, was named holly of the year for 2011.  That got me thinking, how many of my other plants are current or future award winners?  A quick googlesphereosearch revealed one clear fact:  this plant awards thing has gotten completely out of hand.   It’s like schools these days–every kid gets an award.  For example:

Nellie's award now means that she gets to be on this real poster from the American Holly Society.

The PPA Perrenial Plant of the Year:  Amsonia Blue Star (Score!  Got it!); The American Hemerocallis Society Arlo Stout Silver Medal Winnner: North Wind Dancer cultivar.  (There were rumors of voter fraud from Persian Ruby, which lost by only ten votes; lawyers representing the Persian Ruby are trying to sort it out.) My personal favorite is the 2011 Rhododendron of the Year awards, given to 28 different plants, depending on the region.  (What do you expect from a category that includes azaleas–every spring the bushes in my neighborhood wait for their medal and the attention they so richly deserve.)

Since winning this year's award, my Blue Star Amsonia has demanded to be fertilized more and wants to renegotiate her gardening contract.

I mean, seriously, who votes for this stuff?  I sure didn’t get a ballot.  Here is an actual quote from a posting on rosesuk.com about the 2010 novelty rose award winner “Souper Trouper.”  This bright floribunda has vibrant orange blooms that are well-formed and freely borne on a neat bushy plant of medium habit. This rose caused quite a stir at the judges’ final selection meeting for Rose of the Year 2011.”  Wow, quite a stir.  Like what, a football riot featuring matronly British rosarians?  Or is this more civilized Oscar style debate?  Ordinary People beating Raging Bull was wrong, but we got over it.

There are also many smaller awards based on the state or region you live in.  Did you know that the Mapleleaf Viburnum is the Georgia Native Plant Society’s Plant of the Year for 2011?  Or that the Nebraska Nursery and Landscape Association’s 2011 Shrub of the Year is the Heptocodium Miconioides? Feeling a little out of touch, are we?  So why shouldn’t I have my own awards?  Everyone else does.

Mapleleaf Viburnum. I wonder how many votes it got from members of the Georgia Native Plant Association. Was there any controversy?

Truthfully, though, I found one plant awards that has all kinds of plants I like, or might grow in my garden:  The Charleston Horticultural Society Awards.  Their 2011 “Lowcountry Gold Medal Plant Award” (Alright, stop laughing…) features a plant I have been researching to plant in my garden, to replace the Powis Castle–Little Henry Sweetspire.   And since the award is restricted to Zones 8a, 8b (that’s me) and 9, I scrolled back through past winners.  I’m pretty sure most of these plants would survive both my climate and my incompetence.  I hope to vote in next year’s CHS awards.  But in the meantime, I am going to have an Oscars just for my garden.

The future of my front bed. Little Henry Sweetspire. Maybe I should put in plants with awards..

I do need a host for the ceremony.  P. Allen Smith seems to be too obvious a choice, but Audrey the plant from Little Shop of Horrors would certainly be more entertaining.  There are no gardening movies to speak of, which I complained about in this early blog entry, read by almost seven people. on account of the fact that gardening is so boring.  (Which would you rather see:   “The Hunt for Red October,” or “The Hunt for Red Clematis?”  Just saying.)  I could get Billy Crystal, who keeps coming back like a bad penny, but I think I’ll host it myself.  Considering that I will cast the deciding vote in every category, it does have a certain logic.

But crap.  I’m gonna have to rent a tux.  Call my agent!


Filed under Competitive Gardening, Gardening, Horticulture, Humor

Ego Defense Mechanisms For Inadequate Gardeners

When recently organizing the thousands of pictures that have been dumped on my laptop, I stumbled upon photos taken of the garden before we moved in, right after our offer on this house had been accepted, circa 3 years ago.  The home and garden then belonged to Barbara who, if you have followed this blog from the beginning, you know was a wonderful lady and talented gardener who worked at the local high-end garden store in town.  She was past president of the neighborhood garden club and struck me when we met as matronly, composed, kind, and organized.  As a gardener and a person, she is a perfect foil for me.  I am a guy who is by nature relaxed, irreverent, spontaneous, and disorganized.   Add my then considerable ignorance about gardening to that mix, and I think you can see where this is headed.

I like the small potted tree she had. And the furniture. And her shade garden to the right looks much neater than mine, as not many of the ferns have survived.

I decided that I would do my best to care for the gardens.  Frankly, I needed a hobby, as drinking beer had lost its luster, and I was curious to learn about the plants, which were truly beautiful.  I set a goal:  keep as many of the plants alive as I possible could, and just keep it looking great.  I read, researched, fumbled, chopped, planted, pruned, and mulched.  I thought I had done a pretty good job, though I have been careful to take very little credit for the garden.  My garden is a foster child, with little of my genetic material floating through it.

Then I found that folder of pictures.

Freud noticed that the ego is a fragile self-concept, and operates in cooperation with the id-fueled pleasure principle.  We seek actions and want to think thoughts that bring us mental pleasure and we want to avoid painful thoughts and actions.  Therefore, we protect it by playing cognitive games, using his famous “ego-defense mechanisms,” many of which are now household words: denial, repression, projection, and rationalization.  Reality is not a pleasant place for the tender ego.

The Banana Plant and Sweet Pea Vines are gone. I didn't know enough to dig the BT up and put it in the garage; the SP are annuals, I think. I have no idea what the wonderful plant is in between the holly and BT, but it did not return.

The garden still looks almost as good as when Barbara was taking care of it. (Denial.)

Barbara's Path.

Same bed with me at the helm. I like to let things grow a little more, have it a little wilder. (Rationalization.)

The spectacular Powis Castle has since died, leaving a hole in this spot. (Repression of painful memories.)

The reality of Barbara’s garden three years later is that it is much less cared for.  The edges of the beds are overgrown, the plants that have died have not been replaced, or replaced by the wrong plant, and there is less attention from these owners to plant annuals or dress up the beds that were designed for color on a rotating basis.  The garden that was a ten, is now a seven, still lovely in places and with good bones, but without the statuary, large planters, and general ambition.  It’s not terrible, but still…

Next year, perhaps I can move parts of the garden to the next level.  I got an edger for Christmas–that might help.  The beds do look sloppy.  I also received a gift certificate from Bluestone Perennials.  That will help, too, if I can only pick the right plant for the right location, which has not been my strength.  I’m beginning to think more bushes is the answer:  boxwoods maybe, as they can pruned and trimmed into shapes, which gives the illusion that they are well cared for.  Should I replace the Powis Castle?

A fellow blogger once asked me if Barbara has ever come back.  I know she has close friends in the neighborhood, and it is almost certain that that she has.  I am sure she drives by the gardens, perhaps has peered-in once or twice.  It is telling that she has not knocked on the door; it’s probably best if she doesn’t.  It would be a little awkward.  But I am a person of honor and would love the opportunity to first apologize, then begin with the excuses.  You know, the ego defense mechanisms:  rationalization, denial, reaction-formation, projection.

In that short visit, I suspect I would have to use them all.


Filed under Beginning Gardeners, Gardening, Gardening Blogs, Horticulture, Humor, Plants I've Killed