In the Garden:
Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
December, 2005
Regional Report

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Let your passion be your guide, and follow your heart into the garden!

Garden Frenzy!

Do you get gardening frenzy? I sure do. It's a lot like shopping frenzy, but not nearly so clean. My little garden is about the size of a postage stamp, but the "urge" overcame me today. The thing that inspired me was a trip to the Conservatory at Golden Gate Park. My videographer and friend, Art Takeshita, is in training to become a Video Journalist for KRON TV. He was looking for a colorful story to cover as one of his assigned projects. We had just received a press release about a new orchid show that was opening at the Conservatory of Flowers. Art thought it would be a good subject and asked if I would like to come along.

I do most of my gardening behind the keyboard these days, so any opportunity to get out in the field is a welcome reprieve. The Conservatory was magnificent, as always. Art and I had visited since the reconstruction was completed last spring. We were amazed at how things had grown! The coffee tree had ripe coffee berries! The last time I saw it, it was only a little tike.

The orchid display was gorgeous. Every lowland variety imaginable was on display in the West Wing, which is used for ever-changing exhibits to encourage people to make return visits.

As I was standing in the moist, hot greenhouse, surrounded by living, breathing magnificence, I was overcome with the urge to get my hands in the earth. The woman Art was interviewing took us behind the scenes to her work area -- a lath house filled with plants under cultivation and ancient wooden benches littered with tools of the trade. It was almost more than I could bear. I was transported back to cold winter days spent in the greenhouse, music playing on the radio, happily propagating and planting. How I miss it!

I'm long in the tooth now and nobody would hire me as a full time gardener, but if my creaky old bones could stand it, I would go back to that life in a heartbeat.

As soon as I got back to my office, I evaluated my garden and decided that the time was right to do some clean up. The moon was waning -- a perfect time to prune. As I was working, I was happily chattering away to all my plants, asking their approval and permission to chop, dig, move, and make tidy my little corner of heaven.

I feel good now, the garden is clean, my tools have been washed and put away, and the patio swept. When I go back downstairs, I will pat myself on the back for a frenzy well done!


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