Monday, September 27, 2010

Garden Game

Recently, O.N.E. at her blog "Onenezz" or "One with Nature and Environment" challenged me to list ten things I enjoy doing as part of a little "Garden Game," which is in reality a little gardening blog ponzi scheme.  Okay, what the heck, I'm game:

Ten Things I Enjoy (in no particular order):

Despite the horrific clay mixed with flinty boulder soil that I have to dig in, I love to plant something new.  Particularly something that I've never grown before.  It's a little like giving birth, over and over, with the expected amount of sweat but not with all the icky fluids associated with animal births.

I'm a reader, always have been. As you can tell from my blog, I follow most of the better known garden authors, and beyond that I read fiction and mysteries and current events and biographies and generally most everything I can lay my hands on.

Browsing Garden Centers
There's nothing better to waste time than browsing garden centers. Doesn't matter if I've got a need, I can always make another hole to plant something in. That I enjoy this is something long recognized by my family, who refuses to go anywhere with me unless I promise I'll stick to a route that doesn't pass a garden store. Once, when we pulled up to a store and parked, my three year old daughter exclaimed "Oh No, Not More Roses!" with the same timber and pitch that a Titanic passenger would have exclaimed "Heaven Help Us!"

Waiting for the First Bloom
The first bloom on any new plant is always an anticipated joy.  Okay, sometimes it's a disappointment, but most of the time it's a joy.

Eating Strawberries
When the Greeks talked about ambrosia, I think they were referring to Strawberries.  Particularly sun-warmed, and eaten directly in the garden.  There is no fruit above them, in my opinion and they're the only fruit really worth all the trouble to produce.  Felt that way since I was a small boy. 

Garden Sounds and Fragrances
Nothing like closing my eyes and listening to the rustles of the Kansas wind in the Cottonwood trees. Or the Meadowlarks singing on the prairie in the morning. Many of the plants I grow are grown for their fragrance. Honeysuckles, Sweet Autumn Clematis, Roses, Peonies, and Iris all work best on the Kansas prairie for providing scent.

Writing follows as a natural consequence of reading and gardening and it also is an integral part of my work as an academic veterinary surgeon and educator, so I write during a significant portion of my time in one way or another.  That won't be new to those who have been to this blog before, nor will it be new to those who read the Garden Musings book that came before the blog.

Veterinary Orthopedic Surgery
What can I say? I'm lucky that I like what I do for a living. Surgery is a place where I immerse myself in a smaller world without the greater world's troubles, a world of anatomy and bone and muscle that is fixable and finite and leaves me at the end of the day with a feeling of accomplishment.  It's a Zen thing for me.  And I think the dogs appreciate it.

Watching Movies with my Wife
Dating, for us, was always a movie and it still is. Almost every week.  Not a lot of talk, just some popcorn and quiet time spent in proximity to one another.

Target Shooting
Yeah, with guns.  I won't try here to analyze the Freudian implications, but late in life, I've come to enjoy the concentration and satisfaction of placing a lead projectile into a small area of paper from a distance. Maybe it's a surgeon thing;  doing something carefully and accurately, the first time and every time. 

I've invited  the bloggers listed below to join in the game.  For those invited, the rules are simple:

a)  List ten things you enjoy doing.
b) Tell who invited you and where they blog
c) Invite another ten bloggers (or thereabouts) to join in.

A Photographer's Garden Blog
A Way to Garden
Fold, Fallow and Plough
Gardening Gone Wild
Hartwood Roses
High Altitude Gardening
May Dreams Garden
The Citrus Guy
This Garden is Illegal

And good luck.  In the meantime, we'll all get to know each other better, right?


  1. Ponzi? I thought so too. What the heck!

    I pity your 3 year old daughter. Hope she grows up to love roses. :)

    I guess the Zen thing in surgery is about being focus and mindful, ignoring noises in the world?

    Thank you for sharing. Hope you enjoyed preparing this. Btw, I am a she. :)

  2. Hey, Prof;
    I'm on the case. I just need to trim my list down. Now that I know you play with guns I'll make absolutely sure to participate in a timely fashion. (kidding.)

  3. I'm so glad to see "Writing" included on this list - you do a wonderful job of it! As always, a beautiful blog, Professor!

  4. Hi, James! I just found your site through your Garden Rant rant about mums. I know you didn't invite me to list my 10 things, but you inspired me to do it anyway right here:

    Am enjoying catching up on your blog... but why the hating on spirea?


Thank you for your interest in my blog. I like to meet friends via my blog, so I try to respond if you comment from a valid email address rather than the anonymous And thanks again for reading!


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