Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Just Discovered...

...gardening expert Christopher Lloyd. According to experienced gardeners Mr. Lloyd has long been the standard of excellence. I checked out his book, "Meadow"

which is about creating meadows of wildflowers. The ones that looks so randomly and effortlessly grown. The ones that looks so hardy and self propagating. Self sufficient. Easy.

Well, after reading 182 pages I've learned that it is neither easy nor effortless and requires an awful lot of weedkiller and generally poor soil. Poor soil I have. Weedkiller I can get.

I enjoyed reading his prose and this quote about his harvesting of wild orchids with his mother was especially dear. (both because of the happy memories he has of gardening with his mother and because his actions so annoy the conservationists, so-called).

Conservationists might prefer me to keep quiet about my past in respect to wild orchids, but I prefer to be open about it. Their strange beauty has wide appeal. My mother and I adored them, no matter how small or insignificant. To love is to wish to own (until you have matured sufficiently to know better). We wanted those orchids in our own garden, predominantly in meadow areas.


With our local orchid species we have done fine at Dixter. My mother and I would sally forth with fern trowels and a large trug basket between us, in quest of our booty. We knew what to expect of their root system, which seldom goes deep, and we dug carefully so as to include not just roots but also the enveloping wadge of soil. If we could find the plants before they were flowering, so much the better, but this was not essential. There were at that time, in the 1920s and 1930s; no laws against this practice. In retrospect I have, apart from the inevitable and unnecesary wastage noted above, no regrets over what we did and achieved.
Mr Lloyd goes on to say that the local sources for the orchids have been destroyed and his was an "act of conservation".

This is our house. I hope to grow wild flowers along the front of the slope to the road. It's difficult to mow and of poor, dry soil. Maybe in a few years I will have some success to report.

So I went to google to find a source for wildflower seeds, for the ones I can't find locally because wild flowers means FREE, you know what I mean? And I was very excited to find the New England Wildflower Society and I thought why not become a member. It's so trendy, drive around with a cute little wildflower decal on my SUV, feel superior to those of my fellow commonwealth citizens who are NOT saving the wildflowers of New England. And then I saw that membership was 50 bucks! Whoa. I don't need those people. Snobs.

But if anyone happens to see this post and wants to give me a free membership, and a cute little decal,in honor of promoting the New England Wildflower Society I just may reconsider.

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