Hello fellow readers,
It’s fair time! Farm animals, 4-H exhibits, rides, fun food, and, in the case of the NJ State Fair, garden displays and speakers of which I am one. This Saturday, August 4th at 1 PM, I’ve been asked to speak about Garden Dilemmas. It will be held in the beautiful Conservatory at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta NJ where the Flower Expo and other horticultural goodies will be on display. The talk is free with the cost of admission to the fair. I would love for you to come! Also, all during the fair, you can visit our outdoor kitchen garden display behind the Conservatory.
It’ll be a Q & A so bring your questions and we’ll pow-wow solutions, maybe commiserate about critters, and have a few laughs. We’ll chat about a few favorite topics too from your great questions over the past six years, some fitting for stand-ups like Phil’s Squirrel Dilemma and coaching of his calico to “Get the squirrels” to no avail. There’s the column about a talk given in collaboration with my friend and colleague Marty Carson a while back titled Deer Resistant Plants You May Not Know which included a few desperate measures of deer deterrents learned from others. The best was Liz from Sparta who admits using Shoprite bags to cover her plants overnight. Apparently, deer don’t like yellow or puffy bags blowing in the wind. She couldn’t send a photo though as her husband “wouldn’t allow her to do it before dark.”
Then there are the many talks we’ve shared that bring to light lessons of life. Like the column titled Garden Magic about the joy of living creatively. But along with creativity comes vulnerability. Being creative in the garden offers a safe space. A forgiving place to dabble as we grow and learn that outcomes are not truly in our control. And the one titled We’re All Just Seeds from the lyrics of a country song written by Pat Alger and Ralph Murphy. The chorus speaks volumes starting with, “We’re all just seeds in God’s hands. We start the same, but where we land is sometimes fertile soil and sometimes sand.” The thing is, many plants grow very well in the sand. And, unlike people or animals with more freedom to seek out ideal places to live, plants rely on transport systems that wondrously evolved to find their way to where they can root and thrive.
We frustrate over Bambi, Peter Rabbit, and relatives of Punxsutawney Phil. Thankfully plants are resilient. And art in the garden has a mind of its own, just as creativity allows a space for surprises and mistakes which become lessons. The magic begins with letting go and allowing the gift of what grows in the world around us just… be.
Hope to see you Saturday! Garden dilemmas? AskMaryStone@gmail.com