MORE RAIN THE LAST WEEK MEANS a happier landscape, and also more links to share, since I sat sidelined, waiting for breaks in the action to go out and tidy up–or take pictures of a fiery doublefile Viburnum leaf, above, and whatever else is still smoldering. From a tender video of one man’s 40-year garden-writing career, to the story of a “seed library” up in my neck of the woods, to beginner blunders and the impact of gardening on the restaurant business (think: big), the latest digital harvest:
The Thoughtful Gardener
AA READER SENT NEWS of the understated but powerful video from garden writer Robin Lane Fox of “The Financial Times,” who recently marked 40 years at his enviable post. I have never fed a badger Prozac, but beyond that small tactical difference in our takes on horticulture, I felt an immediate kinship with Lane Fox. I suspect you will, too. Go over to the FT site to have a watch. (Fox’s column archive is here. His latest book, “Thoughtful Gardening,” is due next month in the United States.)
WHAT WAS YOUR WORST beginner-gardener mistake? (Mine was—is—always the equivalent of “her eyes are too big for her stomach,” as in taking on too much to handle.) A recent article on Planet Green by Colleen Vanderlinden cited 10 rookie blunders. One word on the whole notion of mistakes: I always tell audiences at lectures that “you have to grow it to know it,” which typically means killing something a couple of times, or at least watching it limp along awhile till you get the knack. I prefer to think of my mistakes as simply practice sessions. I know Colleen agrees.
Fresh From the Garden Cuisine
NO SURPRISE AT ALL that a survey of 2,000 chefs by the National Restaurant Association yielded the verdict that gardening has been the single most important influence on their business lately. The details.
IWAS THRILLED to see my neighbors Ken Greene and Doug Muller of Hudson Valley Seed Library profiled in “The New York Times” recently, and glad to tell the reporter why I love purchasing heirloom seeds (packed in the industry’s most inventive origami-like packets, unfolded at left) from them. (On the not-so-happy side, I bone-headedly seem to have also said that it was ‘Black Valentine’ bean seeds that have a heart-shaped marking on them, when in fact it’s love in a puff vine, or Cardiospermum halicacabum. I got my various hot romances mixed up; so sorry. To make my wish come true, the team at HVSL have kindly hired a painter with very small brushes to update each seed in next year’s orders of ‘Black Valentine’ with a tiny heart. Kidding.) You can get their online catalog here.