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Sprouting Wisdom

September/October 2017 California Bountiful magazine

Gardening advice to grow from



Advice: "I heard an unusual sound in a garden the other day. It wasn't the sound of a migratory bird, it wasn't the tinkle of wind chimes or the gurgle of a fountain. Instead, I caught the music of a delighted laugh floating from the shrubbery. I peered around the corner and saw the source of the merriment: it was a plaque that read 'Grow, damn it.' I saw it as a good sign." —"Garden Whimsy" by Tovah Martin and Richard W. Brown, Houghton Mifflin, 1999

My take: In the middle of hauling bags of compost and soil, pulling weeds, trimming plants and keeping the aggressive plants at bay, sometimes we gardeners need a bit of levity in the garden. It's fun to be touring someone's garden and come around the corner to find something silly or unexpected. It could be a collection of birdhouses, a ceramic chicken tucked among the rosemary or something equally silly. Martin wants gardeners to have some fun while tending the plants. This is one of those areas where there are no rules: Do what pleases you.


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