Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fun decisions

Some of you might know that I write a weekly gardening column for a small town newspaper. I was told its readership is around 5,000 but I'm not really sure if that means 5,000 total, or 5,000 who receive the paper in the mail, plus those that buy the paper at stands throughout the county. Sometimes when I'm talkin across the garden gate I'll ask the other person if they read my column in the paper and more times than I care to admit they'll say something like, "No, I only get the [insert name of bigger city paper(s) here], or "What paper do you write for?" or "No, but is it online?" And on and on. Over the years I've come to accept such answers, reluctantly, but I suppose it's part of what's happening with reading the printed word vs. reading online, vs. reading period.

I have to decide on a week to week basis what I'll write about, and rarely will I turn to past articles I've written for topic ideas. I assume that my choice of material will be interesting to my audience and I also assume that it has been interesting or else I'd probably be receiving negative feedback. I've been doing this going on six years now and surely by now someone would've said something to me if I were writing boring stuff.

This week's topic is ornamental grasses, and there couldn't be a much more easier thing for you to grow in your garden. They don't require much more than a once a year trimming once they're established, are rarely, if ever, bothered by pests or diseases, and the best part - look marvelous in the landscape. I'd tell you more but that might cause those of you locals reading this not to buy the paper! One thing I will do though is post a couple of interesting pictures that I'll be using alongside my article in the paper.

They're kind of like before and after shots, but I will be trimming back to six inches or so above the ground, some folks trim all the way to ground level, and that's okay too.

Can it survive?

I think so.

12 comments:

Q said...

Hi TC,
Grasses are great!
The birds hide in them too.
You always are interesting!
Sherry

tina said...

It will survive. I really like your column on gardening for older 'cotton top' folks. Great job!!

Dave said...

Onamental grasses are so hardy. They should be on the top 10 list of easiest plants to grow in the garden. Hmm, that's a good idea for a post ... ;)

Frances said...

Hi TC, thanks for letting us who didn't know before about your weekly gig. We used to have a weekly garden writer for the little local paper too, but she was dropped, not enough interest apparently. :-( May your readership multiply! The grasses are timely, since it is time for the one maintenance chore they require, the yearly shearing.
Frances

Jennifer Suarez said...

Amazing how they bounce right back!

Joe Lamp'l said...

Well, having written a column for a little over three years, I'm humbled and impressed that you haven't gone back to the well to check on old articles for a little inspiration. Also, I like the info on ornamental grasses. I feel like that is an area I could be stronger on and it is certainly a plant that everyone could enjoy in their landscape. Especially considering how low maintenance they are other than trimming back in winter. good job T.C.

Susie said...

Love those ornamental grasses. They add such a lovely texture to the garden and you can't beat the low maintenance.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Grasses are a good topic. They have a long season of interest and add some graceful architecture to the garden. I'm a fan of come varieties and not others. Luckily most people admire more varieties than I do.
Marnie

Ilona said...

There are so many new readers to a blog that some of us would like a link to your columns :) me!

I'm here today to see if you have something on saving tomato seeds....

I just started with ornamental grasses, and hope my made it through, but I can't tell yet. Usually grass grows like a week here, but not the ones I really want .

Cindy said...

Hi TC - Sorry I've not been in the blogosphere lately but I do think about you and wonder that you must have the snow worse than us, here in the "south". I love ornamental grasses and think it's amazing how they come back so well. It's another blustery day here, so I hope you're keeping warm.

walk2write said...

Wouldn't it be nice to become a rhizome like the grass (or fire ants)? When certain parts of the colony start to fail, well, just spread out a little wider and grow some new "roots." Can you put a link to your weekly column on your blog? I'm one of those people that need to be reminded.

TC said...

Ms. Sherry: Thank you, and I apologize to all of you for not replying sooner. I feel bad about being so neglectful.

Ms. Tina: Thank you, and I think that's a gentle enough reference to us. (Not you of course.)

Dave: You may have heard that the 2009 perennial of the year is an ornamental grass (posting about now).

Ms. Frances: You're most welcome and I'm so appreciative of the readers of my newspaper column, and of course I'm most appreciative of all of you who read my blog too.

Ms. Jennifer: They have that in common with us humans. ;~)

Joe: Don't think I've not thought about pulling some of those out of the folder and redoing them. Thanks for the positive feedback too, it's always inspiring to hear nice things from your peers.

Ms. Susie: I think I might be using more ornamental grasses here. Space is not a concern when you mow close to three acres!

Ms. Marnie: I'm thinking about adding several clumps around the yard, and I need more trees too.

Ms. IIona: If you've not found info on how to save them yet, please let me know. It's really quite simple, but you must have heirloom tomatoes or they won't come true to seed. I've added a link to my column and thanks for reading!

Ms. Cindy: No need to apologize, look how long it took me to respond to y'all! I'm lovin this mini warm up!

W2W: No thanks, no fire ant rhizomes! But I do know they're spreading. I hear they might not make it this far north, and I hope they don't!!

ALL: I'm so sorry for not responding sooner. It's not like me to be so neglectful of my friends. I hope you'll forgive me.