You begin to develop a reputation at work and in the community as a person to ask for information about such things as tree identification, when to plant, what to plant, and if you have any more pumpkins to give away.
Willow, at least you were a bonafide Master Gardener and know how to prune. I wish I were your neighbor for help with that. I know native trees pretty well and can answer questions about veggie gardening, but people also extrapolate and ask me for help in areas I know next to nothing about.
You know you are a gardener when you can't make dinner because the counter is covered with seedpods drying out,, waiting to be relieved of their burdens of seeds. And especially you are a gardener when you realize you will never plant any of these seeds, you are doing it just in case someone else wants some, and to have an excuse to play with those little packets and labels. Your kids and husband just roll their eyes and don't even try to engage you in conversation. Then you feel guilty because you are spending every waking moment after dark sorting seeds and labeling them. (Why do it when the sun is up? That's when you have to be outside working in the garden.)
Willow, I do my neighbor's pruning, too. Pruning is very satisfying!
I'm one of the people who love my Laurel Hedge. Got it down to a good height, about 6 feet and give it a hair cut a couple of times a year. It saves the front garden from much of the weeds blowing down the street, And it is great for all my little birds. I have a little secret garden.
I'm going to thin it alittle this year. In Spring there are lots and lots of bees on it
Oh but that is certainly understandable, analogdog. It's way more fun to find plant names than to look for a job.
Laurel hedges are great. I was serious about the chainsaw. Shape them any way you want with that baby. They'll grow just fine. They make great plant walls, as vanislandgirl says. ( I am SSOOOOOO jealous you live up there! We sail in the gulf islands every summer. I love it.) I actually did cut one all the way to the ground (well, more than one, actually). They grow back in a nice shrubby form. They are out of control in my neighborhood, however.
Okay, you know you are a gardener when you cannot pass up 75% off plants at Lowes, even though you aren't sure where they will go. To wit: 1 Mahonia japonica - $3.75, 1 purple crepe myrtle - $4.50, which I will probably never see a bloom on.
Secret to pruning a nice rhododendron : get inside the shrub. Prune from the inside out. Get out to check your work frequently.
It is probably a good thing I cannot easily get to a Lowe's 75% off sale. I already have too many plants that have not been situated in the garden and have needed to be potted up to a larger size to make it through the Winter,
How did this overabundance happen?
Being unable to pull and toss little plants that seeded themselves in the beds and needed to be rescued into 4 inch pots back in the Summer (that seemed to offer endless days for creating new beds and space for these babies).
AND requesting and accepting way too many plants at the round-up from many generous gardeners.
AND volunteering time for a nursery that needed staffing help one weekend...in exchange for ...well, more plants!
AND ordering irises at a fabulous co-op on DG which I didn't have a bed ready for, so I now have 25 irises in gallon pots on the back porch.
I tend to overestimate just how much raw ground I can dig up and add compost to in any given year. Even lasagna beds at my place have to have the grass rhizomes dug out or they will present continual problems for years to come.
Laurie, you are definitely a gardener. Did you see the latest article about the garden queen, Beth Chatto? It's in one of the British gardening magazines. I cannot remember which one just now. She is 86, if you can believe that, and still going strong. She says she is not sure she would want to continue living if she could not garden. I can understand that. She has made financial arrangements so that her garden will be cared for and open to the public after she is gone. What a woman!
You know your a gardener when you have talked neighbors into letting you plant in their yard and keep moving your pasture fences back just a little more because the horses won,t mind and you really need more flowerbeds
OK now when you look through seed and plant catalogs AND both you and your wife are deciding on what to buy, how do you decide when you are opposites? Too much conflict with seed and plant catalogs. They are outlawed in our home. Well until I build another garden space to plant and seed.
Oh dear, Sofer, and here I thought I was suggesting a cozy and entertaining Wintertime bonding activity for you and your wife. I guess you better get working on that new garden space so you can both make a wish list of favorite plants and seeds and have enough space to plant them all.
I was suggesting a warm and bonding thing for me and my darling. It is just not going to happen in choosing a plant to place in our garden. You have to know that I do not submit nor does my DW. Lets see maybe flannel sheets and silk pillows and have some pillow fights for bonding.
You know you are a gardener when you have ordered bulbs at the November sale prices, they arrive just before Thanksgiving, the weather report says it is going to pour for days after the holiday, and you are out in the yard digging holes and planting at a breakneck pace in order to get it done before the relatives arrive. In fact (since this goal was not reached) you are still planting bulbs when the turkey has come out of the oven and everyone is at the table waiting for you.
I admit to doing this last year. I have had admirable restraint this year and did not succumb to the lure of the bulb sales except to spend a long time making wish lists and then deleting them so as not to repeat the holiday bulb planting debacle.
You know you are a gardener when you have pushed back the fences, acquired another field for the animals, started the beds and then informed DH that you need to double the size of the greenhouse and he just shrugs agreement.
Suffering from envy here for all of you who have space to expand...sigh.
But you know you are a gardener when you dream of winning a major lottery and knowing full well that you'll be spending it on that acreage you are coveting in the middle of a stormy night, while catching up on DG. ;)
That is also the advantage of living in Montana. God makes us quit gardening by Thanksgiving. Ground frozen and snow piled up. No bulbs would survive planted after October. You guys over on the coast need to take care of your family members by getting in the house by end of October. LOL
It is quite true. After I finish planting the last few, I would love to snuggle up with my DW about what to get for next season, but she is not interested. For those of you that got your DW into gardening, let me know. I thought it came naturally to members of the fairer sex. Seriously, on the PNW forum I bet we are out numbered by 2 or 3 to 1 if not worse.
I like the gardening profile of my family just fine the way it is. I garden, my dh sits back and enjoys the show and doesn't interfere with me. He loves seeing the garden, and loves seeing me in the garden, then loves the twigs in my hair. It doesn't get much better than that. I can show him lovely photographs of gardens and he oohs and aahhs, but doesn't try to make plant choices. Excellent man.
In terms of getting inside to take care of my family by the end of October, that would not work at all. It would completely interfere with my husband's dinner routine which goes a little like this: 'Melissa, dinner is ready.' I continue to pull weeds, etc. "Melissa DINNER IS READY." I say, 'Thanks,, honey. That's great. I'll be right there." He brings his dinner to the table and commences to eat. Two hours later, after he has cleaned the kitchen, I show up and put my dinner in the microwave.
He is a very patient man.
Rob, you are completely out numbered on this forum, but I fear that's because all the male gardeners hang out other places. We love our token men here and try to be very nice to you. Be very careful what you wish for. Soferdig's wife chooses plants while he is away..then plants them in strange places. He never knows what he is coming home to after one of his famous forays into the wilds of Alaska. I fear that it is cause for marital distress. Perhaps you could simply allow your wife to be near you while you peruse seed catalogs rather than try to get her to look with you.
Amen Pixy. Though when we are out in the garden working life is grand. Analog as a man in todays "make up for the past" you need to submit to the DW decisions. Her shopping can always out do even the most dedicated man. So her plants rule and to keep from going broke I quit buying. Also our gardens allow no room for the growth that the plant makes because of overbuying, trading, and saving lost plants. I have taken the role of garden designer and soil manufacturer. Oh yes and occasional secret plant mover.
You know you are gardener when...You receive a crate of bulbs in October (that you don't remember ordering) from a web purchase you made last January when you were jonesing for some garden time and had to settle for pics on a computer. – 350 bulbs – I may have had one too many bears that night. But I will have one hell of a beautiful spring bloom. Oi ve!
...a gardener when...you’re cruising the web and you call your DH to look at this gorgeous picture of a brugmansiais and he looks, nods his head and says “yes, really nice honey”,...with a glassy, dear in the headlight look, that you recognize as his “garden appreciation look”…you sigh and tell him you love him.
...a LOVED gardener when...he puts up with trays of plant cuttings on the kitchen counter, dinning room table, most window cells and the window of his garage.
...a LOVED gardener when...he doesn’t complain about a sizable charge to your credit card that you made in a weak moment last January.
I told my DH I would put away the credit card this winter and not give in to my desires. It is going to be a long winter. shudder!!
Ohh noooo, I have just seen another on-line bulb sale (Easy to Grow Bulbs) and the nurseries on the Island are having 40% off sales. My resolve is wavering...maybe I will just go take a walk around tomorrow morning.
To my absolute astonishment, my DH got involved with choosing the irises I was going to order last Summer, and by golly the list of desired blooms got longer to include the ones he liked. I had actually called him over to look at my list in hopes he would help whittle it down That strategy certainly backfired.
soferdig, 'secret plant mover', LOL! You know, Steve, the answer to this problem is to build more beds. Poor Steve. His wife has taken control of the garden. Make her promise that she'll give them back when you retire. And stop trying to make up for man's past mistakes. Enough already. You're way past forgiven.
Mstish - my heart hurts for you! No credit card this winter? No fair!! Maybe dh will give you gift certificates for Christmas.
You know... when you find yourself walking around a nursery you've never visited, looking at each and every area, in spite of the bone chilling winds gusting to 30 miles per hour, and the gathering gloom of night. Because, after all, they are still open.
Mauryhill, I thought your dh only liked plants he could eat. This sounds like a very slippery slope to me.
You know you are a gardener when you can go through every one of these posts and don't find yourself shaking your head once and saying "I don't get it".
This truly is great...makes me realize that if I'm crazy, at least I've got a lot of happy company there!
I also really like the "loved gardener"!
You know you are a loved gardener when your DH takes the extra care necessary to manage to switch out 500 gallon propane tanks that sit in the middle of a full flowerbed with a wisteria arbor over it without harming a single plant!
Wow! Not a single plant damaged! That is true love. :)
That would be Swanson's in Seattle, Pony.. I found a nice Enkianthus, and some 1/2 price cannas, and a couple of other things. Plus they had a really cute a and furry pony named Moe, and a sweet camel named Curly, and two big Reindeer. All well cared for, and really sweet, even the camel. (Or maybe it was a Dromedary? ONly 1 hump, you know.)
Scouts honor, not even a stretch of fabrication! DH knows how much my garden means to me, and it was HIS idea to switch suppliers, which meant switching tanks, so he took every extra precaution...built a temporary "walk" over the garden, made a sling for the trackhoe, and threatened the man who was delivering the new tank with bodily harm if he stepped off of the platform. Spinning a tale would involve saying that he did it all with a smile on his face rather than cursing "having to work around gardens everywhere...sheesh!".
You are right Lynn, we are all loved, and it is nice to have people who support us even if they don't totally understand us!
You know when you are a gardener is when you let "Earl" from
Earlington Nursery (Minters) jump on you and smile,
even if you hate cats, because Earl is their very own GARDEN cat.
(When you go down to pet the 'little' kitty it thinks you are
giving it a ride -- the warning was... ah little too late)
Good people, nice plants, ok, pudy was OK too.
'Be nice Earl" the nice lady said when I told her
what I thought of kitties and still had it up there.
Cats do nothing, just eat, sleep all day, kill birdies, scared of
rats, barf fur balls and are in constant heat.
Didn't help matters when your neighbor was a cat hoarder.
Its tail was twitching...'Just be nice Earl' I said sheepishly.
Eweed, I would like 4 tillers that work, I think, especially if at least one of them were small enough for me to handle. That is certainly better than one very old tiller that sort of works and another, almost identical tiller that does not work, but is kept for parts to keep the sometimes functional tiller functioning some of the time.
Dang cat was big.
Ma had a couple of bigger ones long ago.
Big male, six toes, butted his head on the screen door when it wanted in,
Grab its front paw and pull it up passed your waist and its back
feet firmly on the ground...chased dogs,
dug its claws in your thigh for attention. . sounded like
a loud near-broke fan when it was purring. Named Cricket--
One day Cricket brings something in its mouth-- a baby kitty--
same orange tabby thing he was, gives it to Ma, leaves and never
comes back. That guy grew up being the same. His name was Snake.
Last cat I liked, except for Otis. But that's another story.
You know you are a gardener when…you are leaving for a 4 day weekend and the instruction list you leave for the plant sitter is longer than the one you leave for the pet sitter.
You want a piece of him? His name is Dustbunny, but he doesn't let that hold him back. He quards my garden. He is tough, strong and cuddly as hell. Got a purr like a box fan and a tude as big as alaska. He loves his tummy rubed.
Mstish-- betcha I could give Dustbunny a dish of
a famous brand tuna and a kitty ju-ju filled present
(capnip and honeysuckle) and I could sneak in
and weed your garden and leave unscathed and
without a scratch! Looks like a pushover.
The dustbunny is very much a "cat" and proud of it. He thinks of himself as a tough guy but he's really just a big pussycat. He loves to garden and will spend hours hanging with me as I work. One of his favorite tricks is to hop up into the wheel barrol when I am trying to use it. He looks at me like "it's my wheel barrol and I am not moving".
I grew up with 4 brothers, did a stint in the USAF, buried 2 husbands and can hold my own in just about any situation but this little bundle of attitude has me wrapped around his paw.
After a hard days work in the garden..
I saw 8 cats yesterday at work and all but one were friendly. The one who wasn't used verbal 4 letter words words. Hiss, Caas, Pttp, and worst was CHHS! Cats practice the foul language of the gutters of the world. LOL
I feel your pain, Rob. I'm allergic to them, too, except for Admiral. Guess he doesn't have the protein in his saliva. Good thing because I actually let that cat get on the bed with me! First animal EVER who was allowed on the bed. I adore him.
Also, completely agree about the Red Hot Pokers. To take out an entire bed to put in another cultivar of the same plant, well, let's just say I don't think you are crazy. I have some of the ones you took out. So what kind are they?
I have no idea of the cv of the ones I got, just heavier leaved and stalked than the ones I had that were multiplying like bunnies. On bunnies, anybody want some Dark Eyed Susans? You can have all you want, I am sure I will have plenty left.
Looking forward to a joyous Christmas. Got all of my shopping done. Now just to make the people who I meet a little happier this time of year. Something I have always done that is weird here in Seattle is to make eye contact and smile and say Hi to people I pass on the street. I think that helps. Or just thank those who are in the public service to know they are special.
Soferdig. I did the exact same thing last year with my two oldest granddaughters. At that time they were 17 and 15. We were a very large mall and I bet them I could get people to smile. No way grandma. Please do not do anything stupid to embarrass us. I did nothing but nod my head and smile. One hundred percent responded with the same. The girls could not believe it and tried it. I worked for them also. Most people want you to look them in the eye and smile. Have a great day.
Like Pony's friend, Ivy, who passed away earlier this year. She scattered seeds to make the world more colorful. You are scattering happiness and hope. Who knows how far it will reach from you through other people. Big waves come from lots of small ripples . . .
Paying it forward is a great thing. There have been a few times when someone in line ahead of me is a dollar or two short of having enough for their purchase, and I covered the difference for them. People are so amazed and grateful, asking how they can pay me back- I tell them to pay it forward, and they always get this look like a light has just come on inside them... it's awesome.
Boy, we are either all clones or maybe gardeners are just nice people. I do the same. When I get change, I look for little kids that do not look like they have much. Do not have to look to far these days. I give them my change, tell them to share and enjoy. The parents smile, say thank you as I am walking away. Actually I feel better than they do.
It's a sad commentary that people are always so surprised and grateful when shown a little kindness. I let someone use my safeway club card yesterday because they didn't have one. You'd think I had bought them a car.
The other day I was crossing the narrows bridge and had my toll money ready. When I opened my window the money collector said that the guy in front of me had paid mine for me. Wow! I was just shocked. It made me feel good all day.
The young nurses I work with here are lovely! They bring me coffee from their late night runs to Tim Horton's without being asked and never ask me to pay. When I offer to pay for theirs, it's alway "thanks, but no!" Love that they do that...Great bunch of young women!
I have loaned the use of Safeway cards and given lunches, coffee, etc. to people also but , honestly, you have all given me a wealth of other ways to "pay it forward" and for that and so much else, I thank you!
Going back to what skwinter said- I definitely do think that in general, gardeners are generous, caring people. Is it our connection to the earth that makes us more apt to have nurturing personalities? Tending to our plants and seeing how they respond to care and kindness makes us treat the world as if it were our garden?
I don't know... there are plenty of people on this forum who are generous gardeners, that is for sure. I'd like to think that being a gardener equaled being a loving, generous person, but I've met so many gardeners who are just the opposite: controlling, angry human beings who care about their gardens but care nothing for other people. I know, it's hard to imagine. But they are out there. I think they are just not attracted to this forum.
Today I am going to church and then down to Seattle to sit and watch the Christmas celebration. There are many joys that our minds give us such as memories, giving, smiles, and courtesies that we all are blessed back on ourselves. Paying forward for the bus is fun because you see the smiles on the faces of the people.
And I think it's a tremendous way for us to challenge those little expectations of getting paid back. The reason I like to extend generosity to strangers as a pick me up is that there's no way to expect anything in return. It is what it is and that's the beauty of it.
Enjoy your Seattle day today, Steve. The snowflake lane in Bellevue has just started and will be going all month. Last year was the first year I went and the snow machines didn't make much snow (I think it might have been too cold, LOL):
Thank goodness I have never met a mean gardener. The most fun I think have is when I am at the garden center and see an amateur gardener buying the wrong thing. Being Las Vegas, we have many families that have moved from Southern California. Therefore, many of our garden centers have plants for sell that will not grow here. I slide over their way with a smile on my face and softly tell them about the plant they are looking at. Mother Winter then takes them around the garden area and give them a 5 minute lesson on gardening in the desert. I have never run into anyone that was unhappy, unless it was the manager of the garden center. I tell them to always ask, "Does this grow here?" I actually have a Loews that tell their shoppers to ask me if I am there. Just another way to have fun helping our neighbors.
I'm with you, skwinter! I love to help new gardeners choose the right plant for their needs.
The gardeners I've met who were not so nice generally regarded gardening as a contact sport - lots of competition and not a lot of having fun.
I just love taking over a neighbor landscape with their landscaper. I had 5 opportunities this year. Of course, I am free so why not. A very interesting outcome was just right next door. He had this sophisticated irrigation system that was designed to take care of each plant. Boy did they see him coming. He had just moved here from paradise Southern California. I asked if I could help trim his many multi branched strawberry tree. I noticed it because I take care of their cat when they are on business or pleasure trips. I first saw the tree, directly across the landscape, while washing the cat dish. He gave me full go ahead. I trimmed out a bunch of crossing limbs and dead limbs. The miracle cure was water. I took my little old fashioned sprinkler and put it on the hose and watered that tree slowly for three days. The first day, there was a lake around the tree. None of the water would soak into the ground. It was as hard as concrete. Well the second day the water finally started to soak into the soil. After three days of moving the hose and sprinkler around, I stopped deep watering.
He came over last week and wanted me to see the Strawberry Tree. What in the world did I do? I walked into the back landscape and there in the corner was the tree in full bloom and looking magnificent. I told him I deep watered the tree. The root ball had dried out and the water the irrigation was putting on the tree was just running some where else. I made a believer of him. Did the same thing with the roses in to different properties. The roses were deep watered for over 8 hours, slowly, before the water started to soak into the ground. The reason for this problem is during the winter we have watering of the landscape one day a week. When spring comes upon us, they start watering as usual. Well, the soil is so dry, like concrete, it will not accept the water. I should probably charge. You should have seen these Roses. They were beautiful. I did one back landscape and got sick half way through. I did half of the Roses. You would not believe the difference. Of course, all these plants and trees are planted in soil covered by rock. WRONG. That is another story. Sorry I was so long.
Pixy, I am glad that I have only met the kind of gardeners I have found here on DG and not the cutthroat kind!
I too love the idea of "pay it forward. Like Kathy says, it makes you feel so good in a way that not much else can...how can you put a price on that? I know that I inherited my nature from both of my parents, but my Father was one of the most generous souls you could ever meet. It was strange after we lost him... so many people would come up to us and tell us how sorry they were for our loss... then they would tell us stories (a lot that I had never heard) about a great act of kindness that he had shown them far in the past that had marked their lives forever. Nothing crazy... simple things like buying a pair of new shoes for an employee who had holes in the soles of the ones that he was wearing, or trusting someone to prove themselves when no one else would give them a chance. Simple things that were remembered 40 years later... things that showed that there is true kindness in the world. If I think back to things that have transpired over the last year, I know that I have been angry and frustrated several times, but don't remember specifics. On the other hand, I remember the cookies that a customer brought me in January to say thank you for taking good care of her car, or the flowers and the button that another brought me for going out of my way to make things easier for her in a bad time. An act of kindness makes a very lasting memory...
I did come across the "quarterback gardener" types once, when I made the mistake of going to a nursery's parking lot sale. It was ferocious. I picked up one day lily and quickly got out of there (I did pay for the plant first). There was a woman who had set aside 20 trees and shrubs, darted away to get more and snarled rudely at newcomers who did not know her stash, which was starting to look like a whole section of the sale, was spoken for.
You know that you are a PNW gardener when the weather (hot, cold, wet, dry) doesn't determine if you will be out in the garden, but merely what clothes you will be wearing and what project you will be working on. Have the day off today, and have been happily shredding leaves and topping my garden. Had to come in for a few minutes so I can see if I can feel my feet again...
Time to break out the hand and foot warmers. I have tomorrow off. The dahlias are blackened, it's time to protect the bananas. You know you are a gardener when you consider how to protect tender plants before you consider what to make for dinner. Dinner? What dinner? Isn't that why I have a husband?
You know you are a gardener when you combine protecting plants for winter with decorating for Christmas,, because the only way you'll get to the decorating is if you combine it with plant protection.
This is a banana tree, all wrapped up and cozy for the winter. I have several of these kinds of things, but I have to get more extension cords so I can get them all lit up. How about a star for the top?
I am now considering planting a banana tree for the express purpose of saving some leaves for teaching children about the festival of Loi Krathong which is celebrated in Thailand. They float candles on decorated flower and banana leaf boats out onto the rivers and lakes. Would this work, or would the banana leaves be all spent by this time of year?
Pixy, your banana tree wrap Christmas decor looks lovely.
So there, Kathy! BBBBLLLLP! People like my banana decor! I have plans for a plant out front. I'm going to wrap it tomorrow and I'll make it a cone shape like a Christmas tree. I bought special lights just so it will be pretty.
HOlly, it depends on where the banana is located. My leaves bit the dust last night because the frost finally got them. If the tree was well protected, it would be fine. Also, I have a really nice red banana in the greenhouse that has huge leaves. It's going to be leafing out all winter. I've seen photos of the festival you are talking about. It is beautiful to see all the floats with candles on the water.
Maybe your kids could use a hardier kind of leaf? Or maybe you could do it earlier in the year when the bananas are still leafing out.
You know you're a gardener when you use portable construction lights to work on in the dark because the days have become too short.
You know ... when you buy your water resilient gardening clothes at the army surplus place. This stuff is almost bullet proof and still you've worn it out in only 2 seasons!
... when you come into the house only to pop a couple of arthritis pain killers, and then back you go!
... when the neighbours think you're crazy, but in a harmless way. ;) Little do they know that I've noted every stray plant that has escaped neighbourhood fences and are now trying to make it on their own. "oh, you poor little thing! I'll give you a good home!"
... when you volunteer to "fix up" a neighbour's dying rose bush -- and you've never actually met these people before. Then you spend 2 full days working like a Trojan warrior digging, picking out grubs, adding compost FROM YOUR OWN COMPOSTER, and replanting the tangle of bulbs you've found there choking each other. Then, when you're done, you have to discipline yourself to NOT "fix up" other plants in the yard.
What did I do with my life before I found gardening???????
Yes I once told a neighbor who offered to help me with my computer that I would help her in her yard as a trade. She gave me a funny look like ' what?' Don't think she thought she needed help. Excuse me!
Willowwind want a be, LOL. You are so funny. I have a neighbor directly left of me who has a landscape disaster. I could fix it, with laborers, in a weekend. She actually told a neighbor to tell me to back off. She likes her landscaper (mow & blow) and everything is fine. So I did back off. But I help everyone around her so she should be getting the message. Just does not want to hear it. I am free so I do not understand. Bu I have not brought up the subject. Oh, I am wrong. I did tell her in the summer when her grass was dying that her landscaper should probably look for a large group of roots from the street scape tree. Well when the majority of the lawn was dead, they were out there digging up all the roots. She is an attorney and her husband is a cardiologist. We are actually friends she just does not want to believe I know something she does not. Well. I have had on hands training self taught college in Las Vegas landscaping. But I did not graduate from USC...
Whoopsie!! LOL! I've learned to keep my mouth shut most of the time. It's ssoooo hard, but I do it. Otherwise I end up doing everyone's pruning and giving them Gardening 101 lessons, which they then fail to follow through with because they are not gardeners at heart, because if they were they wouldn't be asking, ...
Oh, no, you have it wrong. They call you and tell you it is looking bad. Can you comeback and show them again. Then you are showing them, you turn around and they have gone back in the house. If they are friends I really do not mind. Actually, I do not do it unless they are friends to begin with. Even better is when the landscaper asks for an opinion, you are showing him and he takes off. I had this happen one time. I called him and told him, if you are not here, neither am I. He came right back.
I am up in Petersburg AK and the snow is billowing off the Marina and the downtown looks like a postcard of Christmas for Nordstroms. Lights everywhere and people dressed up like elves and stopping to talk to me a perfect stranger asking where I am from and when I tell them they are so nice and warm. I llove Petersburg. Such a wonderful town. No difficult people here. I talked and talked today to many people with dog and cat problems and each one thanked and thanked me for coming here to help them with their animal's problems. It was so fun. It is a big joke here if you are not Norweigean you aren't very valuable. But they accepted my German and Scot because I told them most of our women were plundered by the Vikings.
I never help my neighbors any more. The ones who asked me for a plan did nothing but plant more Junipers and Spruce. Oh yeah and put up terraces made up of concrete block.
Sounds like a good place to be Sofer. But explain the people dressed as elves please.
I found out when my neighbors asked for advice what they actually wanted was for me to do it for them. I actually had one of them ask me to take care of an orchid for her, then give it back when it was ready to bloom. She figured I had so many, one more wouldn't be a problem. I told her how to care for it.
I have some of neighbors that I'd like to help. They struggle to keep up with their yards. I envision them as unable to keep up - my other neighbors envision them as lazy. We don't know the story, but it's just as well that I keep to myself. I have plenty of work to do here to keep up with my 10-year plan!
Steve, I love the description of the town that you are in. I just love small towns where people are still friendly to strangers. When we travel on the bikes, we take back roads and it is like discovering a whole different part of the world.
Along the lines of helping, you know that you are a gardener when you are disapointed that your inlaws are coming up to stay with you for the holidays...not because you don't want their company, but because you would rather spend your Christmas holiday doing their yard cleanup at their home in Arizona. My inlaws aren't able to maintain their own yard due to physical limitations, and for the last several years we have gone to spend time with them for the new year, and I have commited to usually three full days of yardwork pruning and cleaning, etc. Last year, my FIL hired a couple of men to make sure that all the work was done before I got there so I could "relax" during my stay. He just doesn't understand that playing with unusual plants, pruning citrus trees (you would not believe how wonderful they smell if you have never done it...and they are one of the only plants I have ever seen that have flowers and fruit at the same time...dreamy!!!) and working in the wonderful 60 degree sunshine in January is heaven for me!
What is your ten year plan and what year are you on. I help my neighbors. I do take over but they must use my landscapers and then I tell them what to do. I do nothing but teach the landscapers or supervise. Very seldom do i jump in and do the work. Now if you believe that I have a bridge for you to buy.
The 10-year plan is just a plan to feel like the garden is a piece of art that I'm proud to show off. I'm one person who works full time and there's over an acre of overgrown beds. I've been here about six years and I wish I could say that I was in year six, but things ($$ and time) and dreams keep changing. So I just figure that I'd better feel pretty good about whatever it is that I end up with in year 10!!
OTH, much of what I've been doing is cleaning up. I'm hoping that the future holds a lot more bed-making and garden art placement. I've just started to move toward painting in larger brush strokes for wider impact - it's taken awhile for me to shift perspective (and be brave enough) to do that. Now if I could just focus . . .
If I had an acre I would really be behind. Actually, I would probably be dead. How close are you to Spokane. My DS and his family is moving there. He is an internist and is going to work for a hospital in Spokane. Big change for him. He is a desert gardener.
I'm actually across the state from Spokane. In many ways, it's desert, as well. We're affected by a rain shadow - as the weather comes in from the Pacific, it's forced over the Cascade Mountain Range and drops all its precipitation. So as you drive over the pass, the ecosystems change drastically. Eastern Washington is where our crops are grown - it's beautiful rolling hills.
That having been said, a trip from Seattle to Spokane is only about 5 hours. Here's a quick picture. You can see how the terrain changes from green to brown:
I'm thinking that you might want to combine a trip to the next PNW roundup at soferdig's in Montana with a trip to see your son. Or maybe he could come, as well? I think Steve would welcome more males . . .
Yeah. I have a problem . . . I can spend hours navigating maps with no particular destination in mind. Or jumping from site to site to read all about nothing in particular. Sites like the National Geographic Society site or NASA or National Public Radio can keep me busy for a whole night.e
You can download Google Earth from the Google site It's free and it allows you to travel all over the globe.
And have you used Skype? It's a great way to video visit with friends and relatives long distance. All you need is a computer with a camera . . .
I'm actually thinking of buying my dad a little camera for his computer for Christmas. Of course, I'll have to buy one for myself, but I think it's worth it. My nephew-in-law's laptop has a little tiny built-in camera . . .
Hello everyone I have been working hard and now have an evening off. I left Petersburg and now am in Wrangell. The elf costumes are people layered with Christmas sweaters, wool pants, and boots up to their knees. Everyone up here has the same combo's on so the wolf fur collars and other fur collars are how you tell everyone apart. They have scarves, cute hats and all look like Santa's helpers. Tonight I was at the airport flying over to Wrangell and 50 or so people were waiting for the plane that was 1 hour late and it was a joy watching everyone talking to everyone about where they were going. Nobody complained and expected time to pass just fine. Everybody knew everybody and laughter was everywhere. Kids were talking to adults and playing with each other. It is so nice up here.
Hey I just got a phone number from my main clinic that someone wants to write about my travels. I have mixed feelings because that was my retirement project. I guess I wll give him a call to see just what he is going to do with it.
I knew you were living a book, Steve! I remember you telling me 'it's been done' because of the popularity of the James Herriot series. Now I feel extremely smug and vindicated! (Pardon me while I do my 'love it when I'm right' dance)
All kidding aside, that's way cool! I hope the person wants to do something you will like, and that he's a good writer! Who will you get to play your role in the movie version?
The popularity of James Herriot just proves that people love stories about animals and veterinarian exploits to save their lives and bring them into happy and healthy homes. While his stories are based in the English countryside and culture (which I love reading about), Steve's stories would be based in the rugged American countryside and culture. Both have value, interest, and poignancy.
The Alaska portion would be especially interesting. But I agree, no one could do it like Sofer. There was a man who contacted our family because he was writing a book about people who home built cars. My dad did this many years ago. We provided the information he wanted and are waiting for the publication. Hope they get it done while mom is still alive.
Steve, I agree that it is a fascinating prospect having someone document your adventures, but I also agree that noone could tell it quite like you could. Maybe a compromise and have the majority of the text written by the person who has been inquiring, with pictures inserted with your wonderful captions. I second your letting us know how it progresses.
I feel like having him write about it will make my book a must reed, (sbqwwbqsssbnbm) this is my granddaughter trying to tell my story. LOL Anyway I will tell him a few of the goodies of my travels and hopefully his story in article or book form will open a vast interest in my book. I have so many fun, joyous, thrilling, scary, and adventurous
>> The 10-year plan ... I've been here about six years and I wish I could say that I was in year six, but things ($$ and time) and dreams keep changing. So I just figure that I'd better feel pretty good about whatever it is that I end up with in year 10!!
I agree. I was too ambitious when i first moved here, and decided what I would do "first", thinking "this year".
Each attempt to take a step revealed that there were several things (sometimes major things) that needed to be done before that "first" step could be taken and succeed.
Three years later, I finished taking the "first step" ... and many other things. The garden tells me what needs to be done next - I only know what I want to do next.
Maybe my ten-year-plan is now a thirty-year-plan ... but at least I know I'll never run out of things to do!
>> Corey are you going back and reading all our old posts?
Sure! Maybe there is one back there on how to train squirrels to eat slugs until they're too sluggish to evade the cats.
Thinking about "squirrels eat bulbs", I'm about to shop for chicken wire and red pepper. maybe hardware cloth so they will have to work harder to gnaw through it.
I've had running battle with tree rats since college, when one climbed 5 stories of ivy and snuck into my room to take ONE bite out of EACH slice of bread in a loaf.
Wanting a fan and open window it wasn't easy to screen it squirrel-proof. So in the future, when I cam back to my room, I took to very quietly putting my books down in the hall before quiiiiietly turning the key, then BURSTING through the door, leaping into my room shouting and waving my arms. Each time I caught a squirrel in the act, it would panic and LEAP out the window from wherever it was in the room.
My neighbors already knew I was quite mad, so no harm done.
They seemed able to catch the ivy while in a ballistic trajectory. At least I never saw a smear on the sidewalk - and I always checked.
Corey- you need to train some crows. When Tracy and I lived in North Tacoma, our house was across from a gradeschool, so there was quite a bit of traffic. There were chestnut trees all along the street. Now, when the chestnuts were ripe, we would see the crows picking them up and dropping them in the road for cars to smash open. We thought that was awfully clever, until we realized the crows showed no interest in the nuts once they were smashed.
Then we realized that the crows were just watching and waiting for squirrels to go out in the road to eat the nut paste, which they did with such enthusiasm that they failed to notice oncoming vehicles... see where this is going? The squirrels got squished, and the crows dined merrily on roadkill squirrels with chestnut stuffing. Pure genius.
Wow! I knew crows were smart. Some farmers said crows can count to seven. They set up a blind in a corn field they were trying to drive crows out of, since the crows would all fly away if a person with a shotgun approached the field.
They expected to be able to go inside, wait until the crows returned after forgetting they were there, so they could jump out and blast them with shotguns. Crows were too smart to forget, and plenty patient.
So the farmers figured "four of us will go in, three come out and go away. The crows won't be able to tell the difference, and then the fourth guy can come out and blast at least a few!"
Hah! They had to get up to "eight go in, seven come out" before the crows were confused enough to lose count.
Want to bet that even that only worked a few times?
For some reason all the birds where I live now are very polite and diffident. Not like New Jersey! Or maybe it is all the cats in the neighborhood have taught them to be aloof.
Well I gave my hedge a major cutting back in Feb 2011, cut it back about 2/3. so instead of 5 - 7 feet wide, it is 1.5 - 2 feet wide. So much easier to deal with, and on the outside it looks the same. And it has grown well in the inside of the garden, I just keep it trimmed often, only takes a few minutes.
You know you are a real gardener when you find yourself pushing your elderly Mom in a wheelchair through deep gravel paths at a nursery so you won't miss the fall sale. I just did this Got two cool shrubs from New Zealand for $7.
I know this doesn't belong here, but Xmas is coming FAST! All the mentions of laurel hedges reminded me that the branches of shiny, healthy leaves work really well to disguise the extension cords for your outdoor displays---esp. if you have the fat orange kind!!!!
...Ace Hardware sends a 50% off coupon in the weekly flyer, and you go through the recycling bins to get as many of them as you can to get supplies for the gardening season coming up.
I got Sluggo, irrigation tubing, deer netting, an indoor/outdoor thermometer for the greenhouse, and a rain barrel. SCORE!
And you know your neighbor is NOT a gardener when he hires someone to chop down flowers in beds and cover everything with heavy black plastic and then bark mulch.
However, he hired an idiot who bought very FINE bark mulch, which I think will provide a nearly perfect medium for weeds to sprout in. So he's going to have to re-hire the idiot to rake up all the fine mulch and lay down coarse mulch.
>> Rick, I hope that's not the neighbor for whom you had high hopes as a gardening comrade?
No! But I do have some hopes of encroaching on his unused soil ... if I can ever ctach him out of the house and willing to talk. I already expanded one bed 6-8" over the undefined line between my yard and his (done before he moved in). I had planned to offer cut flowers and tomatoes, but he could win a casting call for The Invisible Man.
The potential gardeners bought, but haven't moved in yet. The prior owner on that side let me run a narrow raised bed along our shared sidewalk, so I offered to "share" that bed with the new people, leaving it undefined whetehr it was in their yard or mine already (entirely perennials, so it's moot unless they wnat to uproot thigns and replant).
It's a manufactured home park, where we own our building, but the park owns the land and we pay rent for the space. Thus property lines don't really exist. When I asked the park managers where "the line" was, she just looked confused. They don't even know where the water cut-off valves are for each block of spaces!
For most of the spaces, the distance between buildings is "code": like a few feet in deep shade, so who cares? But we live in a corner with some slope that was hard to shoehorn buildings into, so we have bigger lots (and vague dividing lines).
Very good word! Enhancing!! Who could object to their property being enhanced, and with no cost or effort on their part? You are indeed doing a service to the community, with both beauty and utility of food production in mind. It's a win-win for everyone.
You know you're a gardner when
1) You hunt down the manager of the local COSTCO store, point out several dead shrubs in the "Return" area then point out there are more than a few plants wilting in his store because no one has been assigned to water them, and even when they do they probably could be permanently damaged. Definately plant abuse.
2) You pull weeds wherever you go--friends houses, near neigborhood stores, the school, out of nursery pots--wherever you are --especially standing around or waiting for someone. Probably no one else even sees the weeds, but according to your husband, you are addicted.
22 -- I got a laugh out of the weed pulling. When we were in Hawaii a few years ago, our companions wanted to check out the local school library (teachers) and I opted to sit outside only to find myself idly pulling weeds. Had a good sized stack by the time they came back out, and yes, they thought I was nuts.
You could just as easily tease THEM about going to visit schools on their vacation from school. I would have been befuddled between my two addictions in the same circumstance...should I pull weeds or look at school library books?...hmmm, which obsession to sooth.
Is this thread dead? Hope not! It's a long one, though. I knew I was a gardener when I dug up about fifty pots full of rocks in order to plant my new bed. Now I'm starting to dig up some of the lawn edges where rocks prevent me from uprooting the weeds! So far the results have been worth it.
The backhoe found tons of river rock during my pond and landscape project last summer. When the crew went home I dug through the dirt piles and picked out each rock one by one and filled small buckets and moved them to a storage area until I decided what to do with them. I have moved them so many times..but in the end they have become borders between the paths and my flower bed.. I had enough to do bothe front and back yard. I kinda like how they look. I even relocated some to the pond area this weekend to fill in some areas that have settled and need just a bit more rock. Love river rock!
You know you're a gardener when you have to move a 2' x 40' raised bed, have nowhere to put any of those plants, but still won't let any die.
>> The potential gardeners bought, but haven't moved in yet. The prior owner on that side let me run a narrow raised bed along our shared sidewalk, so I offered to "share" that bed with the new people,
The new people finally moved in, and so far all she has done is to kill things, including two nice trees and a flowering azealea bush! Other than the raised bed I built, the only fertile soil they had was in a tiny sunken bed out front. She bought three huge, heavy ceramic pots and dropped them on TOP of her only soil, compressing it and occupying her only growing space with ceramic pots. Then she didn't even plant anything in the pots or around them!
The tree removers said "sure" when I asked if they would leave me their chips for mulch & composting. But she wouldn't even let them leave me the chips!
I had to move the bed I put in on her side of the sidewalk, and at first was really bummed because I had a row of perennial Lavatera about to bloom, and many other plants.
Now I'm almost glad, because I salvaged all the paving stones and the soil I had made for those beds. I made the soil from my clay and my compost and amendments I had bought, so it was MY soil!). Now I have deeper beds in better sun on my own property (where low juniper bushes used to be). And the chopped-up juniper branches gave me the biggest compost heap I've ever had, and recnetly when I dug down into it, it was discernibly warmer than its surroundings.
And all the plants I had room for are thriving. The ones that lost the game of Musical Chairs went into pots on the deck, where some are just surviving and some gave up. Apparanetly, when you move Lavatera several times in as many years, they learn to shoot their roots out as fast as they can, as far as they can and start new bushes in new locations. What used to be well-behaved bushes are now desperatly sending shoots into other beds, as if they paniced and are trying to spread faster than their gardener can chase them with his spade and wheelbarrow.
In the first photo, you can see the pink flowering Lavatera I had to move. (The white flowers in the foreground are flowering Daikon radishes in a different bed. They bloomed and then went to seed with never a radish-sized root.
The next 3 shots pan from left to right along the length of the bed that I had to move.
I have great neighbors and I am so thankful. I do not go over for coffee or tea but we do all chat when we are out in front. I make friends with all the little children. Especially the boys. So when they grow up they will leave Mrs. Winter off their mischief list.
Thank you! It is nice when in bloom, especially when I have free time in the Spring to work out there.
>> I have great neighbors and I am so thankful.
I used to have good gerdening enighbors too, then they both moved. Mr. Silent replaced a lady who loved to garden and talk. He paid to have everything chopped, then laid down black plastic and mulch :-((. Well, his reasonj was bad knees and in ability to spoend ANY time out there woerking. I understand that, but he limps away any time I try to talk to him.
I wondered if your No-Answer-Neighbor might be hearing-impaired and too embabassed to keep saying "HUNNHH!!!" Or just courtesy-impaired.
The other good neighb or also loved to talk, but did NOTHING outside. But she was happy about my gardening and composting (even when it was messy for a few months). Whenevcer I asked if she minded, she said she grew up on a farm and likked seeing it being done arouind her. Then she earned my eternal love by letting put in a narrow flowerbed on HER side of the sidewalk. KISS-KISS!
Enough said about the Crazy Lady who made me take the flowerbed off her property, and her Zombie Husband. I think he gave up on life years ago and now is just waiting and hoping to die.
A few houses dolwn I have another good neighbor whom I call "Attila the Gardener". She has a corner lot with GORGEOUS flowers spring through fall. I tried to give her some seed trays, b ut she doesn't start from seeds, she buys plants. "Atilla" comes from her policy of giving any plant at most two chances: "If it doesn't thrive where I put it first, I'll move it once. Then OUT!", making the gesture that Atilla or Gengis Khan used to say "raze this village to the ground and kill everyone in sight." But she gets results!
You know you're a gardener when ...
your child starts collecting cuttings and seed pods for you with out being asked to.
your vacation luggage includes mesh bags for seed collecting, coffee filters for seed drying, rooting gel packs for cuttings, saran wrap to ensure no gel spills out, and a box for the car.
you're on a first name basis with employees of garden centers and nursery.
garden center employees update you on where to find broke branches and succulent bits as soon as they spot you.
Hi Sharon! Rose Lodge has been beautiful & SUNNY for two solid months. I'm loving it & have kind of gotten the swing of keeping up with the main gardens. The 200-foot laurel hedge that came down during the ice storms, well ... it's not hurting anybody where it lies, right?!
But I'm Rick on neighbors. Sheesh. It takes so little to tilt a neighborhood one way or the other. Four months ago I had only one immediate neighbor, with 3 vacant houses to the other side. But then Greg, my immediate neighbor to that side, moved in with his wife Kay, who was dying & wanted to be here on the river for her last days. Now that she is gone, he is wigging out, yelling a lot & banging on his drum set. On the other side of him a guy moved in with a dog that is left out in the yard a LOT, barking all night sometimes. Then Kevin up the hill, whose dog Pistol never makes a peep, added some small yipper who gets going early. And someone down the road bought ATVs. So some days it seems as if the drumming starts at 7 a.m., followed by dogs barking, then kids roaring up & down the hill, then more dogs barking, some drumming, more dogs barking ...
Recently the Crazy Lady (I also think of her as the BND - whatever happened to my sunny disposition?) saw me cutting down my leaf broccoli after collecting seeds. They had looked somewhat ratty, and now were tidy, so I wondered "what can she be complaining about NOW?!?"
She wanted me to clean up my "yard waste". We're both standing there looking at a raised bed fronting a driveway / road, and there was no "yard waste".
She showed me 3-4 tiny bits of brown branch fragment slightly bigger than pencil leads, and 2-3 leaf fragments as big as confettii. These were wedged into the crack between a raised bed wall and the road.
It was cleaner than the rest of the road!
It was cleaner than my living room floor when I'm cleaning seeds!
It was WAY cleaner than where the mud washes off her dead strip and onto the shared sidewalk, or her scrubby weeds.
I laughed, but I did pick up my confettii. I figure, if she had already thought of a phrase like "yard waste", she was prepping to go to the park management to rat me out again.
Sigh. It used to be a nice place to live. I used to want to SHARE things with a gardening neighbor.
Now I'm wondering how long it will take her husband to go the rest of way crazy and push her down their garbage disposal in small chunks. When I would be PERFECTLY happy to let him bury her pieces in my compost heap! Neighbors SHOULD cooperate!
Glad to see you all dropping by. We have lost or misplaced most of our long-time people on this forum and really need a new bunch to hop in and take it on. Hope you stay around and post your garden photo and any info you need or have.
Thank you! My pride and joy, 'Pacific Giant Delphinium' from Botanical Interests. I kept trying to start them in my early seed-starting years, and drowned many, then damped-off many. Then for a few years I fattened the Slug Army on Delphinium seedlings. Then ONE survived into adulthood and the slugs avoid it.
They ain't kidding about "Giant". The foliage stands around 5" feet tall and the spikes add an other 18-24". It is ringed around with wire circles and thin bamboo-and-string buttresses. I tried for camera angles that made it compete with trees and tower over buildings with a single bound!
Kind of pale blue blooms with lavender or light violet edges. When sunlight shines THROUGH it, it's like pastel stained glass, so I shot some spikes with my statue "Elizabeth Angel".
It is the easiest plant in the world to collect seeds from : they rattle around in sturdy pitcher-shaped cups when mature. Hold a big cardboard box or tray under a spike, and lean it over until they spill out in to the box, clean as a whistle.
Got lots, will share for postage. (I call this "pimping my seeds.)
Hi Willow. I'm almost done. Just 3 weeks left in my last class. Then I have to finish my portfolio (complete a final project and paper) which will take me about another month. So I'm aiming for the middle of May, if not a little sooner, to be completely finished.
I would gladly pay postage for some Pacific Giant delphinium seeds, if I get a few rips on how to get them started. Are they native to the area?
I don't know about native, but they sure like coastal PNW climate!
B.I. called them heirlooms, and they are not as sloppy as some with the term.
I see your address in the Address exchange. Don't send me anything until you get the seeds and they sprout! Also, did I see "garlic" somewhere associated with your name? Instead of postage, maybe some day some plant-able garlic bulbs? (Not this year, I'm behind already!)
Since I'll be sending a bubble mailer, can I put anything else i n it from my saved seeds or Asian greens that I love to proselytize? White alyssum, Dianthus barbatus / Sweet William, or Italian heirloom leaf broccoli? A few tomato seeds like Oregon Spring, adapted to short cool summers? Or I have a wide variety of cherry tomato seeds.
They are perennial seeds, so there's many methods and WS is probably the smartest. I'm not that smart. I just started them indoors in a cool room and was patient. I think I got 30-50% emergence from the seed pkt, even back when I drowned many seeds. I never stratified or soaked. I don't know if they germinated better or worse with age.
Once I got one plant past the slugs, it even bloomed a little in its first year.
When to sow outside: 1 to 2 weeks after average last frost,
or as late as 2 months before average first frost.
When to start inside: 6 to 8 weeks before average last frost.
15-20 days to emerge.
Maybe soak them first?
I always started indoors without soaking or startuification and gopt at least 50% germination. Once I guessed tyhat aged seeds broke their own dormancy if any, but I haven't tested my own saved seeds yet. No rrtom for TWO plants that big, and I may split the root ball some day.
I'll test some on a wet coffee filter.
Delphinium elatum germ. in the 8th week at 70F;
Tom Clothier said, for Delphinium elatum:
Sow at 22-24ºC (71-75ºF), germination in less than 2 weeks
My 50% success indoors varied from 50 to 65 degrees.
Warning: slugs LOVE the small plants.
T& M said, for Delphs in general:
Delphinium Hardy [P]
14-28 days to emerge ,
irregular & slow germination
Germ ionate cool! 50-55 F
sow depth 1/16" (not 1/4"?)
High temps cause dormancy.
Cold moist stratification for 2 weeks:
I'm game to try them, and could also make use of broccoli, pac choi, white alyssum, sweet william. Anything fairly easy to grow works for me. I'll have to pass on the tomato seeds, since I never manage to get those started soon enough to get them to tomato bearing size.
I'm going to try to do that Willow, but I don't have much experience and cannot guarantee results.
But first...Rick , I'd try the Italian leaf broccoli. I like different kinds of leaves in a salad. Also, you have seen my name associated with garlic. Some time ago I did a running thread on garlic through the year sort of like a 'tutorial' from garlic planting, care, harvest, storage to making garlic braids. I would be happy to provide garlic for planting except for one thing. My garden got invaded by an allium fungus, and even though I have planted garlic successfully in a bed on the other side of the house, I could not definitively guarantee my garlic would not harbor a spore of the fungus. Once you get it, it is very hard to eradicate and lasts for more than 20 years in the soil. I think I got it originally from someone sharing a new variety with me, unaware of the interloping fungus.
Thanks for the warning, I'll avoid your garlic fungus! I have so little compost that I re-circulate almost everything, so better to avoid that risk.
Here's what I;ll send. They are mostly seeds I've collected in my own garden (proud).
my Pacific Giant Delph
my white alyssum,
my sweet william.
my Broccolo Spigarello, Italian Heirloom leaf broccoli, O.P. 45-65 days,
pac choi (commercial)
When I saved the Sweet William / Dianthus barbatus seed, I kept flower heads separate based on bloom color. I'm sure they cross-pollinated somewhat, but if you prefer red, pink, bi-color or 'mixed', you get your choice.
That sounds like a great selection of seeds. I'll be a happy recipient of seeds you have collected from your own plants. I think 'mixed' Dianthus colors is the most interesting. Be sure to let me know what the postage is.