Monday, January 18, 2010

"Maybe They're Just Not That Into Me"

Dear Abby,

It's the story of my life *sigh*

A couple of weeks ago, it dawned on me (yeah, dawn does break on Marblehead occasionally) I had not received any bright, full-color, horticultural-eye-candy-filled plant catalogs enticing me to purchase their spring wares. Apparently, there was fineprint on the mail-forwarding dohickey-thing I filled out at the post office that informed me the plant/seed catalogs were NOT going to be sent onto me in Colorado. I'd neglected to read that part, I guess. Therefore, I did what every self-respecting plantaholic would do: I went online and signed up to receive every horticulturally-related catalog under the sun (don't worry, I recycle).

Now, here is what I don't understand: two weeks later, where are my catalogs? Each day, I inspect the mailbox. Waiting expectantly. Salivating. Each day, I continue to be disappointed. Don't they want my business? Or is it 'they're just not that into me'?

Wondering how to ascertain as such, I went to the experts for their opinion and adapted the criteria I found to help me answer that question.

Now I know, nurseries/seed distributors are just not that into me if:

1. They don't get back to me in less than TWO weeks.

2. They aren't sensitive to my growing needs.

3. They don't listen to me, or respect my opionions AND returns!

4. They leave me hanging on a figurative trellis, waiting for catalogs.

5. They do not bring out the best gardener in me (or they would give me plants that will not die).

6. They don't make me WANT to WANT them!

7. They don't call me to see if I need something.

8. They don't take the time to get to know my friends, putting them on their mailing lists :-)

9. They don't put my name in their little black book, in stone, with a star beside it.

10. They don't take an interest in my interests, (okay, so maybe I don't want them sending out spybots to infiltrate my facebook and twitter accounts, sending me advertisements).

11. They don't bring me flowers anymore. They don't ship my order the whole way, but instead make me meet them in a seedy part of Nevada behind some pokey cactus thing.

12. They continually backorder the things I ask for.

So far, only Bluestone Perennials, Burpee and Park are into me (yeah, I got THEIR catalogs).

Tell me how you know when a nursery is into you! What clues you into knowing someone wants YOUR business? Do you have an outstanding customer service story? A favorite nursery? A mail order source you'd recommend? I'd love to hear about it!


Needing A Plant Catalog Fix In CO (aka Needing Nursery Validation)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Twitter Soup: A Delicious Blend of Interesting Peeps!

Twitter whets my appetite for information, friendship and sharing. Nevermore than now, during my self-imposed house/dog-sitting exile on top of this snowy mountain.

This week is reminiscent of that time back in March when I broke my ankle i.e. too much time on my hands and not enough to do, therefore I am spending inordinate amounts of time on the computer (especially Twitter and FaceBook but here I will be referencing mainly Twitter). But that is not necessarily all bad! There is a wealth about life you can learn from others! Contrary to belief, the internet is NOT a total waste of time.

In addition to enabling me to connect with family and friends, both old and new, social media can be truly educational, encouraging and enlightening, not to mention entertaining. There are quite a few characters out there whom I have enjoyed getting to know! You wouldn't BELIEVE what I have found on Twitter! I will share it with you someday :-) It's AWESOME! But for now . . .

Here are just a few of the links I have looked at and learned from today. This is a drop in the proverbial bucket as to the volumes of information available to you via, in this case, Twitter and FaceBook. Browse them at your leisure and you just might find something to interest you, too!

Click on the embedded links to enjoy what I did! Take your pick!

Truly hilarious from kissmyaster

Amazing photos from AmazingPics 2009 Nature's Best Photography

Jim Goldstein's take on Embracing the Imperfect Image

Hear about the earthquake FIRST from Interleafer

Gaze on my childhood idol Donny Osmond every so often, he's always nice to look at :-)

Be inspired and learn how digging in the dirt changed lives not just for one family but for families across the nation

Learn about new ways, coming down the pipeline, to garden for your kitchen from Jennifer Bartley

Discover how gardening is different yet the same around the country (begin with my friend Susan's blog and access the other's at the bottom of her recent posting, I found someone in MY new area I can look to for help as a result!)

Do you have ANY idea how important getting in touch with the natural world is? Shawna Coronado can share with you how it basically saved her from a horrible life!

And of course, if you're into garden porn, you can't go wrong with this scintillating, mouth-watering offering of pics from Arcadia1

Speaking of titillating, I learned of a "must-have" plant last night that you MUST take a look at and you will see why it caused quite a stir on Twitter recently. Annie's Annuals has this one! Just call him 'Mr. Happy'!

What interests me, might not speak to your likes but this is intended to show you how simply wonderful these places on the web can be and there are truly amazing people out there just waiting to make your acquaintance.

Give it a go. Look for me: @gettingdirty . See ya on Twitter!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I need all the help I can get.

NOAA says the Boulder area has some of the highest peak wind events of any city in the U.S. I believe it, all day the wind has been at about 50 mph and this hasn't been the only day. I also did some checking and my area also only receives approximately 14 inches of moisture per year with July being the driest of the summer months. Great. Cold, dry winters, too. Couple this information with my area being a zone 4 out on the open plain beneath the foothills of the Rockies where those winds come sweeping down and you have some harsh growing conditions.

This previous weekend, I notified the seed/plant catalog companies I normally purchase from, of my new address in order to begin planning what I would like to plant this coming growing season. The more I learn about this growing environment, the more I realize I am out of my element, my comfort zone. I've never grown anything in conditions like this before. Yes, I have much educating of my middle-aged brain to do. And quickly.

Hence, my plea for your help. If you have any advice, experience, or resources to direct me to, I would love you forever if you would share. I do intend to contact the cooperative extension for advice and information, although I will not be able to pursue the Master Gardener program here at this time, maybe next year.

I'm thinking grasses, prairie plants, natives and such but must learn what those are first. Direct me with specifics, please :-) I will be posting a photo soon of the house around which I will be gardening to give you an idea of the style of the structure to which the gardens will be married.

As I begin this new gardening journey, I will document with photos and journal entries my progress. Whether successful or not, you can join me in my new experience.

Come along and let the experiment begin! I look forward to your suggestions.