Might I Have a Bit of Earth?

I love books, but I’ve found it’s best for me to start elsewhere when I want to learn something new.

I always knew I wanted to garden, but any reading I did on the subject made me feel more intimidated than inspired. Soil tests, nitrogen deficiencies, percentages of browns and greens? I had no context for any of it. I finally decided to just start planting, to compost by throwing whatever I had in a pile, to learn as I did. Eventually it all started to fall into place, and I could then supplement what I had learned by reading.

People stop by to ask me about hydrangeas pretty regularly. Why do I trim them? Why are mine purple and theirs are pink? How do I get more blooms than they do? How much water do they need? Should they be in the sun or shade? Last week a woman asked me how I had learned so much about them. I gestured at the plants. Stick some in the ground, watch them, think about what you see, try this, try that. You too can be a gardener.

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