Friday, July 11, 2014

Are You a Helicopter Gardener?

Having worked in and around higher education for 20 years now, I confess I've made my share of fun of "helicopter parents."  You know them:  the parents who micromanage every bit of their child's life so that no misfortune or hurt feeling should ever befall their little darling.

But this morning, as I made what must have been my eleventh trip out into the garden to check on a spot of wilt or the status of a blossom - all within about a three hour period - it occurred to me that I had become a helicopter gardener.

Are you a helicopter gardener too?  Award yourself a point for every "yes" you answer below:

1.  Do you know everything about each plant's life, from the time it was a seedling until now?  Add a bonus point if you can remember where each plant sat in the seed starting tray back in late winter.  Add another point if you can gesture to each plant and tell visitors its life story.

2.  Do you keep a photographic record of the progress of your garden?  Add another point if you post most of these pictures to Facebook.  Add yet another if you suspect some of your friends block you from their news feed during high garden season.

3.  Do you weigh your harvests?  Add another point if your "first tomato" post to Facebook read like a birth announcement (5 oz, Black Krim, mother plant looks healthy and happy).  Add a bonus point if you actually felt yourself tear up a little when you harvested your first tomato.

4.  Do you obsess over your garden's nutrition?  Add another point if you use only organic fertilizers on your garden.  Add yet another point if you suspect your plants are eating cleaner than you do.

5.  Do you obsess over your garden's health or illness?  Add another point if you are terrified of wilt, mold, and plant-eating bugs.  Add yet another point if you have checked your garden for these more than once today.

6.  Do you have an armchair PhD in botany?  Add a point if you have more than five gardening books on your bookshelf.  Add a bonus if you have your county extension office website bookmarked.

7.  Do you tremble at the suggestion of taking a vacation during garden season?  Add a point if you refuse to leave for more than two days once plants are in the ground.  Add a bonus if you've ever "employed" a plant sitter to come watch your garden for you.

8.  Do you think you are obsessed with your garden?  Add a point if your friends ask you about your garden right after you ask them about their kids.  Add another point if you sometimes forget to ask about their kids because you are asking about their gardens.

How did you do?  Tally up your score and....

Who am I kidding?  We don't have time to tally scores.  We have gardens to check!

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