Friday, April 29, 2011

Recovery 101

I always knew that the fact that the husband raced motorcycles for 25 years was going to come in handy one day. In that 25 years of riding/racing came many a broken bone and this last week I realized how all the points that I never knew I was keeping track of - were stacking up in my favor. Wrists, ankles, knees, foot, ribs, shoulders, hands, wrists, (I know- mentioned that one twice, but he broke both 2x each), over the years I have sat in many a waiting room while the surgeons put him back together. What he learned from all that experience was how it could hurt when someone took a piece of your body and stretched it from the inside out and put it back together the way they thought it would function better. And how you needed to take the time, and allow yourself to heal.
Over the last 14 weeks, while I was waiting for insurance approval and doctor’s schedules, I have heard many upon many tales of the woes of rotator cuff injury, repairs and recovery. Remember, we have a very busy store - of active gardeners - that seem to wear/tear their shoulders out a little faster than the rest of the population – at least it seems that way to me now. I have worried and wondered over the surgery, and now the healing process. But while the husband was quick to point out to me that “recovery pain” would be so much better than “constant pain”, I had yet to take hold of that thought and run with it. Apprehension is such a tall mountain to climb. The worry over the surgery itself, the time it would take me out of the garden, not just our business – but my flourishing blooming garden here at home, and the time it would take to fully heal.
So here is where I am, 5 days post op:

1.I am a truly thankful person. I have an incredible support network of family and friends that have not only kept my belly full, but my eyes filled with beauty and my thoughts filled with goodness.
2.  You really CAN’T rush anything in this life. While I may be one of the fastest typists around, can ride my bike with no hands, can multi task at least 6 things at one time, and be good at all of them –I cannot tell my body to heal any faster than it is necessary and/or willing. 

3. Don’t let the husband help with picking out clothes that will be "comfy" and dressing you unless you want to hear laughter from everyone you work with when you show up at the nursery for “just a minute” to see the new roses and order a truckload of perennials for Mother’s Day weekend.

4.RELEASE: this has been the tough one, and the one that the husband has helped the most with. I release to my body the time it takes to heal. I release to others the responsibilities that I feel are mine and mine alone. I release once and for all the fact that, HE IS RIGHT! Now it is time to listen to his wisdom, take a pain pill when necessary, take a slow walk back into my life, and remember to stop…….and smell the roses (see #3 above, and also all the ones that still need pruning out front – we can only let go so…

Next stop: Physical Therapy

Monday, April 25, 2011

Time to get it done.........

Heading off to Reno in a couple hours to finally.....get my shoulder repaired. As my husband keeps reminding me, "Recovery pain has got to be better than constant pain". Will keep you posted on that one.

Till you see me back at the garden center, (which I hope will be by this coming weekend - at least sitting in a chair by the counter) remember to keep dirt under your fingernails, plant something soon, and enjoy the blossoms that are so brilliant right now everywhere you look. See you soon, Susan

Friday, April 22, 2011

Feeling a little "Crabby" today

No, not crabby - as in having an irritable and unpleasant disposition, but "crabby" as in "OH MY - how I love Crab apple trees. I have been in a crab apple state of mind these last few days as I drive around town and everything is bursting with color. Wandering around Reno on Wednesday with a dear friend I kept pointing out one and then another "look - a Prairefire, over there , look a Hopa" until even she could identify different varieties. If you have been to our nursery you know already that I am a huge fan of crab apple trees, and if I have helped you in making a decision on an ornamental tree you have probably heard me tell of the varieties that I have here on my own little acre of the world. I thought I would share a few pictures (taken this morning) of the ones in my front yard as they are just now bursting with color. The ones in the backyard are about a week away, more on those later. And another plus, you can prune off some branches - the cuttings make amazingly beautiful floral arrangements for the house, with the blooms lasting for a week or more.

Malus 'Snowdrift'

 Malus 'Prairefire'

 Malus 'Robinson' (This is the tree we planted in honor of my Mom, pink was her favorite color)

 Malus 'Florabunda'

 remember the post last fall about the five layer tulip planting I did in the side yard? they are all bursting out of the pots
 one armed - I managed to get my tomato plant in the barrel. Used a piece of rebar to hold up the wall o water while I filled it. Only had to call for Bob's help at the very last minute when the entire thing was threatening to fall over on itself. I WILL HAVE TOMATOES IN MAY!!! (will keep you posted on this one)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Raised Beds - Thinking outside the "Box"

We had a class a while back in our "Think Green" series, this one on Organic Raised Bed Gardening. Michelle, my fellow master gardener, and now retired former Flower Tree designer was on hand to assist me. With over 50 people in attendance I didn't have enough handouts on hand, so thought I would put a few of the links up here that I use for my "go to" sources. Raised beds are an easy way to control your soil conditions and for that reason alone they are the reason I most recommend them for vegetable gardening in our area.

The Key Points for Planning a Raised Bed Vegetable Garden

Width of Beds
Make sure that the beds are narrow enough to allow you to work them from the sides without having to step on the soil. A width of  3 to 4' is workable for most people.
Length of Beds
The length is entirely up to you, anything from 8 to 10ft' works for most people. If you make them much longer you will find yourself becoming exasperated every time you have to walk round the entire bed to get to the other side!
Height of Beds
The best height for most purposes is around 1ft. This is deep enough to accommodate most crops and yet doesn't require large quantities of construction materials and soil mixture. If you have mobility problems you can make the beds higher. (use the Kellogg's Organic Soil Calculator to help you figure out exactly how much soil you will need for your beds)
Leave sufficiently wide pathways to allow you easy access with a wheelbarrow or garden cart and make sure that you can access the beds from both sides!
Positioning the Beds
It is important to position your beds so that they get the maximum amount of sunshine as most vegetables prefer full sun. Raised vegetable beds are usually aligned north to south to maximize the amount of sun they receive.

* Raised beds can be built in just about any available space, large or small; and with many types of hardware. (wood, block, rock, pallets,wine barrels, tires - use your imagination)
* The soil in a raised bed can be easily adapted to meet the needs of the plants;
* Raised beds are easier to tend than ground level gardens;
* Plants are easy to view and study in a raised bed;
* If desired, a removable roof structure to protect from spring winds can be built above a raised bed.

The site below  is always a helpful source of information whenever I am putting a class together. Our own cooperative extension service in Nevada is up for budget cuts this season, and I hope that they come through it. They provide a wonderful service to the community. Colorado has one of the most complete garden section out of all I keep track of though, and since their climate is so similar to ours, I recommend them quite often:

Here are a few that I found online to stir the imagination and get your creative vegetable juices flowing...........

And my All Time Favorite, is this one! Now I know what to do with all those left over bottles from the wine tastings at Red Zinnia. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Then and Now

I took photos of quite a few of the old posters that were on display at the Jacksonville Children's Museum when I last visited the kids. I have these on the desktop of my computer and they pop up every now and then.   The display was an interactive one meant to show the children what life was like back in the 30-50's when war efforts overseas and troubles at home due to the depression were causing hardships to families everywhere. As much as things change, they stay the same don't they?

I think this is one of the things that drew me to the nursery business to begin with and what continues to make it a life that I want to wake up to every day. When you help someone build their first vegetable garden, plant that first seed, turn that first shovel of compost into the ground - you are planting something inside yourself also. Success can be spelled in so many different ways. Sure, money is one of them, but fortunately for me, it hasn't ever really been an important part of my life. Success this last ten years has been measured for me by the smiles on the faces of fellow gardeners when they harvested their first crop of carrots, or built that first trellis that withstood the winds of our valley, or got that rose to bloom and thrive in the desert. Success is taking a bag of soil and creating a living world under the ground, planting a small 4" tomato and harvesting enough at the end of summer to freeze 20 gallon bags of marinara sauce. Yeah, I guess you could say, after all these years, I still love what I do.

This second  poster brings up another class that we have planned for the nursery this season. If you would like to contribute ideas and recipes we would love it. I never learned this particular skill as a child, or adult - but I have a few friends and fellow gardeners that are absolute experts on canning. I will keep you updated on the date, but it will be sometime late summer when the bounty of the garden is overflowing. Perhaps a "Best Pickled Beet Contest" is in order????? See you in the garden soon, Susan
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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sharing little joys

My daughter Sara is wonderful about sending over little links that she thinks might help me at the garden center - and life in general. Yesterday she forwarded one over that sent me down a path of link clicks that lasted for over an hour. While I don't usually HAVE an hour, the injury to my shoulder has forced me to take a back seat in the outdoor gardening department. Instead, I am filling some of that time with gardening ideas and reading. So - here is a little something I picked up today,  Sharing your bounty, houseplant style.

A couple of weeks ago one of our fellow Flower Tree followers dropped by with some begonia cuttings that were from her GREAT Grandmothers garden. Just the thought of this little plant having been alive for longer than I have somehow just fills me with joy. If you already have begonias you probably already knew how to propagate them and share, but since this was my virgin plant, I thought I would share. And share I will, a leaf off of this plant as soon as it is mature enough to do that. Mine is still in water as you can see here, another injury issue - I have plans of getting help potting it up this coming Sunday. And when it is big enough to take a cutting off and sharing, I have just the person in mind who will get my first one. Are you out there??? Is it you? Happy Soil Day, Susan

Friday, April 8, 2011

Driving through town on a Sunny day.

Wondering what some of the plants and trees that are blooming right now around town are?
Flowering quince has found a perfect spot in front of Churchill Stations. Even though this shrub loves the full sun, tucked into the northern spot here it seems to even bloom well in the shade.
Tucked under the vintage car at Farmers Insurance you will find huge clumps of daffodils, although when I went inside to say Hi and tell them why I was taking pictures of the truck I was told that the majority of them find their way onto Mark's desk.
Look for this beautiful little flowering plum out front of Mayor Tedford's office. Over the next couple weeks watch this area as all the crab apples that are planted close to this tree start to bloom.

What can you say about the forsythia blooming on both sides of Berney Realty, BREATHTAKING!
Another fine specimen of a flowering plum found on the south side of Nevada State Bank, this one I think is a 'Blieriana'. All you have to do is get close and get a whiff of the blossoms to know that the bees will have a field day in here. Plant one in your yard if you are trying to get more pollinators to visit.
And the last one for this week, judging by how many we saw when we drove around town, probably one of the most "over planted" trees in Fallon was found in front of Sandwinds. But, how do you argue with a tree that not only takes all the harsh weather we throw at it and still shows up every year with beautiful blossoms, amazing shade and incredible fall color. What do I say to flowering pears, PLANT ON!

next week: hmmmmmmm what is blooming now: TO BE CONTINUED

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The River Rises

The Carson River will start to rise this week, and now we will be able to see it, thanks to the marvelous effort of a few great friends. A couple days ago I happened to mention to Mike and Rose when we were back looking at the River Garden how it would be great if we could actually see the river that is just on the other side of the picket fence. Next thing I knew Rose was "volunteering" her husband Dave and his 2 chainsaws, and Mike was offering to help him clear a path so we could at least see a 10' section or so. They started in at 9am Sunday morning, and by noon not only the 10' section, but the entire width of the River Garden was cleared, raked and burning in a neat little pile down by the waters edge. The TCID (Truckee Carson Irrigation District), for those of you that don't live here in Fallon, is getting ready to release water into the river from upstream any day now so it was imperative if this was going to happen, it happen fast. Who knew!!! just how fast it would be. A huge THANK YOU!! to Dave and Rose Faulk, and Mike McLain for making the already serene garden even more beautiful.


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