Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
July, 2006
Regional Report

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At Grounds for Sculpture, docent Margarita Warlich looks to the sun in synch with Leonda Finke's sculpture.

The Mystery of the Missing Garden Gloves

Not to point a finger, but has anyone seen my missing garden gloves -- specifically, ten left-hand gloves? Cleaning out the minivan on Sunday, I found ten right-hand gloves without their counterparts -- two medium Grips; two French Potter's gloves; one lightweight grey Atlas; one large, leather Womanswork; one large, leather Tahoe; one black Ironclad Box Handler (amply cushioned for pruning); two different cotton cheapies. Three months ago they were all nicely paired at the wrist openings; now each flops solo.

Where'd the Lefties go? They're not in the gardens I return to week after week, work bucket bursting with tools and supplies; or stuffed among papers in the carryall.

Is this "lost Lefty" phenomenon common among gardeners? Are there as many missing Righties? WHERE? Does anyone have a theory about where gloves disappear to? Perhaps a floral designer's shelf where they won't get mud-soaked? Do they join missing socks and celebrate freedom from covering human appendages?

How about setting up a Gardener's Missing Glove Exchange? I'm happy to swap one green medium right Grip and one right French potting glove for two Lefties. In fact, I'd exchange the two leather (well-worn/washed) Righties for one Leftie Box Handler -- my glove of choice for working with tools!

Sure, I could turn the extras inside-out. But exchanging for complete pairs would be fun! And we might discover where missing gloves migrate!

Water, Weed
Aside from the glove quandry, things are humming along in the garden. Tomato plants are thriving in my containers, and in late June I cut back the sweet basil and had enough leaves to make the first fresh, delicious pesto of the season. Yummy ... even as a cold spread on round, gourmet Italian toast. I'm clipping the cut-and-come-again lettuce for lunch wraps and healthy nibbles.

So far, once-a-week watering has been enough for these deep containers whose sides are lined with disposable diapers (for water absorbency). The container mix of potting soil, humus, compost, and composted manure is working. I'll fertilize everything with diluted kelp and water-soluble fertilizer before leaving for a trip to the Netherlands to visit perennial nurseries and gardens.

In clients' gardens, we've finished installing and mulching trees, shrubs, and perennials. It's best not to plant after mid-June because summer's hot sun and droughty weather will stress new transplants. The job now is to weed and water regularly through summer's heat.

With the intense garden work done, I'm up for inspiration. On a recent Saturday, I toured the Grounds For Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Road, in Hamilton, New Jersey. Docent Marguerite Warlich -- mother, artist, and gardener -- explained that J. Seward Johnson purchased this former New Jersey fairgrounds in the 1980s to create a sculpture park. Using Brian Carey's design, he built berm gardens and planted trees, contouring the land as a backdrop for contemporary American art. Open since 1992, the grounds feature more than 230 impressive sculptures among thoughtfully planted trees, shrubs, grasses, and perennials. Dramatic art and dynamic landscape with surprises around every corner!

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