Garden 'siteseeing' in Texas and Britain

Why are we visiting gardeners in such disparate areas? Think of it as serendipity. It just happened as I was mousing about the Web that these were the garden sites and people who appealed to me on a Friday morning. 

Although Chris Wiesinger's blog at the Southern Bulb Co. is connected to a business and not a completely personal blog, Southern bulbs are a  subject in which I'm very interested. I enjoy reading about his jaunts about the South -- to Georgia, Virginia, Louisiana. From my perch in usually-chilly Boston, I love hearing about the weather down there (usually an improvement over mine).

And I learn a fair amount about bulbs, such as Narcissus italicus, and the not-so-glamorous but rewarding life of a bulb hunter -- giving talks, discovering white Roman hyacinths in a Texas yard, checking out reports of heritage bulbs in this tiny town or at that abandoned homeplace.

How grateful we can all be that there are people in this world who care enough to make sure that the old plants aren't lost forever.

Cheryl, who gardens for wildlife in Britain, has a wonderful motto: "Our greatest experiences are our quietest moments." At My Wildlife Sanctuary, she shows what that means to her: a granddaughter planting sunflower seeds, finding daffodils blooming in Cornwall in February, a visit to the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Very soothing to the soul.

Bird-watchers will especially enjoy Go Wild in Kent. English photographer John Young introduces us to the "hungriest of birds" (waxwings), corn buntings, guillemots, kittiwakes, brent geese, and even lovely little hares. (Is there a difference between hares and rabbits?)

I spent a fair amount of time looking up birds I wasn't familiar with -- and learned a lot. I always like that when I'm Web surfing.

Back to Texas,  you have to smile at the subhead of Karl's Garden Blog: A carpet-bagging Yankee tries to grow things in south central Texas.

He's a "computer guy" living in College Station who's been gardening two years. He likes to start veggies from seed, is hoping to can his harvest, and is completely honest about his failures and his occasional confusion -- which makes for delightful reading.

I could relate to Karl's remarks about the home soil test results that didn't make any sense whatsoever. I suspect that everyone who's ever used one of those little kits for the first time said something similar: "Huh? How could that be right?"

 And it's why most of us eventually turn to the Extension Service for soil testing, even though it isn't instant, or even fast sometimes.

When you've been gardening a long time, it's good to be reminded that while this isn't rocket science, there's a lot to learn to do it right.

Note: Garden siteseeing (seeing the sights at garden websites) is a regular feature of Diggin' It. We invite you to visit the main page of the Monitor’s gardening site , where you can find many articles, essays, and blog posts on various garden topics.

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