Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Finally, a taste of my own medicine

For all those folks I've landed on with little notice, for everyone who's opened their garden (and heart) to me only to be plastered all over the newspaper and blasted across the internet ... finally, I'm getting a taste of my own medicine. My own garden, for better or worse, will be featured in Home & Design this Friday and next. Not surprisingly, as soon as the decision was made to do this, I felt uncomfortably exposed, as many of my victims no doubted have over the last six years.

Finally, a taste of my own medicine

For all those folks I've landed on with little notice, for everyone who's opened their garden (and heart) to me only to be plastered all over the newspaper and blasted across the internet ... finally, I'm getting a taste of my own medicine. My own garden, for better or worse, will be featured in Home & Design this Friday and next. Not surprisingly, as soon as the decision was made to do this, I felt uncomfortably exposed, as many of my victims no doubted have over the last six years.

I always tell people that it'll be fun, that they don't need to change anything or wear anything special. Don't worry, I say, we want you just as you are every day. Well, I'm here to tell you ... you start to question every little thing. Oh God, my hair! It's more than a week to my next haircut. It looks awful! What should I wear? I actually woke up in the middle of the night worried about that.

I chose black jeans and a black hoodie, very comfortable, but then realized that it wouldn't show up at all in pictures. What was I thinking? So I changed into khaki pants, a purple top and lime green down vest. I look like someone pumped me full of air after messing up my hair.

The stories, though, I think will be fun - truly. The first is my 10-year saga of row house gardening, community gardening (two wipeouts), and the promise that came with the house my husband and I bought a decade ago. All was going great until reality set in - variations in weather, every insect and disease in the book, bad choices by professionals and myself ...

Second story is about rethinking this grand experiment, and tailoring it more to my needs as a middle-aged person with little time anymore to fuss around out there. (This photo - of the spectacular ground cover plubago - is a perfect example. It just grows, and if you rip it out, it comes back.)

This is actually an inspiring story. I certainly promise the real deal, which you don't always get in garden books/shows. In this case, a taste of my own medicine, believe it or not, tasted pretty good.

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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