Zooming Blooms

| July 6, 2020 | 0 Comments

With most of San Diego being home bound and/or restricted with meeting, April and May’s meetings were different.  We did meet via Zoom.  Zoom, as you may know, allows people to join the same meeting in a somewhat controlled setting.  Our children are using it for classes, and businesses are using it to continue to meet. 

Fausto Palafox was the April speaker for the Mission Hills Garden Club. He handled it like a pro.  His topic was Fun in the Garden in the Middle of a Pandemic, or Five Ways to Improve your Garden while you Have Time on your Hands.  It was really a great talk and perfect for the times.

Palafox is a great believer in enjoying the moment.  He says you should grab a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and sit in your garden.  Then just make mental notes.  What do you want to establish in your garden.  Once you have an idea for your garden, “the fun begins.”

He says, “It is your garden and you are in control.  There is no right or wrong; if you try and it doesn’t work, you learn something. You can still rectify the error.”

He does believe in planning.  Palafox told a story about a man who had given him photographs of every plant he wanted in his yard.  Palafox had to break the news that he didn’t own enough land to house all those plants.  In this vein, he advocates making a list “before” you head to the nursery.  Once you are there, find a salesperson who seems to know a great deal.  Latch on to that person and begin asking questions.  People who work in nurseries love to talk about plants. So you won’t be upsetting them, that’s unless they are surrounded by customers.

While you wander and ask questions, keep a mental picture of your ideal garden.  It helps your service person if you have photos of what you like and can convey the colors you like.  Remember, you may be out of your comfort zone, but this is fun, not work. 

The fun begins when you return home with your purchases.  First, Palafox warns, “Only take on what you can do in a short amount of time; gardening is not a job or a race; pace yourself.” 

I am proof of the importance of pacing yourself.  The other day I decided to rid the canyon immediately adjacent to my property of weeds, which had matured to being on the cusp of spreading their seed.  Somehow, I managed to pull out all those that I had targeted.  I had no idea that I had been crawling (hands and knees; I’m nearly 80) around, pulling weeds to be bagged for perhaps three to four hours.  I barely made it into the house.  My clothing was stuck to my body, which was covered with leaves and debris that had fastened to my skin.  I showered, staggered into my pyjamas and went to bed.  I didn’t even eat dinner.  The following day I planned accordingly, and took one hour to clean up from the day before.  I filled two green trash cans and felt terrific.

Palafox suggests photographing your progress.  I wish I had some before shots of the yard.  I also wish I had a photo of me crawling on hands and knees to get out of the canyon!  I am certain it was funny.  My husband, upon learning how I became such a mess, was not amused. 

Once your garden is ready, take time to enjoy it.  Spend a few minutes every few day admiring your handiwork and watering and feeding as needed. This will keep it looking lovely for a long time.

Go back to the nursery with questions, or with photos, and brag about your success.  Both will be welcomed. 

One of the benefits of being house bound is having the time to deal with things you’ve procrastinated doing.  Not only am I cleaning up my yard, balconies, canyon and pots, I am also cleaning cupboards and divesting myself of items I no longer need.  As Palafox says, “Life is short.  Drink the wine, eat the cake, and take the trip.” 

And don’t tell anyone, but I am really having fun in my garden!

The next Mission Hills Garden Club meeting will be the fourth Thursday in September.  Visit MissionHillsGardenClub.org for the details of the meeting. 

Fausto Palafox during a Zoom training session.

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Category: Business, Education, Gardening, Local News, Nonprofit

About the Author ()

Barbara Strona is a native Californian who grew up in the Mid-West and Los Angeles. She and her architect husband, Carl, came to San Diego in 1968 and have lived in Mission Hills since early 1971. Barbara received a Bachelor of Arts from Scripps College with a major in English, and a minor in Art. She attended UCLA graduate school and received a General Secondary Credential. She taught English in Los Angeles, Pennsylvania, and at Point Loma High School. She has been a Realtor specializing in residential sales since 1984. Her passions include her job, reading, writing, foreign languages and foreign countries, animals (feathered or furry), theatre, and her family: husband, two adult children and two grandsons.