Posts Tagged ‘plant nuts’

Thank you, Tom Fischer! (photo from his website)

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

Seven wonderful lectures and the touring of about 22 gardens in three days led to a moment of revelation during a wonderful speech (one of the best I have ever attended) on Sunday morning by Tom Fischer.  He told (with exquisite slides and great humour) about his new garden in Portland, and sitting in that audience surrounded by plant nuts who gasped at each glorious plant photo, I had tears in my eyes and said to Sheila afterward that I am indeed going to phase out all non-plant-nut jobs.  I will keep work that falls into either of these categories: The clients are plant nuts, or the clients allows ME to express my plant nuttiness their garden.

 My thoughts coalesced on the coach/bus back to the coast with resolve for the future:

  •  Spend more time and a little more money on my garden. (A balance must be struck between working enough to make money to buy plants!)
  •  Join the HPSO so that I can get to the Old Germantown garden.  (Allan and I belong to Washington’s Northwest Perennial Alliance, but garden tours in Seattle are an extra hour away.)
  • Work only at jobs allowing free expression of plant lust. This is a tough one as it might involve quitting some clients that I like but into whose gardens I have no creative input. All jobs must let me be a CPN (certified plant nut) and hortaholic.
  • Go to more garden tours (as offered by HPSO membership); supposedly they even have some tours on the coast!

 And I have already marked the calendar to get together with Sheila for next year’s HPSO study weekend in Eugene.

[2012 note:  It has taken me years to implement this revelation, but I think by 2011 I had it fully ingrained.  By then, I had amicably quit several jobs: one private garden where the very nice client said she did not want any new plants, and Raymond Federal Bank because the new owners did not want a tangled and (as Tom Fischer’s website puts it) overplanted garden.  I turned down any new job that did not entertain my passion for plants.  I quit all jobs that were just maintenance with no creativity (Shorebank, Subway).  In every case but one (which I quit in a right royal huff over the plant & materials budget being ridiculously tiny…$80 a year!…in comparison to the lavish indoor budget!), I quit amicably and kindly and found the client a good replacement (usually Ed Strange!).  We still have too many jobs, but I love them all.]

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