Saturday, September 09, 2006

What I Miss About Gardening in Zone 5

This Clementina, (Tina)
pruning branches
with a very sharp machete, working in the
garden with her grandson, Ulysesses
I miss a few things about gardening where I lived for most of my adult life, in the Zone 5/now 6. In Eastern Washington. Like ice, snow, sleet, frozen dead plants, skidding on ice on the highway, freezing toes and fingers, frozen water lines, and probably a few other things I've probably forgotten.

There is one thing for sure I really miss. That's my old garden club, TIEG.

The Inland Empire Gardeners (TIEG for short) is the most amazing garden club you ever heard of. It was founded, and is led by, the most amazing team of woman: the Meyer sisters. Chris, Viann, and Della.These thre sisters are a whirlwind of energy, dynamos of action, and full of ideas. Incredible ideas, one after after another. Garden tours, Garden Expo's, famous lecturers at monthly club meetings, plant exchanges, parties, a exchange library, and SIG groups for everything from crafts to supporting the Garden Writers of America "Plant a Row" project.

When I left my small post of Club Treasurer there were about 450 members, with hundreds showing up for monthly club meetings. Thousands attending the annual Garden Expo, and the annual Garden Tours.

It was the most amazing experience to be involved in this group. It could easily become your whole life, almost. Activities all the time. And nice people. Very nice people. And all events always had food. A real plus for me. And lots of laughing and jokes. In English!!!

Maybe the sisters will move to Mexico and start a southern branch of TIEG. That would really make my day.


LostRoses said...

Maybe YOU should start a Southern Branch, you certainly have the credentials for it! Are there any other English-speaking gardeners in town? They may be as eager to talk about gardening as the rest of us.

P.S. Zone 5 cooling off here!

Carol said...

I love zone 5 gardening! I wish there was a gardening club around my neck of the woods like the one you describe, that would be wonderful.

I think this week I'll see if the snow blower will start. Gotta get ready! ;-)

Gardener in Mexico said...

Hi Lost Roses. For awhile this summer I was trying to make contact with other English-speaking gardeners, but wasn't very successful. Left messages on message boards down here and tropical plant, succulent, and other forums all over. I was looking for gardeners either in this area or who live in a similar climate. So for I have only found La Gringa in Honduras and Robert Brinkman in Florida.
Plus, I realized I'd rather garden with the people who live in Chacala.
I guess speaking English has become less important to me.

Gardener in Mexico said...

Hi Carol. I have to say, I love the plants in Zone 5 but I hated only being able to garden outdoors for about 5 months.
And I have always been drawn to tropicals, probably from growing up in Los Angeles.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I am glad that you are putting your blog out into cyberspace for those of us to read, even if your local English-speaking gardeners seem to be a little aloof or nonexistent!

I love that Tina and Ulysses are gardening together... and this is going to sound weird, but you have no idea how much I want to have a machete in my gardening tool arsenal.

Gardener in Mexico said...

Hi Blackswamp Girl,

There aren't any gringos here year-around who are gardeners except for me. That's the point. Sometimes I wish I could have casual, easy conversations about familiar plants. There are currently 4 or 5 gringos who sort-of live here year year-around, and most of them are gone for 3-4 months during the summer. Or for other extended period.
Machetes are omni-present here. Used for everything, even haircuts and toe nail trimming. Just kidding.

Deborah Midkiff said...

I got pretty good at swinging a machette when I was clearing that wild rosebush field on the Farm. I wish I would have been told that it would work better if you sharpened it once in a while though!