A Jedi Gardener


Call me cocky, but I’ve earned the title. How did I become a Gardening Jedi? Just like any Jedi, I started at the bottom, Padawan style. I learned from a phalanx of Master Jedis; I wasn’t afraid to ask the stupid questions, listen and barely ever talk. I did this for years. I also practiced levitating things with my mind.

Then I left the Padawan camp and got a new Master with new things to teach me. It was hard to leave the safety of my Master Jedis but it was time to bump up to apprentice level. My new Master had a more scientific brain and taught me to think about things differently. My first group of Masters were all about feelings, memories and experiences. All were strong in the Force, just in different ways.

When my apprentice period was over I needed to take on an adventure to prove myself. The Force was weak with me when it came to indoor plants, so I knew my destiny lay on the path of Indoor Plant Rental. It was a terrifying look at the Dark Side. It didn’t last long. I conquered my fears, wounded the Emperor and was finally a Jedi, Level 1.

My first real Jedi job was as a horticulturist on Chicago’s North Shore, literally that’s where money grows. (It’s where all John Hughes’ movies were based, 16 Candles, Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club.) My job was to maintain ancestral estates and please people from the society pages. I could feel the Force flowing through me as I espaliered, topiaried, maintained rose gardens and dealt with ladies-who-lunch who were dressed head to toe in Lily Pulitzer. I did all this in three-strand, vintage pearl necklaces and red lipstick. Yes, the Force had become strong in me.

One night I had a prophetic vision that there were battles to fight in a far away galaxy named Indiana. I then began a brief stint working for the Dark Side. I tried to convert the Empire to good, I tried to show them the ways of the Force but I escaped right before they could put me in carbon freeze. And here I am.

So try to tell me I haven’t earned the term, you scruffy looking Nerfherder.

I’ll be in the forum. Well, actually I’ll be in the garden but I’ll pop into the forum from time to time. May the Force be with you.

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About Amanda Thomsen

Big, loud and fun- Amanda Thomsen landscapes by day and blogs at night. Her blog, Kiss My Aster, on Horticulture magazine's website has alienated/enraptured dozens. She co-authors a blog called Plants That Suck that is about plants that suck. And she is the less popular half of the podcasting team, Good Enough Gardening, which makes her feel like the "Roy" of of Siegfried and Roy, but without the mauling. She lives in Chicago and does not EVER put ketchup on hot dogs.

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