My Ever-Shrinking World

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So much has changed in this gardener’s life. There is a new career, new responsibilities at the park and new friends. Yet with all the change my world seems to be getting smaller, which I love. One must not mistake smaller with geographic measurements. Rather, it is the result of focusing much of my time and efforts on all things gardening. When I plan my travels, I look for garden destinations. When the weather is good I head to the park to garden and when the weather turns sour, like on this rainy night, I turn to garden books. And now when I work (I love this part), I get to talk to people in the gardening industry all day. It is lovely to have my work and personal life revolve around gardening.

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Recently Patty, Horticulture’s publisher, e-mailed readers a short article on what many of us will be doing this fall in the garden. You know, tasks like mulching, raking leaves and dividing perennials. Her do-to-list for the gardener in fall was spot on. Each day on Facebook I saw garden friends confessing to purchasing large quantities of spring-flowering bulbs. I hope they had good bulb-planting tools to help settle those bulbs in for their winter slumber. I learned the value of having the right tool for the job as I unearthed large stones from a rock garden. (Note to self, a shovel works much better than a hand trowel!) Yes, Emma, my new garden tool go-to lady, your tools are on my Christmas wish list.

I followed many of Patty’s to-do items when tending my gardens at the park. I began tagging my plants knowing full well if I did not I would return in the spring scratching my head wondering what was going to pop up and where. I still remain diligent about protecting my humble garden plots from ravenous deer. There are perennials to divide and replant, new shrubs to install and a continuous crop of weeds to pull; all making for lovely days at the park. And in the evening, there are many great garden books to devour. My new friend at Erickson Birdhouses turned me on to a great read, The After-Dinner Gardening Book, which is in close competition for my reading time with a book on the history of the High Line in New York City.

A shrinking world is a good thing when much of your your time spent living the garden life.

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Jenny Koester, AKA The Landless Gardener, is the Garden Blog Editor for Horticulture magazine and the author of The Garden Life and A Year in the Park.