While not letting the cat out of the bag, I simply could not resist a short post about next week’s episode of ‘Through the Garden Gate,’ my weekly radio show that airs Monday nights at 7PM on 92.9 The Grand FM. I still find myself shaking my head over this dream of dreams enterprise that landed in my lap in a true ‘out of the GREEN’ moment. If anyone had told me a year ago that hosting a weekly local gardening show was in my cards, I likely would have laughed at them!
I was in the studio today with special guest co-host Andria, who is also one of my employers, where I found myself in what I refer to as the ‘hot seat’ – the one reserved for my weekly guests. I’ve had a number of listeners [and heartfelt thanks to all who have offered kind words of praise and encouragement] and blog readers who wanted to know more about me as a gardener as well as learn more about the postage sized property that I call home. I had thought of providing Andria with a list of questions [and in fact I had compiled one!] but at the last minute we both agreed that it should be as spontaneous as possible – all the more to hopefully allow the ‘passion and obsession’ to shine through! Hmmmm….. not sure that this is a good thing as I am trying to increase my listenership, not scare them away! If they knew just how deep my obsession runs – if they were afforded a ‘flower’s eye view’ of what I refer to as my eclectic idiosyncrasies – would they still tune in every week?
As Andria began the interview, I was suddenly transported back to a day, four odd years ago when, eerily similar to this very interview, we both sat opposite one another for what was my interview for the perennials specialist at LittleTree Garden Market! I’d been shopping at the nursery for a few years, and when I found myself without a vehicle and had to look closer to home for a job, I immediately thought of LittleTree! Over the years I’d ingratiated myself on the staff, appearing once or twice a week, armed with a list of rare and unusual perennials that I was in search of. My previous employment had been with Lost Horizons, so I had two years horticultural background under my belt, and I was hoping that my somewhat overzealous enthusiasm for perennials might tip the scales in my favour!
On that day in particular, I remember, not once, but twice, the interview being interrupted by a phone call from Jeremy, Andria’s husband, wondering how things were moving? I guess an hour and a half might seem a tad lengthy for a first interview, but let me pontificate about perennials for a minute at length, and you’re guaranteed an hour minimum!
Needless to say, things went in my favour, and now four years on I remain the perennials specialist! In the interim I’ve started the blog that you are reading, have furthered my experience in public speaking by appearing at local Hort Societies and other garden inspired functions, and now, here I was sitting as a guest on my very own radio show! Thanks in large part to Andria’s proficient interviewing skills, I found myself transported to the darkling woods of Lambton County, where on weekends I would cavort amongst the deciduous forests with my Grandparents where, unbeknownst to me at the time, I was introduced to the magical, mysterious world of shade gardening. We talked at length about my ‘passionate obsession’ [which, in recent weeks under the relentless need for constant irrigation at the garden centre to keep everything looking green and lush, felt like it was lagging!] and the perils and pleasures that being a certified plant geek can bring!
Did you know that until I met Spigelia marilandica, I refused to allow the colours red and yellow into my borders? [And as Andria and Megan both attest, on the benches of LittleTree as well! I protest! Little good it will do me!]
It was my dear friend and co-worker Megan who coined the phrase ‘layering’ to refer to my incessant predilection for placing plants within mere inches of one another! When you have a postage stamp sized property, every possible inch becomes invaluable. We discussed my favourite plants, and the incredible lengths that I will go to in order to acquire what I refer to as my ‘Holy Grail’ selections! [I think even Nathan, my brilliant, trustworthy producer was afforded a rare view into the mind of one truly obsessed… with plants!]
All in all, I think it was the break from the daily routine that I needed. It allowed me a rare opportunity to travel back in time, to reminisce about where my earliest awareness of gardening took root, and to reinvigorate the true passion for plants that resides in my heart of hearts! I had an absolute blast recording it and hope that it will bring you similar pleasure. Be sure to tune in next Monday evening [August 6. 2012] at 7PM [EST] to listen to the interview in its entirety. A million thanks to Andria, Jeremy and Megan for so many many reasons that I hope you are all aware of!
Addendum: Thanks to the staff at 929 The Grand FM for affording me this tremendous opportunity. Special thanks to Nathan, producer and tech guru for making me sound coherent and intelligent at the same time – somewhat of a challenge when you’re talking about one as truly obsessed as I am!