I have spent the entire last two years obsessing about a few things. If you are a Garden Rebel, a.k.a. a plant freak like me, we probably have the same obsession.

On the retail nursery side, I have been cool, calm and collected, positive and upbeat. The language of my emails has been tailored to do the same thing for you. Take it easy. Be calm. Be patient. It’ll all work out. We have been giving you tricks and tips to navigate the drought and ideas to help recalibrate your approach to gardening. We’ve even changed the way we grow plants. We’ve changed our soil mix and, yes, the varieties.

On the personal side, my garden, Maple Rock, well that has been a little bit more of an emotional rollercoaster. While I will never let you see me freak out in public, I would be lying through my teeth if I were to tell you that everything in my garden has been a smoooooth ride. I have thrown things, been angry and even cried. In short, just as frustrated about my garden as you have been about yours at times. But, here we are, October. If your wall calendar is like mine, it probably has a picture of beautiful fall color and below it a boat on a river and an old deck with two bright red Adirondack chairs. Okay, maybe your calendar doesn’t have two red Adirondack chairs sitting by a river.

See, two red Adirondack chairs on a deck by a river with a boat. I think this symbolizes the end of the road. No, that’s depressing. I think this symbolizes we’ve made it to the end of the road and the boat is the only way out. Who knows? Who cares? But here we are.

So, by now I’m sure you’re wondering why rhubarb isn’t for me. On the nursery side of me, October represents the time when we get back into the starting blocks and start sprinting towards Spring. The gardener’s side of me says that October is the time to clean up your summer vegetable and flower gardens, start shredding the fallen leaves into your compost pile, plant daffodil bulbs, trim spent flowers from roses, plant radishes and all of your basic root crops, fertilize established lawns and reseed bare spots and get your rhubarb planted. That’s where the fingernail chalkboard sound rips through my spinal column.

Remember in English, “i” before “e” except after “c”? It was a rule. And in gardening if you are a Garden Rebel you live by nature’s rule. Here are some of Scott’s rules. Or you can call them drought rules. I’m going to hold off planting root crops until the first rain soaks the soil. I’m not going to fertilize my lawn or plants for that matter. I just don’t think they need a reason to grow right now when I’ve been asking them all summer long just to survive. I’m going to keep my water regimen up that I’ve been successful with, being acutely aware of the declining temperature and increased moisture or increased rains. And I will not be planting rhubarb.

Our cool nights will prevent evaporation and while I want to cut back my water, I’m going to hold on for a little longer. The trees are busy transferring sugar, i.e., sap from their leaves. This anti-freeze, if you will, will protect them from the cold. And millions of little holes where the leaves fell from the tree will close themselves up, trapping nature’s anti-freeze.

Still confused about why rhubarb isn’t my thing? First of all, I don’t like the name. It is less than appetizing. You generally cook it with sugar to make it taste good and it really wasn’t considered a fruit until a court decided in 1947 to change it from a vegetable to a fruit. It all comes down to money. They changed it to a fruit to reduce the tariffs. It’s as if someone found a tough plant that really didn’t taste good so they added sugar and changed it’s name from a vegetable to a fruit. All of a sudden, it’s appealing.

Do you think if they invented a red kiwi that kiwis would gain in popularity?

So, based on this, rhubarb ain’t my thing. I just used it to get you to open up my email. It’s the only useful thing I’ve ever been able to come up with to date. Sorry rhubarb fans.

In the news at High Hand, this weekend check out the flyer below.

The flyer says it all. Tickets are on sale at www.highhandgallery.com. So join us October 9th, 6-9 for our Fall kick-off party. Art, music, wine, cheese and more art. And the pottery of Gladding, McBean. If you can’t make it this evening, the art gallery exhibits will be up for several weeks.

The last event at Maple Rock Gardens will be held Saturday, October 24th.

We have invited over 30 antique pickers from around the area to join us. Tour the garden, enjoy the views and live music. We will be serving lunch. Join us one last time under the apple trees as we march towards Winter. Tickets are available at High Hand Nursery and online atwww.highhand.com. Directions to Maple Rock Gardens can be found on the High Hand website.

Look at this happy lady.

She is remarkably clean for being a gardener, isn’t she? With her little painted fingernails. We’ve made her the face of our Garden Rebel email, which is an email sent out on Thursdays. This email talks less about the general happenings of High Hand and Maple Rock and more about getting down and dirty in your garden. But, for some reason, at this moment in time I’ve decided to pick on this lady. Who gardens with three layers of clothing on? Painted nails, perfect hair and she is perfectly color coordinated with her surroundings.

We’re looking for real Garden Rebels. Go to www.highhand.com and register for our Garden Rebel email.

So, here’s a contest. We just thought this up. Send us a picture of you working in your garden. You have until October 31st. We will select a winner. The winner will receive a gift certificate for $100 and a personal consultation in your garden. We will bring tips and tricks to your home.

In celebration of making it to the October page in your calendar, mention the phrase “rhubarb ain’t my thing” and receive 20% off your tree and shrub purchases this weekend, October 10 and 11th at High Hand Nursery.

You did it. You made it. We made it. Rain is coming. See you at High Hand Nursery.

Scott

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