Friday, June 4, 2010


Here is the run down of my 'war wounds' from my first two weeks as a gardener.  Bug bites...I guess these are  par for the course.  One of the bug bites though isn't acting like a mosquito bite and has developed a little red line, which I suspect is the bug's venom racing towards my heart.  (If I end up in cardiac arrest, you'll know why.)  I've now had to resort to using OFF (even though it contains Deet, which I claim to be against).  A bruise on the palm of my hand where I've been bumping the asparagus fork unto the ground to uproot the weeds.  A big ugly scrape on my shin bone where I accidentally tripped over a metal plant marker.  I'm sure you can imagine how cute and tough I am ...but in other news, so far I've avoided a farmer's tan!  I'm so dirty at the end of the day, even my socks are filthy!  Yesterday I decided to wear shorts since they were calling for 90 degree heat.  I won't make this mistake again.  Kneeling in the dirt in shorts is a lot less fun than kneeling in the dirt in pants and shorts are like a welcoming sign to the mosquitoes (who i was SURE would get sick of biting me after a while...boy was I wrong!)  Anyway, it's long pants from now on for me at the Arboretum. I will say that I LOVE my overpriced trail running shoes.  I guessed right in that department about what was needed.  They are lightweight and dry quickly and don't make my feet hot! I found a big patch of poison ivy in the Friendship Garden. (Proud to say I still recognize its three little loathsome leaves after our showdown in the 3rd grade, which I lost.)  This week I weeded a bed of Blood Grass that had other similar looking grasses taking over.  Turns out you can recognize the 'wrong' grasses in this case by their triangular shaped stem.  I learned that Sea Oat's do not let go of the earth easily and neither do most of the other weeds- like dandelions.   I am learning to recognize specific sneaky little (and big) weeds that mimic the real plants so that it's harder to notice them.  Turns out the flower we saw on the on the Mother's Day Hike was a Wild orchid.  Funny enough we treat them like weeds at the Arboretum and pull them out! I dug up some really pretty Ligularia dentata and some wild ginger because it had migrated away from it's rightful spot. Got to go on a boat ride down the poor, sad, polluted Anacostia River. There are serious clean-up efforts in effect. But for now, you can't eat the fish or swim in the water.  We did get to see a Bald Eagle pair and it was a beautiful day for a boat ride.  I realized that the Interim Director of the National Arboretum MARRIED my brother and sister-in-law last June!  What a crazy coincidence. Got to go to a luncheon with the staff of the Bonsai Collection, the Friendship and Youth gardens.  What a lovely group of people.  Their hearts are in their work; and they route for eachother.  All  around it's a refreshing experience. What an eventful two weeks.

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