The first day of spring has arrived, stirring our souls, and planting the seeds of a new season in our thoughts. It started weeks ago, I see them in my shop," Garden Hoe's", women with dirty secrets, and plant addictions. I recognize them, I'm a whoreticulturist …and I run a small garden centre. Sow what, I sell plants and accessories to them, if I didn't they would just go to the box stores for a cheap fix. I try and help, I understand them, I offer professional advice, I have quality product, and I don’t judge.
It started early this year, I thought the nursery was empty, when heading to the back corner I startled a young women. Her eyes like saucers, her face turning crimson; "I'm sorry" she sputtered before dropping her gaze. In her mitten’d hand, weeds; I had inadvertently caught her weeding my untended pots. I touched her woolen hand, "it's ok, I have to go back inside, you stay out here "." If you want to come in, I have a large collection of back issue Gardening magazines downstairs, you can sit and read for awhile if you like". Garden porn, sometimes it’s the best thing to offer.
They are easy to recognize at the cash desk. They try and pass for just another customer, but I sense their angst, the shame, and the burden of their obsessions. I am gentle; they have enough to be defensive about. I hold eye contact; we speak a silent language. I break the ice with a question," will you need to lie about that, will you hide it when you get home"? The pent up emotions, fears, strain, and pretense spill out in a verbal torrent.
" I hide them in the garage, when my husband goes out I will plant them. I tell him they have been growing there since last year; he knows I am lying. I can’t help myself.
Then there are the hardened ones, they rush in and out, ask if I will remove the prices, pay cash, and admit they are supposed to be somewhere else. I have been asked for 50% off stickers to be applied to purchases, or if I can hold till a spouse is out of town. I have been there, I know all this too well.
Are you a "Garden hoe"?
12 sure signs.
You find yourself waking early to garden before work, and rushing home after to get in another fix.
You garden until it is too dark to see.
You hate mornings, but you rise early to create more gardening hours in the day.
You stay up late into the night reading garden porn, and fantasizing what you will do this season.
Worrying about nocturnal pests, gets you out of bed to check plants in the middle of the night.
Impulsive or/ risky decisions
You go to the garden centre for one plant, and come home with one of each cultivar.
You buy a new plant knowing you have no room in any of your beds.
You buy a must have exotic, too tender for your zone.
You buy a plant that loves sun when all you have is shade.
Lie, or refuse to say where have been.
Have bribed your child, or friend, not to tell you have bought more plants
Hidden plants to plant later when you’re alone
Removed or changed price tags on purchases so spouse doesn’t know what you’ve spent.
Keep a secret stash of money for garden supplies
Made up stories or alibis to cover up your horticultural escapades.
You have taken snips off friends or neighbors plants without their knowledge
You have divided plants, or taken snips from public gardens, parks, or retail centres.
You carry bags and gardening tools in your purse or the trunk of your car.
Missing family or social events
You have made excuses to miss events so you can garden
You have lost track of time and gardened through important social occasions, or appointments.
You have double booked over an important function, when something better, "horticultural" came up.
Angry/ or defensive without causes
You have been moody, or distracted when your spouse surprises you with an invitation to
Sunday brunch; it’s sunny and you would rather garden.
You are pre-occupied at a sunny family picnic because you are desperate to go home and water.
You would just rather be gardening
Abandon old friends to spend time with other addicts
You have joined a garden clubs
You would rather go to the Orchid show than coffee with your girlfriend
You start visiting your "new friend’s" gardens
Trouble paying bills
You have spent grocery, or essential money on plants.
Your gardening project has gone way over budget.
Neglect self, or family
You treat your plants better than you treat yourself.
You care more about the appearance of your yard than yourself, your children, or spouse.
You have more pictures of the garden, than of your kids.
The kids are upset, because there is no lawn left to play on.
You ask for manure for your birthday
You have stopped trying to keep your fingernails or knees clean.
Neglect possessions or home
You only do housework when it rains.
Spring-cleaning happens in January.
You have damaged your car using it as a truck.
Obsessive or irrational behavior
All your fantasies are about gardening.
You own a miner’s style headlamp so you can pick slugs at night.
You have gardened in mittens.
You have more than 10 cultivars of any plants.
You have stopped cleaning your fingernails.
You have dirty fingernails year round.
You check the weather before your morning pee, or coffee.
Your lawn keeps shrinking, and you can no longer see the house.
You are eyeing the strip of lawn between the sidewalk and road.
You have been caught weeding public or commercial property.
You are trying to garden in your neighbor’s yard
Seeds have germinated in the soil build up in your trunk.
You don’t realize your in pain, sun burnt, bug bitten, frozen, or bleeding during gardening.
You can't remember how old you will be this birthday, but you know all the 2011 NEW release plants by heart before the 2010 plants are available for sale.