Patsy Bell Hobson: Growing Older, Growing Smarter
Master Gardener EmeritusWhen word gets out that you are a Master Gardener, you never lack for topics of conversation, folks always have questions. Usually, the question is a neighbors, and since we have similar soils and weather conditions, I can answer most questions. But my second favorite answer is I don't know for sure, call the Master Gardener Hotline. All Kansas City Missouri regional Master Gardeners should have this number memorized: (816) 833-8733.
Honestly, I don't have many plant failures. Because the most important thing I learned as a Master Gardener is to first prepare the soil and then choose right plant for the right place. My problem is that my gardens are too successful and getting over crowded. I just don't have the energy any more to get out there and divide all the plants when they need it. Of course, any fellow Master Gardener who wants iris, daylilies, or some perennial herbs is welcome to them, if they do the digging.
Old Master Gardener, is not the way I like to be introduced. It smacks of the introduction: The Last Living Civil War Widow. Ladies and Gentleman, may I introduce Patsy Bell Hobson, the only living person who actually had personal tour of the Garden Of Eden. (Class of 1987 Master Gardener Graduate.)
My husband, Jules and I have lived in Liberty for about 20 years. I tell folks he used to buy me flowers all the time, then he bought me three acres so I could grow all the flowers I wanted. During the growing season I always have something in bloom. Right now, there are beds of iris blooming and the peonies are patiently waiting for Memorial Day.
We live in Clay County and, quite possibly, the question, "Why do you think they call it Clay County?" is almost as tiresome as answering questions about tomato blossom end rot.
(The real dirt: the county was organized in 1822 and named in honor of "the Great Compromiser" Henry Clay, a Kentucky Congressman. Blossum End Rot is caused by a lack of calcium in the plant, which is usually the result of a fluctuating moisture supply.)
I'm currently working on a book about the herbal adventures of my fictional Aunt Alvy. When I can't be outdoors gardening, I am indoors writing about gardening. My favorite annuals are sunflowers. I always grow several different varieties of sunflower every year. They make great cut flowers and the birds love them. My favorite season is what ever is next and my favorite flower is what ever is blooming now.
Patsy Bell Hobon
Are you kidding? I'm a gardener! I am not abandoning my precious plants in the heat of the summer. The lemon balm and mint will take over, the container plants will curl up and die. We usually go to seed, er, I mean on vacation in the fall or winter.
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