Garden Path passes 45 years, 2,340 columns

Garden Path passes 45 years, 2,340 columns

Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 8:00 pm
By: By Jimmy Williams

You would think that after 28 years of hunting and pecking my way through these garden columns for The Paris Post-Intelligencer I would have learned something.
Well, I have. To wit: call a spade a spade and you can get your house egged. Translation: call a lilac (or elm or bearded iris or Bradford pear) junk and, again, you can get that egging.
But that’s what it takes to make a garden writer worth his compost. The negatives of this plant or that as well as their assets (if any) need airing, and I have done that.
Yes, I have, as of this present work, 28 years at the tiller here. This following my grandmother, who created “Down the Garden Path,” as she titled it, 17 years earlier. Add our stints together and it comes to 45 years, or 2,340 columns, at once a week. We’ve never missed a week between us. We modestly claim a record.
The upshot has been (ahem) a palpable lifting of the bar in gardening acumen here, particularly in the ornamental realm.
Part of that has been the result of general evolution and influence of national media, plus other aids such as the educational and inspirational push from the West Tennessee University of Tennessee Extension Station in Jackson.
I like to think, though, that some of the words leaving here each week have settled on fertile ground, no pun intended.
That might have been the case. I certainly observe more and more advanced artistry in local ornamental gardens, and meet more and more gardeners who never blink when I ask them about their Acer palmatum Sango Kaku.
Maybe we’ll be together for five more years. That would round out an even half century. What a thought.
From Poor Willie’s Almanack
A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit. — D. Elton Trueblood
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Jimmy Williams is the garden writer for The Paris Post-Intelligencer, where he can be contacted on Mondays at (731) 642-1162.

Published in The Messenger 9.11.12

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