Gardening in the Valley

Black Mountain News

We are extremely proud to have a monthly  column in The Black Mountain News.  The column is titled Gardening in  the Valley and the author is a member of the committee.  Typically the column is the third Wednesday of each month.  So pick up a copy of the paper.



Also want to thank Rhonda Reedy for her behind the scenes management of the column and working with the paper.   For being a relatively new member, she has already done so much for  our committee.

Committee  members interested in writing an article, please contact Rhonda.  If  you are wondering what to write about, select  a month and we can offer  you some suggestions. 

Current Column

Scroll down to read this month's column.

Gardening isn't for the faint of heart!



Gardening isn't for the faint of heart.  The phrase is defined by The Free Dictionary as, "a person who tends to  easily experience stress, fear, anxiety, sickness or discomfort when  facing unpleasantness, graphic imagery, physical strain or risk."   For example, when pulling up weeds, a copperhead snake may appear, a  scenario most certainly not for the faint of heart. That being said,  I've grown into a stronger person by having to deal with the ups and  downs of gardening life.

Gardeners have to deal  with life and death issues of plants. We gardeners don't like to mention  it, but some plants should come with "do not resuscitate" on their  plant tag. We tend to nurse it along until it finally says “OK, enough  is enough”, it then pulls its own plug, and dies.

Depending what the cause of death was, it may or may not hit the compost bin.

Some  family members like to get out of the house after their soccer team  loses and start-up that dusty weed wacker. They sometimes think that we  have more weeds than plants in our forest garden. Then it's off with the  plant's heads and shoulders.  To keep peace, we place fences, barriers and signs around plants that shouldn't be receiving a crew cut. 

Living  in the country or town, we do need to watch out for animals. I remember  the good old days of being lost in my thoughts while pulling out the  weeds. But then came the bears, looking around for any leftover  sunflower seeds and berries. There is also the occasional bobcat that  meanders about looking for food. I can deal with that, but come on, I'm  mowing the lawn, just give me five more minutes to get it done, then the  backyard is yours. 

So, I have adapted when  gardening, always looking up and around. This year I have added another  piece to my exercise routine, looking down and around. Yes, you guessed  it, for reptiles.  After admiring my new perennials,  I turned around and saw a 5-foot timber rattler coming my way. He too  looked up at me. I won't mention the first words that came to mind, but I  did make a b-line to the porch, and even at my age probably could have  won an Olympic medal.


A few days passed before I went back to that perennial bed.

I would be remiss not to discuss the ticks & the chiggers. What fun would gardening be without them?   But  now I have graduated into the next level of being a Country Girl. While  talking with friends, I can pull one off my neck without a pause in  conversation.  Of course, sometimes they give me  that look. As the temperatures rise, so do the chiggers in the grass.  They wait for me to walk by and jump on my jeans for a ride. This, of  course, puts me into an itching frenzy for the rest of the night. After a  little research, a shower is taken immediately after gardening and the  clothes go through the washing cycle.

Considering  all of this, every cloud has a silver lining. We gardeners learn that  some plants are just fussier than others. So, I have replaced them with  some native plants that are looking healthy and swarming with  pollinators. With all the bear activity, we have taken some wonderful  pictures which will soon be framed. Even that snake memorial plot, has  turned into a nice new place for garden art. 

Last but not least, I now have some good and funny stories to share about life in the garden. Happy Gardening.

Lyndall  Noyes-Brownell proudly serves as co-chair for Black Mountain  Beautification Committee, an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer of  Buncombe County and chair of Black Mountain Blooms Seed Lending Library.  She is the webmaster for and cares for  plant containers in downtown Black Mountain.