Thursday, April 2, 2009

When Gardeners are Crazier than Golfers

In another life I managed the clubhouse at a very "chi chi" country club in South Carolina. It was there that I discovered how crazy some golfers can be. In the midst of howling winds, black clouds, crackling lightning, and alarms telling them to get off the course, I would inevitably look out my window and see a golfer raising his (iron) club up in the air for that one final shot (Final being the key word here).

Fast forward to the present, when I'm gardening for a living. I garden in three places: "The Big House," a garden I'm truly passionate about, and from which many of these photos are taken; "The Red Headed Step Child," which is what I call my own little suburban garden; and "The Penthouse," which sits atop one of Atlanta's better known towers.

If you've been paying attention to Atlanta weather, you know that we've had pretty major electrical storms last night and today (Until you live in the South, you only think you have seen lightning!) Anyway......guess which day Chuck and I chose to replace all the plants in the Zen garden, way up there in the sky?

After loading the truck and driving into the city, we did the usual "through the gates, down the ramp to the loading dock, unload the truck and go find parking for it, load all the plants onto carts, roll them down the hall to the security desk, up the elevator for a mile and a half, and gingerly walk five trees, four shrubs, eighteen groundcovers, bags of (wet)Erthfood and potting soil, and all our supplies through most of the apartment, through the bathroom to the terrace."

We got to the terrace, and there was ridiculous wind, but that's sort of the norm for that garden. Then it was time to play "Beat the Clock" to remove the old and tired bamboo that's been in the Balinese antique containers for ten years, and replace it with the new plants. (Have you seen the rootball on bamboo that's been potted for that long?)

I'll get to the point and say that this afternoon's best questions from Chuck were, "Do you feel rain?" and "Holy Crap! Have you ever had lightning come so close you could hear it buzz???"

Let's just say the new bamboo is going to look beautiful in those pots for a really long time......


  1. I've often wondered what gardening in a skyscraper would be like. It doesn't sound like fun!

  2. What a fascinating career you have....
    Your garden pictures are absolutley breathtaking, they remind me of England....
    Hope to stop by often !

  3. Gardening in a skyscraper is great fun and great challenges, not the least of which is bringing everything through the house to get to the "garden"; wind is honestly the biggest issue. Fortunately days like yesterday are rare!

  4. Do the plants have no respite from the wind? I feel so bad for them. ;~)

  5. Wow, what an adventure. I can vouch for the, um, dedication of both golfers and gardeners--Many years ago I was a casual golfer on a work league and found out very quickly how serious a lot of golfers are, which was only reinforced when working for a client whose garden backed onto a golf course. And, well, I'm a gardener. The Michigan Master Gardener website has a list of "You might be a master gardener if..." and one of them is " show up at a planting volunteer day in the pouring rain and wonder where everyone else is." Yep, been there, done that! (No lightning, though.)

    And finally, a mile and a half tall building?! How many stories is that?! (Really, I want to know).

  6. Really not a mile and half tall.....just feels that way. This penthouse is on the 42nd floor.