Categories
cottage gardens gardening seed starting writing

Spitting fire (or a little whining)

Writing for nothing is a dilemma. And that includes blogging and all forms of social network communications. Perhaps “nothing” should be defined; my definition or yours? First mine, you can give me yours in a comment. Nothing, as used in my opening sentence, means not getting paid, specifically, no monetary compensation, for your labors as a writer. For it’s money that’s needed to pay the electric bill that runs this computer I’m using, the lights for seeing in the dark, the cold for the fridge and the a/c; the heating bill, phone, car, grocery, and all the other expenses one needs if you’re “living the American dream,” or trying to live it.

Job opportunities have been far and few between for me since around 1997, when I was downsized from a pipeline company (El Paso Natural Gas). Those were the “good old days” when I was getting paid close to $20 an hour. I could afford to buy just about anything I needed or wanted. Need. Want. Two words that allow greed to flourish.

Does a college degree make any difference? One in English/Writing? Sorry, but no, it doesn’t. At least not in my chosen career field. (Tip: High school grads, don’t choose English/Writing as your major!) “Chosen career field,” I think that’s a misnomer because you rarely have the opportunity to choose your career. For those of you who’ve been able to do so, congratulations, you’re “living the American dream.” For the rest us, it’s still just that – a dream, a hope (want/need?).

I’ve been writing about gardening for around seven years, mostly in weekly articles for a couple of hometown newspapers. It pays, a little, and I really enjoy doing it. Outside of those two writing “jobs,” nothing I pursue ever materializes. I submitted an online application for a garden writing position recently. It actually paid well too. I included what I thought was one of my better pieces and my resume. Sometimes it takes a few days or even weeks for a response so I was somewhat surprised to get an email from the company after only a couple hours.

Needless to say, I was rejected. Some rejections include an explanation; the one for this particular writing job stated that since there were so many writers “out there” strict guidelines had to be used in order to filter out the good from the not-so-good. It doesn’t feel so good being not-so-good.

Anywho, I suppose I should include a report on the Nasturtium ‘Spitfire’  GROW project, since I’m a participant. I gave up on the one I had growing and trailing out of a pedestal planter, it just didn’t look good so I snipped it off without regret. I’ve not made any special climbing apparatus for this particular variety. The term “nasty” is used by some when referring to nasturtiums and in my opinion ‘Spitfire’ has lived up to that moniker. It didn’t qualify at all for a trailing or drooping vine, but since it’s supposed to climb I reckon a disqualification as a cascading or trailing plant won’t count in the final analysis. I have several other ‘Spitfire’ clumps scattered about and I’m particularly interested in three that I planted in rocky, almost hardpan, clay soil. They’re growing, but will they flower?

N. 'Spitfire'
N. Spitfire
N. 'Spitfire'

“I’m growing Nasturtium ‘Spitfire’ for the GROW project. Thanks, to Renee’s Garden for the seeds.”

Writing for nothing is a dilemma. And that includes blogging and all forms of social network communications. Perhaps “nothing”should be defined; my definition or yours? First mine, you can give me yours in a comment. Nothing, as used in my opening

sentence, means not getting paid, specifically –  no monetary compensation, for your labors as a writer. For it’s money that’s needed to

pay the electric bill that runs this computer I’m using, the lights for seeing in the dark, the cold for the fridge and the a/c; the heating

bill, phone, car, grocery, and all the other expenses one needs if you’re “living the American dream,” or trying to live it.

Job opportunities have been far and few between for me since around 1997, when I was downsized from a pipeline company (El

Paso Natural Gas). Those were the “good old days” when I was getting paid close to $20 an hour. I could afford to buy just about

anything I needed or wanted. Need. Want. Two words that allow greed to flourish.

Does a plain ol’ college degree matter anymore? One in English/Writing? Sorry, but no, it doesn’t. At least not in my chosen career

field. (Tip: High school grads, don’t choose English/Writing as your major!) “Chosen career field,” I think that’s a misnomer because

you rarely have the opportunity to choose your career. For those of you who’ve been able to do so, congratulations, you’re “living the

American dream.” For the rest us, it’s still just that, a dream, a hope (want/need?).

I’ve been writing about gardening for around seven years, mostly in weekly articles for a couple of hometown newspapers. It pays, a

little, and I really enjoy doing it. Outside of those two writing “jobs” nothing I pursue ever materializes. I submitted an online

application for a garden writing position recently. It actually paid well too. I included what I thought was one of my better pieces and

my resume. Sometimes it takes a few days or even weeks for a response so I was somewhat surprised to get an email from the

company after only a couple hours. Needless to say, I was rejected. Some rejections include an explanation; the one for this

particular writing job stated that since there were so many writers “out there” strict guidelines had to be used in order to filter out the

good from the not-so-good. It doesn’t feel so good being not-so-good.

Anywho, I suppose I should include a report on the Nasturtium ‘Spitfire’ Grow Project, since I’m a participant. I gave up on the one

I had growing and trailing out of a pedestal planter, it just didn’t look good so I snipped it off without regret. I’ve not made any

special climbing apparatus for this variety of nasturtium. The term “nasty” is sometimes used by other GP participants when referring

to nasturtiums; in my opinion ‘Spitfire’ has performed nastily so far. It didn’t qualify at all for a trailing or drooping vine, but since it’s

supposed to climb I reckon a disqualification as a cascading or trailing plant won’t count in the final analysis. I have several other

‘Spitfire’ clumps scattered about. I’m particularly interested in three that I planted in rocky, almost hardpan, clay soil. They’re

growing, but will they flower?   Writing for nothing is a dilemma. And that includes blogging and all forms of social network communications. Perhaps “nothing”

should be defined; my definition or yours? First mine, you can give me yours in a comment. Nothing, as used in my opening

sentence, means not getting paid, specifically –  no monetary compensation, for your labors as a writer. For it’s money that’s needed to

pay the electric bill that runs this computer I’m using, the lights for seeing in the dark, the cold for the fridge and the a/c; the heating

bill, phone, car, grocery, and all the other expenses one needs if you’re “living the American dream,” or trying to live it.
Job opportunities have been far and few between for me since around 1997, when I was downsized from a pipeline company (El

Paso Natural Gas). Those were the “good old days” when I was getting paid close to $20 an hour. I could afford to buy just about

anything I needed or wanted. Need. Want. Two words that allow greed to flourish.
Does a plain ol’ college degree matter anymore? One in English/Writing? Sorry, but no, it doesn’t. At least not in my chosen career

field. (Tip: High school grads, don’t choose English/Writing as your major!) “Chosen career field,” I think that’s a misnomer because

you rarely have the opportunity to choose your career. For those of you who’ve been able to do so, congratulations, you’re “living the

American dream.” For the rest us, it’s still just that, a dream, a hope (want/need?).
I’ve been writing about gardening for around seven years, mostly in weekly articles for a couple of hometown newspapers. It pays, a

little, and I really enjoy doing it. Outside of those two writing “jobs” nothing I pursue ever materializes. I submitted an online

application for a garden writing position recently. It actually paid well too. I included what I thought was one of my better pieces and

my resume. Sometimes it takes a few days or even weeks for a response so I was somewhat surprised to get an email from the

company after only a couple hours. Needless to say, I was rejected. Some rejections include an explanation; the one for this

particular writing job stated that since there were so many writers “out there” strict guidelines had to be used in order to filter out the

good from the not-so-good. It doesn’t feel so good being not-so-good.
Anywho, I suppose I should include a report on the Nasturtium ‘Spitfire’ Grow Project, since I’m a participant. I gave up on the one

I had growing and trailing out of a pedestal planter, it just didn’t look good so I snipped it off without regret. I’ve not made any

special climbing apparatus for this variety of nasturtium. The term “nasty” is sometimes used by other GP participants when referring

to nasturtiums; in my opinion ‘Spitfire’ has performed nastily so far. It didn’t qualify at all for a trailing or drooping vine, but since it’s

supposed to climb I reckon a disqualification as a cascading or trailing plant won’t count in the final analysis. I have several other

‘Spitfire’ clumps scattered about. I’m particularly interested in three that I planted in rocky, almost hardpan, clay soil. They’re

growing, but will they flower?

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Categories
cottage gardens gardening summer weather

Weather like this scares me!

After last year’s late blight epidemic, I’m very watchful of my tomatoes and potatoes. I’ve allowed lots of space around my tomato plants this year, three feet between each. And the potatoes are growing in straw mulch, which should provide some protection. I’ve also mulched the tomatoes heavily with straw, and I’ve started a 5-7 day fungicide spray application.  However, there are no guarantees, and with rain and cooler weather settling in, the chances for another late blight appearance in my garden are probably some better than they were a few days ago when it was hot and dry.

Nevertheless, the summer gardening routine goes much as it has for the past 25 or 30 years. But it never gets old, as I don’t seem to be getting tired of growing things. Sometimes I wish I would get tired of it, but something out there keeps calling me, and I keep answering.

I’m late with my nasturtium GROW project report, and offer an apology to Mr Brown Thumb for my lack of ambition. I’ll offer an early review of ‘Spitfire’ now, before it’s flowered: disappointing. I was expecting a much more vigorous growth spurt once I planted my seedling into its new home – a container with good organic potting soil. But what I’m getting so far is a droopy, lazy, unattractive, resemblance of something akin to a nasturtium. Maybe it’s how I’m letting mine trail out, instead of having it vine up? We’ve still some growing to do yet, so I’m hoping for a better result by season’s end.

“I’m growing Nasturtium ‘Spitfire’ for the GROW project. Thanks, to Renee’s Garden for the seeds.”

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