So this Master Gardener program began almost 9 weeks ago. My brains are so full of information on annuals, biennials, perennials, grasses, fruits, vegetables, fungal diseases, bacterial diseases, blights, beneficial and pest-y insects, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, you name it, in these 9 weeks of intensive classes of 6 hours per week I am in gardening overload.
I have always enjoyed gardening. If you had told me at the beginning of this herbal odyssey I would feel this way I’d have laughed myself silly. It’s like gorging at Thanksgiving. The feeling’s just the same except my head wants to explode, not my waistline.
No idea when or if I will ever use this information. Maybe it’s crammed in there in such a way as to come through as second nature. I’ll look at an azalea leaf and know it is a rust disease, not lacewing insects. Or see little raised tunnels in my yard and know they are not really tiny moles but mole crickets. I will know the small, round shiny-gray things are ground pearl, an insect for which there is no remedy except to dig up and completely replace the sod, no small (or inexpensive) feat.
There are more varieties of oak that I could ever have imagined, and most wasps are beneficial. (I don’t guess that applies to yellow jackets as well).
I won’t know, right off the bat, if you have your soil tested and it has a low ph of 4.7 what proportions of fertilizer it will need. Clemson University can tell you. I won’t likely be able to say if a camellia variety is a japonica or sasanqua, but I know they are both beautiful flowering shrubs. I know more than I did at the outset of this class, much more, I just have to integrate it into my current knowledge.
So it’s hard, if I even actually pass the course, thinking of myself as a master anything, much less a master gardener. Even so as with most everything else, I will not ever know it all, at least I certainly hope not.
What fun could that possibly be?