• author
    • Donald Sanders

    • October 4, 2016 in Columnists

    Gardeners, gardeners everywhere!

    I am surrounded by gardeners. I guess that’s not such a bad thing because, at one point in my life, I found myself surrounded by soldiers and some of them were trying to kill me. I was a lot younger then and I was lucky enough to be able to outrun them. Yeah, gardeners are not really that bad. There is an old saying I’d like to share but I didn’t write it so I have to put those little marks around it so everybody knows I didn’t write it.

    Ready? Here it is. “I never met a gardener that I didn’t like!” I think Abraham Lincoln wrote that or maybe it was one of those Caesar guys that used to live in Rome before World War I. I guess the reasoning behind that saying is that if a guy has his hands in the dirt, planting a plant, then he is not gonna stab you in the back and use you for fertilizer. What’s not to like about that?

    A lot of people think I’m a gardener but that’s simply not the case. I guess it looks that way because I’m always hanging around people who are gardeners. In reality, I’m more like the guy that cleans up the mess left by the gardeners when they come marching through and I do a lot of small time irrigation because I like to play in the mud and water. I’m sort of like that guy “Pigpen” in the comic strips.

    It’s a natural fact that gardeners are a messy bunch. You can see ’em coming and then watch ’em go. They leave little dust whirlwinds behind before they’re gone and you can barely see them way down the road… That’s the only way you can smell them. They’re easy to track because they leave a trail of mud wherever they go.

    Gardeners are a tricky bunch, too. Sometimes I think they all get together and plot ways to get me in the poison oak or near a bee’s nest. They like to see people scream like a little girl! Another well known fact about gardeners that I’ll share with you is that they don’t like you throwing garbage in Putah Creek even if it does get washed out of town. Yeah, they’re a funny bunch.
    I’ll name a few gardeners for ya that I sometimes hang out with. There’s Rich Marovich, Rick Fowler, Duc Jones of the Solano County Water Agency and Carrie Shaw, Amy Williams and Karin Young of the Putah Creek Council and of course there is my friend Libby “Earthman” Byson and her hubby Reid.

    Some gardeners will run right over you with a big tractor if you don’t get out of their way. There’s no malice involved, they’re just gardeners in a hurry doing gardener stuff. To name a few I see a lot because I really have to look both ways, let’s see, there’s Tony Morales, Herb Wimmer and Joe Martinez. They’re professional gardeners on a grand scale. I bumped into a Mariani one time but he told me to keep off his road. I guess he didn’t want to run over me.

    Then there’s Maggie Larochelle. Everybody in town watches her tend her garden because it’s right in the center of the downtown area. What a wonderful garden it is, too. She and my friend Melanie Bajakian are wonderful gardeners who like things to be just perfect and they both work very hard to keep things that way.

    Then there are those who tend to the city we live in, like City of Winters Mayor Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, City Manager, John W. Donlevy, Jr., Environmental Services Manager, Carol Scianna and my good friend and sidekick Terry Vender of City of Winters Maintenance. Thanks to them, the City of Winters is a giant, beautiful garden where we all can live in peace and harmony like we’re supposed to. They are all master gardeners.

    I really don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to be a gardener. I think that’s only natural. It’s in our genetic structure. Well most of us anyway. I think in my case there are a little too many Neanderthal genes because when I try to grow something. I keep wanting to go hunting and gathering and I grunt a lot, especially when I’m eating. One time I told everybody I was going to enroll in the “Master Gardener Program,” but then again, everybody knows I’m a liar, right? I’m still thinking about printing out one of those “Master Gardener” certificates and hang it on the wall next to my Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize for Literature certificates. It will look pretty good next to my third place bowling trophy.

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