Monday, August 21, 2017

In Search of the Elusive Perfect Zinnia



While traveling this week, Bill and I decided on impulse to turn and go another way to see where the road would lead us.  We were ready for a new adventure.  We passed a sign which pointed to "Mount Pleasant, Tennessee" and together decided we needed some pleasantries, so we followed the sign.  As we toured the small town of Mount Pleasant, I suddenly saw IT!  BEAUTIFUL PERFECT ZINNIAS!  They were nothing like the spindly ones in the shady area of my garden, but were bright, bold, big healthy flowers.  I gasped, which caused Bill to slam on the brakes (my intention) and I began to ogle and drool.  In my last post Today's Blooms, I was bemoaning the fact that some of my zinnias were diseased and covered with leaf spot.  The zinnias in front of my eyes, were nothing like those I was growing back home.


As he circled the block for the third time, Bill suggested, "It's a business and they are open, why don't you go inside?"

Why hadn't I thought of that?

Breckenridge House was built in 1815.  It served as the home and business of David Breckenridge, a hatter, who made military and dress hats.  It now stands as a museum and antique shop.
As I slowly strolled through the sunny, front flower beds, I was amazed by the stunning, healthy flowers.






Inside I was welcomed by a friendly saleswoman and so I asked, "The zinnias in your front flower beds are huge. What variety are they and how do you keep them disease free?"

She shook her head and replied, "I am sorry, I don't know.  We have a gardener and he is responsible for the landscaping."

I must have appeared disappointed and broken-hearted so she quickly replied, "You are welcome to tour the back garden, take all the pictures you want."

To my surprise, she performed the most hospitable act ever, she offered me a plastic bag so I could collect seeds from any flowers I liked!


You know what I did...of course I toured the gardens, it would be rude not to since she offered.  Plus, I was in search of the reason why my zinnias are struggling and theirs were so magnificent. Besides this was a perfect opportunity that had fallen into my lap to look at more flowers, so, why not? Any flower I see is a flower to enjoy.






The back garden was just as perfect as the front garden.  Slowly, as I contemplated my problem, the answer began to become clear why my zinnias are not as lush.  I know what I am doing wrong.  I DON'T HAVE A GARDENER!  I NEED TO HIRE SOMEONE TO WAIT ON ME HAND AND FOOT!  Yep, I need a gardener, a full-time landscaper since we also have a vegetable garden.  Oh, and maybe on rainy days when he could not work outside, he could be my chauffeur, or maybe a butler doubling as a maid and clean the house, do laundry, wash dishes, and what about washing windows...???  This idea was getting better and better.  I suddenly realized I needed help, every kind of help possible...wait, is there nothing in my life under control???  Probably not.  

This required a few days of deep thought and then it hit me, it would be simpler, wiser and cheaper to plant my zinnias in full sun next year and avoid all the problems.  A gardener would be easier, but when have I ever done what is easiest?

Lastly, to keep peace in the family since my blog is dedicated to my Mom (Hi Mom!), I must include a picture of Scooter or she will complain.  So for you Mom, here is Scooter. 

Scooter hiding behind a chair when someone knocked on the door.

13 comments:

  1. I think you've hit on a gardening truth.....other gardens are better than mine!
    Seriously, what a pretty place. The gardens are beautiful but, where's the fun when someone else tends them?
    Best picture of Scooter yet! He has bright eyes and the shiniest fur!

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    1. I would LOVE to see how much fun it could be if someone else tended my garden, if only for a day...if only...I can dream.

      Mom says I should forget all the posts and just do pictures of Scooter. She keeps up with each comment about him as evidence I should only write about him.

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  2. Those are beautiful flowers. I believe you should have a gardener next year and a butler, maid and chauffeur as well- not because you need them but because you want them. LOL!

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    1. I will tell my husband I MUST have servants because CAROL said so. I am sure it will make a big difference. His reply will be, "Is CAROL going to pay their salaries?" I know how he thinks.

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  3. I don't need a gardener...I need a weeder. Someone to come and do battle with the Bermuda Grass and Bindweed so I don't' have too.

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    1. I will take a weeder too; I am not picky.

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  4. Thank you, Jeannie, for this pleasing presentation! This old-style
    garden seems to be in perfect condition. Of course it is not so nice when there are so many weeds in a garden. BUT, --- there are times, when we are so busy with other duties like picking and preserving
    all those vegetables and fruits. That takes time. So when this is done, we can go on weeding. If we would live in a desert terrain, we
    probably would not have this "problem". So I better be thankful for
    my fertile soil and enough water and all the good fruits I get and
    nice flowers too. And the weeds? They will wait for me.

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    1. I would not be happy living in a desert either so I should not complain too much. My weeds do wait for me also; but mine invite all their friends to join the garden party.

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  5. Those flowers are beautiful! I usually grow zinnias every year by throwing some seeds from the dollar store down and they just grow like crazy. The ones in the garden did just that. The ones in the flowerbed--not so good. They just aren't getting enough water from the automatic sprinkler system. I've never had one of those before, and mostly love the convenience, except for a couple of places that aren't how I want them. We've done som adjusting, but more is needed. So, I've taken to hauling water left over from washing potatoes, etc. out there and throwing it on them. Not easier. But, I do love zinnias:) I guess I need a zinnia waterer, along with a weeder.

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    1. "A zinnia waterer" I will add that to my wish list!

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  6. Your photography is lovely and the flowers exquisite!
    Be blessed,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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  7. I agree with your Mum. Scooter is just charming.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Jenny, and I will hear about your comment from my Mum first thing in the morning when she checks my blog.

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