If you are a Modern Gardener like Nedra and Donrey Secrist are, you’ll love a new website and video series sponsored by PBS station KUED. And when you visit, you’ll get an opportunity to see both the Secrists and their gardens in living color.
In the post and article, Nedra shares some of the secrets of her success: Great soil, good growing conditions, and lots of love, “‘Cause perennials love to be hugged!” according to Nedra.
Donrey explains that because commercially-grown plants are often grown in hothouses that don’t prepare young seedlings well for the shock of an outdoor climate. Because hothouse plants are usually grown in some type of growing medium rather than in soil, they struggle to adjust to their environment once transplanted. As a result, many gardeners, in an attempt to help a young plant along, will do exactly the wrong thing–give it too much water.
“Perennials like to struggle,” says Nedra.
It’s a philosophy that has helped the two of them weather the storms that are part of being caretakers of living things. One year, for example, hungry voles devoured a thousand of the Secrists’ potted bulbs. They’ve had years when plants didn’t perform up to their exacting expectations, and Nedra either refused to sell them, or gave them away for free. More recently, heavy winter snows collapsed the roof of their largest greenhouse. Nedra knows that people, while they don’t like to struggle, are better people when they do. So she’s not a complainer. She rolls up her sleeves and goes to work with a gusto and strength that belie her true age. And she also knows how to ease the struggle for the rest of us: She teaches us to plant gardens because for Nedra, a garden is the best therapy there is for a troubled soul.
And she also knows how to ease the struggle for the rest of us: She teaches us to plant gardens because, for Nedra, a garden is the best therapy there is for a weary, downcast soul. Nedra is also tireless in her efforts to teach people how to grow perennial gardens that will thrive. Through classes, her blog, and her published books, she’s done her best to pass on a lifetime of wisdom to the next generation of growers.