1. Designing an Organic Garden
  2. Organic Prevention and Management of Powdery Mildew on Plants
  3. How to Grow Organic Medical Marijuana at Home
  4. Are organically-produced raw vegetables any better than those produced in the traditional ways? [NO!]
  5. Going organic: Are organic pesticides safer than their synthetic counterparts?

  1. The 50 Mile Bouquet:
  2. A Handbook of Medicinal Plants: A Complete Source Book
  3. Incredible Edibles: 43 Fun Things to Grow in the City
  4. Chocolate Bliss
  5. Tales As Tall As A Sunflower

  1. Taylor's Weekend Gardening Guide to
    ORGANIC PEST AND DISEASE CONTROL: How to Grow a Healthy Problem-Free Garden
    by Barbara Ellis
  2. Taylor's Weekend Gardening Guide to
    The Complete Guide to Organic Low-Maintenance Lawns by Barbara Ellis
    Controlling Garden Pests Organically by Rhonda Massingham Hart
    The Indispensable Resource for Every Gardener edited by Fern Marshall Bradley & Barbara Ellis
    A Master Manual of Tools & Techniques for Home & Market Gardener Revised by Eliot Coleman fwd by Paul Hawken

  1. Mike's Garden Guide
  2. Greenwood Nursery
  3. Seed Company -
  4. John and Bobs Organic Soil Conditioners
  5. The Daily Gardener

  1. annuals/perenials
  1. RE: problems with bugbane
  2. Compost Contamination
  3. RE: Mold on soil?
  4. RE: Is Miracle-Gro safe to use near a lake?
  5. RE: Is Miracle-Gro safe to use near a lake?


Documents: Latest From: Eleanor Tylbor:

Tough Love
by Eleanor Tylbor
by Eleanor Tylbor


Eleanor Tylbor has been a freelance writer and columnist for more than twenty years. A resident of Laval, Quebec, Canada, she began her career as a columnist writing for weekly papers and continues to freelance a column covering local news for “The Chomedy News.”

She has also freelanced articles for Internet sites in addition to providing human-interest pieces for various dailies, and is a monthly contributor to the site, sharing her humorous observations and gardening-angst with gardening aficionados.

She is now into balcony gardening.

Blog The (Somewhat) Complete Gardener

June 2, 2002

As responsible and conscientious caregivers to our plants, we assume that their longevity depends on providing for their basic needs like regular feedings, watering, and protection from voracious insect species. No sooner has the growing season started, and we're making regular stops at gardening centers, to purchase an abundance of products to ensure their survival. Our plants have us believing that they need us, when the reality is they can do very well if left to their own devices.

This fact was brought home to me recently, after a two-week absence from the garden. Leaving them alone to fend for themselves was particularly worrisome, being that it was the beginning of the growing season, at a time when they needed special attention - at least that's what I assumed. A few days before departure, Kathleen my next door neighbor, offered her assurance that she would drop by from time-to-time and give a pep talk to faltering flowers. 

In as far as mowing the lawn was concerned, I could have left it in the hands of our former gardener, Giovanni. However, his indifferent and callous attitude towards the rose bushes, and ensuing denials when confronted with evidence of broken stems, ruled out that idea. Instead, the grass would be allowed to grow au naturel during our absence.

If gardening withdrawal was a diagnosed syndrome written up in medical textbooks, I probably experienced all the symptoms at some point. Signs included frequent sighs, insomnia, loss of appetite - to a lesser degree, and repeated glances at photographic images brought along to remind me of their existence (like, I could forget). Visions of returning home to flowerbeds filled with dying plants in various states of decay triggered pangs of guilt. Perhaps a follow up phone call to Kathleen, would assuage feelings of floral abandonment. However, the non-gardener of the family vetoed the suggestion, calculating that it would be cheaper to buy all new flowers, than the cost of a long distance call. So, ET didn't phone home, and instead worried and fretted about the garden denizens, expecting the worst. Silly me.

If there's a lesson to be learned it's that Mother Nature takes care of her own when necessary, especially where survival is concerned. Upon returning home a cursory glance at the flowerbeds, showed them to be dense with Spring perennials on the verge of opening. A multi-colored rainbow of tulip bulbs, most of which must have been lying dormant in the earth over the years, put in a showy display as if to taunt me that they grow better without my intervention. Due to frequent periods of rain, the lawn had grown to knee level and resembled a lush green carpet. Honeysuckle shrubs surrounding the back garden were in full bloom, resembling a living fence. In other words, the garden was a horticultural showplace that we could never achieve over the years.

Although thrilled with the display, there was a part of me that felt like a mother whose offspring had left home. After all the fussing and coddling, the plants had reached adulthood, and were able to go it alone without me - at least for a limited period of time. To make matters worse neighbors dropped by to offer their admiration at my growing ability, and some even asked me to share growing tips. What could I say? 

"Just the usual stuff. You know - feeding, mulching...nothing special," was my response to curious onlookers.

My neighbor, Kathleen, viewed it as a metamorphosis, in that there was always a big healthy flower waiting to emerge under the right circumstances. Obviously, the right circumstance was my absence.

The garden has never looked so good and rather than mope around feeling sorry for myself, I've started a new flowerbed with the addition of some young sassy perennials. True they're small right now but with a little (make that a lot) of "TGC", they'll grow up to give me a splashy display of color.

They need me - they really need me!



  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row