gabriola garden

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hedgehogs, Robust Plants, and the Big Picture

As you know, our daughter June has a funny nickname. We call her Hedgehog most of the time. It comes from her favorite bedtime story, when she was just a toddler. The story concerns a family of hedgehogs going to the beach and losing the smallest hedgehog. They spend the whole story looking for the little one, until at the end they find her under a beach blanket.

Came across a book review in a newspaper, about a book called “The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy’s View of History,” by a writer/philosopher named Isaiah Berlin. He borrowed an idea from a Greek poet, to classify our great thinkers into two groups. “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing,” wrote Archilochus in the 7th century.

I shared these ideas with our daughter (who is ten). She sort of understood, but was especially proud of the fact that Plato, Dante, and Proust were classified as “hedgehogs” by Berlin. She delved into Greek thought before and knew about Plato’s image of us living in a cave looking at shadows of reality on the wall of the cave, while real life went on outside the cave’s entrance.

Homeschooling our children opens up brand new vistas every day. Hedgehog is enrolled in a Self-Design program, where the students are connected to a Learning Consultant electronically. She studies what she is really interested in, and skips the stuff that turns her off. This way she can follow her passions, and learn about things that capture her interest.

Sara is teaching her all about flowers. Sara’s garden is an open classroom for Hedgehog. She especially likes the Phlox paniculata which is opening its round cluster of hot pink flowers just about now. This striking flower originated in North America and was introduced to Europe in 1730. A Captain Symons-Jeune experimented with new cultivars in the 1950s, aiming for pure colors, scent, and disease resistance. Hedgehog is not too big on the details, but she is fascinated by history, and is learning to identify each flower type.

Another flower which Hedgehog finds exciting is the Anemone Hybride “Krienhilde,” otherwise known as Windflower. Its delicate blooms are rising way above the canopy of Sara’s English garden, although the average height listed on the ID tag from the garden store is only four feet. Since we started using Advanced Nutrients 100% organic nutrients for both our flowers and vegetables, the robust growth has been phenomenal.

Our vegetables are experiencing the same burst of energy. Huge clusters of tomatoes are ripening in the sun and the tomato plants are up to my armpits. They’re also much bushier than in previous years, so we had to trim some branches to allow the sun to reach the fruit clusters. The huge leaves of our pumpkin plants are spreading and our cucumbers are growing bigger and bigger on the vine.

Try using Iguana Juice Grow and Bloom if you want to get similar results in your garden. We also help protect our plants from pathogens with regular spraying of Scorpion Juice, and strengthen the roots of our plants with Piranha and Tarantula. Our roses have definitely appreciated this loving treatment, and are continuing to bless us with new blooms each and every day.

As I tell Hedgehog, it’s important to see the Big Picture, but it also helps to know some of the details. Otherwise, we might not have found out about Advanced Nutrients and the exact products to buy to make our garden the envy of the neighborhood.

posted by Tim at 1:24 PM


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