Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The Petunia Sting Operation

I was scarred (for years!) by these conniving little Petunias.
 Popped over to visit Garden Faerie's magical blog ~ intrigued by her post title: The Story Behind the Name. She was curious about how we came up with our blog names and what's the {sometimes secret} significance to the name we actually chose.

I explained that choosing High Altitude Gardening was boring. A no brainer. Though, I suppose my 'secret' would be that I've always regretted deciding upon it.

Here's the full story ~ the Petunia Sting Operation ~ that's worth a giggle and the background as to why I picked that lame name.

Clumped together, Petunias can be pretty persuasive!
I was house shopping in Park City, Utah ~ which is kind of like window shopping on Rodeo Drive. Me being the poor soul who can barely afford to peer in the window, much less fantasize about buying anything. I'd spent 6 months seeking a non-dumpish house, that fit within my price range, when my real estate agent announced he'd found one that was right up my alley.

I pulled into the driveway of the soon-to-become over-priced Kate mistake ~ and gazed upon an impossible garden. (I didn't know it was impossible at the time.) At least a thousand stunning Petunias were waving in the breeze.

The inside of the house barely registered. All I could see was that gorgeous garden. Bought it on the spot! It wasn't until after we moved in that I realized the house was missing one important item: a bedroom. (Could have swore there was 3, turned out to be 2. But, oh! That garden!)

One less bedroom to clean? Not that big a deal.

Discovering that after an early freeze my impossible garden was dead as a doornail? Well, that was absolutely heartbreaking.

At the time, I did not know Petunias were annuals. And, that all it took was one night of nasty weather and they were done for.

The following spring I started asking plant companies for advice on PERENNIALS that would do well in my high altitude garden. Of course, none of them lived in the mountains. They had no idea what they were talking about and recommended annuals claiming it's impossible to grow perennials at higher altitudes.

Having been burned once I was not falling for that again. Anyone who has hiked a mountain trail can clearly see that perennial flowers are simply delighted to live up here.

Hence the inspiration to spread the word in a blog. Hence that lame blog name so other mountain gardeners could find me. And, the tagline (Growing an impossible garden at 7,000 feet) to constantly remind myself that plant companies aren't the be all, end all, when it comes to advice.



Kylee Baumle said...

Good for you! This is NOT a boring story! I loved it! I can think of no better reason for you to start blogging.

And just LOOK at those PETUNIAS!!! *drool*

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thanks, Kylee!
I'm heading over to read your story.. :)

Carly said...

Well, to draw in other mountain gardener's I'd say it worked. The name is part of why I stuck around and explored your blog a bit before falling in love with it :)

I'm not nearly as high up, but my grandfather's garden is on the bountiful bench and it cheered me to see a fellow Utah gardener with such a fabulous garden growing in our ridiculous climate. Despite extreme weather changes, short growing seasons, and odd soil mixes; I'd certainly say that flowers, especially perennials, love our mountains. There are a lot of gorgeous garden's up in the mountains that I get to see on my motorcycle rides.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

I agree, Carly;

Utah is an awesome place to garden! Few bugs, no mildew, no pests (except for the occasional moose :) Yes, odd weather but no mosquitoes!!

Liz said...

That's a fun story.

Melospiza said...

That's the exact opposite of a boring story! It has class, real estate, gardening, and self-education.

And? I found your blog after googling "high altitude garden," so it worked.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Aw, Thx!
And, I'm glad we're connected because of it!

A Garden of Threads said...

Great post, Kate!! You have done wonders with the garden from the pictures you have shown and have a great sense of humour. It keeps a gardener grubbing along. Take care, Jen.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thanks, Jen!
Your photo texture skills wowed me today. (As always :)

debsgarden said...

I like your blog name! My own blog's name is about as uninspiring as it gets. I might change it if I could, but consider I'm too deep in now!

I enjoyed your story. Gardening is like life in general, full of surprises and with a steep learning curve!

Patti said...

The title of your blog is perfect. It draws all those seeking to garden in high altitude ... and there are many of us who enjoy your writing and topics. Keep up the great work, and thanks for sharing your gardening experiences.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am so glad you blog. I love the mountains and doubt I will ever live there but it is fun to see what life is there. Funny about the missing bedroom.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

That's the thing, Deb;
We can't change the name later on so an idea that seemed great at the time is one we're stuck with forever after! :)

Anyhoo, there is a grand benefit to names like Deb's Garden. Because the second I see it I just think: Oh, it's Deb! It's more closely associated with the writer than titles that require me to remember names...

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Patti:
Thanks for the very sweet compliments. That made my day. :)

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thx, Lisa!
Very sweet of you to say. I'm grateful for blogging as it connects me to so many great people. Some day I hope we can go birding together. I know you could teach me a thing or two.

Lona said...

Well what is another bedroom to a gardener anyway when the garden is beautiful. Now I can perfectly understand your reasoning. LOL! I love your story Kate.
The Holiday red background is so festive and pretty too.

Indie said...

Loved the story, actually!

Rose said...

Loved this story, Kate! I've never bought a house because of the garden, but years ago I would have been like you, wondering where those petunias were the next spring:)