Knots and Contortions: Gardeners’ Skills and Abilities

Audrey Driscoll's Blog

Gardening is a “genteel” pastime only if you have someone doing it for you. It can be quite demanding physically, and I don’t mean only brute labour type activities such as stripping sod or digging new garden beds.

Zeke the Cat, exempt from all garden work, loafing in a perennial bed

Take the matter of tying up plants that are apt to slump, lean or break off in windstorms. This often involves climbing right into a perennial bed, feet and all. The gardener must insert bamboo or other stakes, wrap twine around them and secure it so it stays put — all without crushing or otherwise injuring plants. Well-organized gardeners place stepping-stones in their perennial beds for just this purpose, but more often than not, there is no stone where the foot must land, or if there is, it’s very likely invisible under a couple of inches of mulch and…

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