Forced travel brings misery
Posted: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 10:12 pm
By: By Jimmy Williams
Browbeating has been the name of the game for some weeks now.
First, gardening friend Mike Garner forced me into a day trip to McMinnville for a trade show of the Middle Tennessee Nurserymen’s Association. Why, pray tell, would anyone be tempted to suffer a long day driving and viewing some of the latest tidbits of mostly woody plant offerings when the ground slated to accept them can’t be pried open with a crowbar?
I was determined to hold off buying anything since there were already some 20 specimens sitting in pots at our back door that had been waiting since June to be planted. Why set a plant out in concrete? It is suicide.
Anyhow, we left early and traveled in Mike’s luxury pickup just in case we (he) decided to do some buying. He piloted at his normal 30 miles per hour or so, via the circuitous route of the torn-up Clarksville highway, with numerous school buses keeping us from attaining the usual 30-mile-per hour average.
We limped, finally, into Nashville at rush hour and stalled out behind about 200 semis idling bumper-to-bumper way on out I-24 and all the way to Murfreesboro. I finally took the wheel and accelerator and we then sped on in to McMinnville, late of course for the show.
The show was so-so. Nurserymen, particularly in the western half of the state, are reluctant to put on a lot of inventory when planting is well nigh impossible. Next spring, I will posit, will prove to be a banner year for them as drought kills from this horrendous summer will need to be replaced.
We hit some of the “wholesale” nurseries that afternoon and, sure enough, Mike started loading up immediately with rarities such as a connoisseur of his water would cherish. Never mind the price.
I meekly tagged along until we hit a bunch of seedling Japanese maples at a closeout. I need another one like I need a hole in the head, but I was snookered into buying two, while Mike loaded up a half dozen.
On it went until late afternoon and the truck was staggering under Mike’s largesse. We lit out for home, only stopping at a Sam’s warehouse store to lay in a larger supply of water hoses to utilize in a futile effort to save outlying trees and shrubs.
As we speak, my meager purchases yet stand with those 20 other aforementioned things waiting to be planted. On it goes.
Next in order was another browbeating a few weeks later when I was forced, kicking and screaming, into my last trip to the Big Apple, New York City. No more on that.
Editor’s note: Jimmy Williams is production superintendent at The Paris Post-Intelligencer, where he also writes this column.
Published in The Messenger 11.2.10
Jimmy Williams, The Garden Path