July/August 2016 California Bountiful magazine
Gardening advice to grow from
Advice: "'Book learning' gave me information, but only physical contact can give any real knowledge and understanding of a live organism. To have 'green fingers' or a 'green thumb' is an old expression which describes the art of communicating the subtle energies of love to prosper a living plant. Gradually I came to recognize through idiosyncrasies of color, texture, shape and habit the origin of a plant and its cultural needs." —Russell Page, "The Education of a Gardener"
My take: Of course you have to handle plants, see their roots, know what they feel like in your hands and see how they grow in order to be a successful gardener. Mostly it's about paying attention and looking at them every day. Plants aren't bits of furniture you can set outside and then walk away. In all my years of writing for magazines and newspapers and covering a variety of subjects (including education, crime and many others), I've always maintained that while you don't have to be a criminal to write about crime, you do have to be a gardener to write about gardening.