Tuesday, January 26, 2010

From Tropical Paradise to Snowland, Part 2

Part 1

After I arrived in Utah as a transfer student at BYU, I got a job on the grounds crew.  The first few months weren't very fun - I spent a lot of time shoveling sidewalks while it was still snowing.  Spring did finally decide to show up, and I had a great time mowing lawns, using a weed whacker, planting new landscapes in more.

I found that I wasn't as enthralled with microbiology any more.  I spent a semester where I changed my mind about what my new major would be.  Finally it hit me:  I loved my grounds job so much - why not major in horticulture?

It wasn't too much later that circumstances led to me moving home to California and continuing my new major at community college for the next 2 years. I even managed to win a scholarship for being the most outstanding student in the whole division.

By then I was restless and it was time to return to BYU.  I had a fabulous time.  Fun fact: I went to juggling club while I was there, and I can now juggle fire devilsticks.   I spent a summer in McMinnville, OR doing an internship at Bailey Nurseries (they're fab!)

I graduated from BYU and have since taken up residence here in Utah.  I spent one season working at the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District's demonstration garden.  These days I work from home as a professional garden writer.  It's a bit strange - I never really dreamed about being a writer growing up, but it's been a wonderful couple of years so far.

I still can't say I'm totally used to this snowy world I've landed in.  I look outside and see a vast blanket of whiteness everywhere.  I've really come to appreciate spring more, though. One of the happiest days of the year is when I'm out for a walk and I find buds swelling on the trees.

This blog will highlight my garden adventures. I love trying plants that don't belong here in Zone 5 - so far there's been banana trees, mangroves and papyrus.   I currently have an Italian stone pine in my house and tiny orchids.  I am planning on trying many more new plants over the coming years.

This week I'm going to experiment with sprouting quinoa.  My best friend and I are going to grow potatoes in condos this spring for the first time.  I'm also helping out with a community garden club with several plots.

Zone 5 does feel like madness sometimes to a girl used to growing brilliantly colored plants year-round. It can be magic too, though.  I can't wait to share all my endeavors here!


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