The second meetup of SAGBUTT (Seattle Area Garden Bloggers United To Talk) went splendidly. Thanks again to Paula of Petunia's Garden for heading up this day and to Molly at Life on Tiger Mountain for reserving the room at Bellevue Regional Library.
There's nothing better than a gathering of garden minds. We had a few new faces this time, including Catherine at A Gardener in Progress, Bob from Bobsgarden.com and Curmudgeon of the WeedWhackinWenches. And of course special guest Matron from Down on the Allotment, visiting from the UK.
Topics ranged from the randomness of growing zones, I think I'm 8, to how to keep cats and other critters out of your garden beds. Matron mentioned using tubes of fake fur, which sometimes will keep birds out and may deter cats. I think my dogs would snatch it up thinking it's a toy but it's well worth a try in other areas of the garden.
Gardeners are such a helpful bunch. I jotted down tons more tips on why my beets went kaput (damping off,) how to make a full-spectrum grow light on the cheap and why calesthenics are good for your tomatoes because it strengthens the stalks. Guess all that caressing is a good thing.
Then came the really fun part of swapping booty. In addition to seeds and great tips, plants, cuttings, seedlings, divisions ... you name it we shared it. I came home with pumpkin seeds, coffee grounds and aloe plants from Paula, tomatoes and brussel sprout seedlings from Molly and even a sweet little Pesticide Free Zone sign brought by Karen at Greenwalks.
The signs are from the Washington Toxics Coalition. Karen explained all we have to do is sign a pledge basically agreeing to use the least toxic means of lawn and garden maintenance (done) and talk to at least three people about pesticide-free yard care (always doing that). There's also a followup questionarre about six months from now, but nothing too painful.
Meanwhile, Catherine brought several hellebores, including a lovely Corsican she'd set aside for me to add to my hellebore garden. I hope we have dry skies tomorrow so I can get it in the ground. It really is beautiful and will be a nice bright addition to the bed.
I'd say this SAGBUTT thing is turning into quite the success. Next month's gathering is tentatively set for April 18, Earth Day. WeedWhackinWenches are leading the charge on that one so keep watch for all the details over at their blog.