You might have noticed that in our Wednesday edition the Citizen boasted a gardening column for the first time.
Mary Lowther, from Mesachie Lake, has long been writing as a columnist for sister paper the Lake Cowichan Gazette, and you can now look for her column once a month in the Citizen as well.
Why did I make the decision to run Mary’s column in the Citizen? There are a few reasons. First and foremost, I’m personally a big fan. I love to garden, and have both a flower and vegetable garden (with fruit trees and berries) at my home.
As any gardener knows, you never stop learning new things when you’re growing plants. You also never stop moving stuff around (all part of that learning new things). You put something in a spot where you have a hole and think it will thrive, only to find that it really doesn’t like it there. Or something will do great in a particular location one year, then not so well the next. Why? To answer those questions gardeners turn to the wisdom of others — namely books, the internet, and fellow growers. In reading Mary’s column over the years, I’ve found she has a lot of wisdom born of experience and research to share. I confess, I don’t always have the time or inclination to read through the entire gardening book (I’m more of a “look for a solution to a specific problem” kind of learner), but you can bet Mary has, and she’ll share the fruits of her reading hours with you.
Mary also comes from the unique perspective of being a gardener here, in the Cowichan Valley, and so she knows the ins and outs of our weather, our soil and other challenges. This can be invaluable. She’s also tried a lot of things and is willing to share the outcome of her various experiments with the rest of us so we can decide in advance whether we’d like to undertake something like, say, growing out seed, fermentation, composting etc.
There’s even an occasional recipe, and notification of events of interest to Cowichan gardeners, of whom there are a ton.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that she regularly makes me laugh out loud while reading her copy, her self-deprecating sense of humour shining through her writing. Readers will get to know her and her husband David, sharing in some of their gardening and culinary trials and tribulations. They feel like old friends in no time. So even if you have the opposite of a green thumb (is that a red thumb?) I highly suggest you check out her column for sheer entertainment value.
You may even get bitten by the gardening bug after a few installments.