Smashing Misconceptions


With this post I start a new occasional subline within the blog, similar to Tool Drool, this one about ideas or experiments that somehow remove a mental gardening barrier and open the way for innovation, which as a gardener may mean a longer season, earlier crops, a more bountiful way of growing an old favorite…you get the idea. So many times, I find, our own ideas get in the way of really seeing what is there. Just because you read something in a gardening book DOES NOT mean it’s an immutable law of nature which your plants must obey. Consider the alterative: Maybe the book’s claim was baloney; you bought the claim, and then that became a distorting lens through which you viewed your own gardening. Clearly a large part of any human life is believing what others tell us via history, chit-chat, and news, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do some of our own truth experiments from time to time and field-test what we’ve been given.
I hope you are also picking up the intentional duplicity in the “Smashing Misconceptions” title. If you aren’t then you need to read a column by linguist Richard Lederer:, which besides its application to this blog’s title will also help you write a recommendation for a colleague or student about whom you are not 100% enthusiastic. While it’s true that we need to smash old paradigms to create the new, it may also be equally true that some of what we think are revolutionary ideas are just unsubstantiated whoppers. So is “Smashing Misconceptions” about my stunning gardening breakthroughs or is it just a catalog of some really excellent feeble-mindedness? You be the judge.
As Lederer closes his column, so I do mine: ” For many months I’ve wanted to write this column very badly. And now I have.”

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