The Shopping Form of GADS - GAD$

A friend wanted to buy me something for my birthday.

How about a new bird feeder?

Off we went to the local Lowes, because there is no Wild Birds Unlimited store on my side of town, and I found a very nice cedar bird feeder to buy. And some more black oil sunflower seed. And a bluebird nesting box. And a booklet on bluebirds. And some plastic plant labels, two kinds.

“This is embarrassing”, my friend remarked, “no one buys bluebird stuff for the garden when it is ten degrees outside”.

But I pointed out that they have the items for sale, so surely they don’t mind when people actually buy them.

Sure enough, the cashier saw what we were buying and made a remark. “Are you starting to think about gardening again?”

Again, nice cashier lady? I rarely stop thinking about gardening. But she asked it in a very nice way, so I didn’t mind the question.

Then she offered some advice about feeding bluebirds and where I could buy mealworms for them.

Mealworms? I have to buy mealworms for the bluebirds? What have I gotten myself into now?

I know what I’ve gotten myself into. I’ve gotten myself into a new aspect of gardening because I also suffer from the shopping form of Garden Attention Distraction Syndrome, known as GAD$.

This has happened before. I know the symptoms. You walk in to a garden center or store or nursery looking for a specific item or plant and leave the proud owner of some new plant or garden related item that until the moment you saw it, you had no idea you needed it.

A few summers ago, I went to a local hosta and daylily nursery, just to look, because they have beautiful display gardens. I ended up going back to buy some miniature hostas. They were so cute! And then I had to have some miniature accessories for my new miniature hosta garden, and some other companion plants and more miniature hostas.

I didn’t leave my house that morning intent on buying miniature hostas and planting a miniature garden, but when I saw those tiny hostas, I had a full-fledged attack of GAD$.

Nor did I dream of trying to get bluebirds to nest in my garden this spring when I went out in search of a bird feeder. Yep. It was just another attack of GAD$

But just like the other form of this syndrome, GADS, I don’t try to fight it. I just go with it because I usually end up with some new aspect of gardening to try, that I might never have thought of otherwise.


  1. The bad thing about feeding the birds and birdwatching is that it is hard to know when to stop. It just slowly begins to take over your life. I definitely have to fight the GAD$ or I'd spend all of the grocery money feeding the stupid starlings. Now how dumb is that!

    Seriously, I hope you had a wonderful birthday and I hope you have many wonderful years using your new bird feeder.

  2. Happy birthday, Carol! I look forward to hearing whether you attract some bluebirds next spring.

  3. Happy belated birthday, Carol. We too only have Lowe's for purchasing birding supplies. Last year we put up the bluebird house in hopes of enticing the mating pairs that live in our pines. They were house hunting and seemed to be settling in the new house when a chickadee started going inside also with nesting material. It became a battle, my better half thought the bluebird would surely win out, being the larger bird. But no, the chickadee was a fierce, noisy combatant and hatched her babies in the new bluebird abode. It was funny, really. We will have to get more of those houses, and try again.

    Frances at Faire Garden

  4. Carol: You are keeping the economy moving! Good job! I can certainly identify with your GADS! I think one of the advantages of maturity is realizing that some things are the way they are supposed to be! Don't fight it, surrender! LOL If you get a full service weather station you don't need to get all the components! They are all together on one unit! Go for it!

  5. Happy Birthday, Carol! If you think about it, your GADS purchase was not exactly for your benefit - you got a really nice present for the birds! (So you still owe yourself - or can certainly justify another birthday prezzie just for you!) My GAD$ runs to a harder to justify houseplant addiction. (Egads, where will I put another?!)

  6. Beautiful bird feeder, Carol. I'm sure your local birds will forgive you for your most recent attack of GADS. ;-)

  7. Any time I go into a store with a garden center I HAVE to go look, even if I'm not really looking for anything. Oh, what am I saying, I always have a mental list going of plants I'd like to have. Now I know it's not my fault, I can blame the GADS.

  8. Giggle giggle giggle....this is a chronic disease, this GAD$, isn't it? I go into a nursery ostensibly to just look...or to pick up one or two plants...and come home with the car or truck full. A friend who has a nursery just called and we had a long 'visit' on the phone, and he was telling me all the new plants he's look out this spring!

  9. Carol,

    We don't feed the bluebirds mealworms. They do just fine as long as they have a house. It took my bluebird scouts two seasons to find the first house. Now, we have them every summer. One year, I got to watch five of their babies fledge. That was quite a site. I've seen the scouts out here in Oklahoma. I hope this blast of cold air doesn't freeze them.

  10. Carol, Happy belated Birthday!

    I get a terrible case of GAD$ whenever I walk into Wild Birds Unlimited or Lowes. If you see Bluebirds, remember they eat bugs. They can't crack open seed so they won't bother with the sunflower. They like mealworms and suet (the Zick dough type).

    I like that cedar feeder. To add a half dozen more feeders would make me happy but I really don't want to work two jobs to support my habit :o)

  11. Isn't Sherry raising mealworms?

    Maybe the turtle will share with your bluebirds.

    Our squirrels would eat that feeder as an appetizer!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  12. That was a Very cute post! Made me laugh, because I'm very susceptible to GADS! Just haven't had the "Proper Name" for it! ;-)

    Enjoy your new purchases and have a great time looking forward to Spring! (I've never heard of Wild Birds Unlimited!) I need to check it out!

  13. Enjoying your GAD entries!

    If it will make you feel better...we try and have our Bluebird houses up by Februrary. The males often make very early scouting trips to check out nesting sites and we have seen them in early Feb, even when the temps are very cold here in northern NY.

    You get that house up and watch it closely. You might be surprised at how early you will spot a male.

    We also do not feed our Bluebirds anything special as they seem to find plenty to eat in the yard and surrounding fields.

  14. Robin's Nesting Place, I think I'm good with two feeders for now, but I can see how you can catch bird feeding fever.

    Pam/digging, Thanks. From what I've read, I need to get the nesting box mounted pretty soon so the 'scouts' find can find it. My neighbor has one, too, so I think that will help.

    Frances, I had heard that other birds can fight the bluebirds for this nesting box. I really hope that doesn't happen in my garden!

    Layanee, I am very tempted to keep the economy going by getting my own weather station. It just might be my civic duty!

    Kris at Blithwold, Houseplant addictions have to be justified? Not around any of us garden bloggers. We understand. And I like your reasoning, I do owe myself a nice present! Maybe a new weather station?

    Dirty Knees, I hope the birds are darn right grateful!

    Christine, We are just wired that way to buy plants and gardening supplies, aren't we?

    Jodi, Sounds like your friend might be 'baiting' you a bit, an easy sale!

    Dee/Reddirtramblings, That's good to know that I don't have to feed mealworms to the bluebirds.

    Mary, Thanks and I know, there has to be a stop at some point to our purchases. After all, we have to eat and pay our mortgages.

    Annie in Austin, That's right, she is. I had forgotten, thanks for the reminder. And that is funny that your squirrels would eat my nice cedar bird feeder as an appetizer.

    Shady Gardener, I am ready for spring, that's for sure.

    Debbie, as soon as it warms up, I'm going to try to get the nesting box mounted on something outside so the scouts might find it.

    Thanks all for the comments, good wishes, and helpful advice!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  15. Oh funny, I am guilty again.

    We went into our local Walmart last Saturday to look around and kill time waiting on a friend. I almost walked out of the store buying a bird feeder and 2 suet blocks. My wife stopped me and shook her head.

  16. Oh, I definitely have GAD$, no doubt about it. I just can't stop myself. If you don't think so, just look at my recent posts about plants that I'm dreaming about for my garden. I'm hoping just looking at the pictures I've posted will somehow fulfill that yearning to HAVE them. I don't think that's going to work though, do you? Maybe until the nurseries open for the season...

  17. You got it bad girl, there's no hope for you. You have the chronic form of GAD$. Not too worry, you will certainly survive it, but the same cannot be said for your bank balance. ;-)

  18. Curtis, Yes, some gardeners should not be allowed to shop without a chaperone!

    Kylee, Pictures aren't the same as actually have the plants, that is for sure. Your list is quite long, you might need some help!

    Yolanda Elizabet, there are indeed a couple of garden centers who love to see me drive up on a fine spring day!

    Thanks for the comments and joining in the conversation,
    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  19. GAD$ seems directly related to CHAD--Compulsive Horticultural Addictive Disorder. That's when you just can't say no to plants!


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