Answering Questions of Biblical Proportions

Apparently, I am providing answers of “biblical proportions” on my blog.

A post I wrote in October 2006, titled “The Truth About Burning Bush”, continues to be the most viewed of all my posts on this blog.

Since June 2007, it has been viewed over 5,700 times.

My first thought was that people are really interested in Euonymous alatus, the burning bush! But after some discussion with a co-worker, I think they are actually trying to find out about the other burning bush, the one Moses encountered in the desert.

I hope they find the shrub information useful, anyway.
I do get some questions occasionally on older posts and emails. I never know if I answer them with a comment on that same post, will the reader ever see them? So I’ll answer a few here…

How do I sharpen my Felco pruners?

I have an old sharpening stone and run the blade across that a few times and it seems to do the trick. But I’m not too sure of myself and wonder if someone locally has a class on sharpening knifes and pruners. If so, I’d love to take it! How about others?

How close to a patio would I plant a Japanese tree lilac?

In the email, the person asked if four feet was too close and noted they were tall people, so could they limb it up to six feet. Yes, I think four feet is too close to the patio, I’d go out further, maybe ten feet, but it really depends on the overall design of the garden, and what else will be planted around it. You can limb this tree up, but it isn’t a very tall tree to begin with, so I wouldn't go higher than six feet.

I also get some questions from co-workers and friends. I try to answer them nicely, even if they are the same questions over and over again. I try to remember that not everyone grew up gardening and may just now be getting interested in gardening as they buy their first house. Or maybe they’ve looked at food prices and decided that growing your own vegetables is a good idea, after all.

Whatever the question, I try to provide a good answer, something helpful that encourages their interest in plants and gardening.

But how do you answer this question, “What tree does the rhubarb come from?’

Oh, where to start!


  1. I always love the question posed by a person holding a plant in the nursery pot "Can I grow this in a container?"

  2. This is so great. Who of us that has or is working with the public and gardening hasn't had a question like what tree is the rhubarb from? Too funny!

    The garden center I use to work for hired a lot of wanna be temp workers who thought working in gardens centers was easy and stylish. I cringed when they offered help or made an arrangement for someone. It was a very pretty arrangement with sun and shade plants all in one container.

    Carol, you always answer kindly and thoroughly. And even if it's the million and one times it's been ask---you still answer kindly and thoroughly. You are a very funny person but you are sensitive to promoting the world of gardening without putting someone off to it. I commend you for that.

  3. I was in Lowe's the other day and spotted a Corona sharpening tool on the wall display. I brought one home but haven't tried it yet. I've tried sharpening stones and files but never feel confident in my skills. I'd take a class!

  4. Carol always asks me why I don't make comments on her blogs. I read every one, but I don't want to embarrass her by making stupid comments. You see, she didn't get her gardening gene from me. Gardens are to be enjoyed & admired, but someone else needs to do the grunt work. (That's my philosophy. Besides gardens have bugs & creepy crawlers) Of course, I should be used to bugs since my grandchildren tend to make pets out of them

    So, Carol, be satified knowing that I read your blog every day, but I really don't want to show my ignorance.

  5. Lol rhubarb tree - that is funny. Personally I think a rhubarb tree must be very thorny, and you will rue the day you plant it.

    I love the search engine questions too. Though right now the most common one is what size to pick eggplant - tis the season. I'm growing Slim Jim which is so different. I hope they don't listen to me.

    And who would do a search on "butt in the air and face to the ground"? What in the world are they looking for. Well they got me trying to find out if the nasty vine borer laid eggs on my plant.

  6. I'm sure your burning bush content is comforting to those seeking information about Moses. :)

    You should write an ebook, "How To Use The Bible To Attract Visitors To Your Garden Blog". It'll be huge!

  7. Biblical proportions . . . that was funny. What tree does rhubarb come from is funnier still. Keep on answering those questions, Carol. The blogging world and your co-workers need your help.

    You didn't write about how they leave plant stems and leaves on your desk.~~Dee

  8. Carol,

    Was Art Linkletter that said "children say the funniest things"? Apparently, so does the rest of the population! I love the rhubarb tree question. Boy would it be some odd looking tree!


  9. The rhubarb tree is a very large decidous tree whose leaves (including their juicy red stems) are harvested when they are young. The rhubarb leaves are vaguely similar to large maple leaves in the way that they're attached to the tree, although, clearly, the sizes are grossly dissimilar.

    It is a well known fact that the rhubarb tree exhibits allelopathic behaviour -- the toxic acid leaching out from the fallen leaves has been known to significantly inhibit growth in the area immediately underneath the tree's crown. Thus, a clear indicator that one is standing under a rhubarb tree is the absence of vegetative growth on the ground around it.

    Rhubarb trees tend to grow surrounded by fields of spaghetti.

    Ahem! I thoroughly enjoyed your post, burning bushes, Felco pruners, rhubarb trees, and all.


  10. Carol, Thanks for addressing my question about sharpening my Felco pruners. I bought a very old multi-purpose sharpening tool at a Flea market last weekend for $1.00, so I will try it on my pruners.
    It also occurred to me that I might be able to use my Fiskars scissor sharpener on it.

  11. Carol, do you think you'd get many hits if you reply that the Rhubarb Tree originally grew right next to the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  12. That's funny about the burning bush! I bet now you'll have a few more popping in looking for more good biblical information.

  13. You all leave the best comments, and really extend the ideas in the post. Thank you!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens


Post a Comment

Comments are to a blog what flowers are to a garden. Sow your thoughts here and may all your comments multiply as blooms in your garden.

Though there is never enough time to respond to each comment individually these days, please know that I do read and love each one and will try to reciprocate on your blog.

By the way, if you are leaving a comment just so you can include a link to your business site, the garden fairies will find it and compost it!