Yes, real gardening, not just watering and wishing for rain, which is what I think I did for most of August. I can't rightly recall much else that I did, other than harvest some tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and green beans.
But now it is September, and I'm back to doing real gardening and being a real gardener again. It's like returning home after a long trip.
Real gardeners like to do more than water. We also like to weed, deadhead flowers, prune, plant, and mulch.
We also love to discover new blooms like this Colchicum, which I found blooming in my garden today. It's a passalong plant!
One day late last summer, a package from none other than Kathy at Cold Climate Gardening showed up in my mailbox. It contained five Colchicum bulbs, which I immediately planted.
Nothing happened last fall, but this spring the foliage came up right on schedule, and now at least one flower has bloomed. Hopefully there will be a few more blooms in the next week or so, in time for me to include them in my September Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day post on the 15th.
Real gardeners also enjoy harvesting produce from their vegetable gardens.
My tomato and pepper plants are slowing down a bit, especially after I didn't water them much in August, but there are still some "good pickin's" out there in the garden.
There is something else real gardeners do, but before I tell you about it, I should warn you that there is a picture coming up of some webworms I found in my crabapple tree. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have already seen them.
If you don't follow my Twitters or haven't seen the picture, I'm just warning you, it isn't a pretty sight.
You've been warned.
It will be a test to see if you are a real gardener if you can look at this picture without your skin crawling.
I'm going slow here with lots of white space so you can prepare yourself or avert your eyes, your choice.
Are you ready?
There they are.
In fact, one sign that you are a real gardener is if you can calmly cut this branch off to remove the webworms, study them a bit, while holding the cut off branch in your hand, and then toss them into the trash or put them by the bird feeder for the birds to eat.
And then you also kill a nest of yellow jackets found in the same tree, without getting stung.
Real gardeners area also delighted to find a bird's nest in the same tree.
And of course, a real gardener leaves it alone.
What are other signs of real gardeners?
Over in that mysterious place called Plurk, several of us gardeners were discussing this. In a spirited discussion, as spirited as you can get with each message being only 140 characters long, we discussed...
Real gardeners don't wear fake fingernails. It would be a waste of money! (This one might be a bit controversial, feel free to discuss in the comments.)
Real gardeners have more garden hoes than panty hose! (In fact, real gardeners use old panty hose to tie up tomatoes and other plants in the garden.)
Real gardeners spend more on their plants than they do their clothes. (They may also actually buy clothes just to garden in.)
Real gardeners buy shoes specifically for gardening, and don't just wear their worn out sneakers. (I prefer Jolly's, personally, and Muck shoes.)
Real gardeners think first of gardening tools when someone starts talking about hoes!
So how do you measure up as a real gardener?