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Welcome to my Garden

With a last name like Paradise, you pretty much have to be a gardener. Except that neither of my brothers gardens much, and the other big gardeners in the family are all on the Schwartz side. All of this goes to show that in narratives as in gardens, you make use of what you have and add fertilizer, liberally at times, to improve on things a bit.

People often ask me where I got my name. I tell them you have to choose your parents carefully. Some chew on that one longer than others. But the obvious answer, that it was given to me the same way they got theirs, is both obnoxious and unsuited to a gardener’s worldview. We tend not to accept anything that smacks of fate. Otherwise I’d continue seeing that stretch of crisping, straggly grass between the red maple and the side of the house I bought recently, instead of the drifts of drought tolerant prairie perennials I have in view for the site. Grass that refuses to grow is a gift: less mowing and a chance to turn more of the lawn into garden, all without an argument for the other side. Writing works much the same way for me. There’s always the opportunity to rip out an uncooperative plot.

My grandmother had a rock in her garden that was engraved with the helpful sentiment, Grow Dammit.? I sometimes have more or less that same thought about my prose: “Flow Dammit.?

Welcome to my blog. As you can tell, it’s not just about gardening.