Hello sugar cookies, and happy Friday!

Welcome back to the Good To Grow site, and thanks for being here.

Actually, it’s not a happy Friday. As I was preparing this post, I learned about the shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those families. It’s unfathomable that someone would shoot children, and I am very sorry for all the victims.

It’s not my intent to make light of the tragedy by continuing with our Friday fun. I apologize in advance if that’s bad form.

That said, the show will go on. Let’s start by saying hi to our Experts. Hi Experts!


“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

From left to right, that’s Andy Williams, Tim Thackaberry, EZ Ed Johnson, Dottie Correll and Lewis Casey. If you’d like to know more about them, please click here.

As most of you know, Andy and I have known each other since childhood. Tim and EZ have been my friends for almost a decade. The lovely and charming octogenerian Dottie and the venerable Lewis Casey, I know through our volunteering for the American Red Cross. All are wonderful people, and I’m honored to have them on this Friday panel.

They do all this work for free, so I like to give them breaks fairly often. So today’s panel will be the last of the year. The Experts will return in January.

Here’s the question I asked them this week:

Q. Since you’ll have the next two weeks off, do you have any thoughts you’d like to leave the readers with?

Andy, start us off, will you?

A. I want to wish all of our readers a very happy Christmas and a fiscal-cliff-be-damned prosperous 2013 and beyond.  Thanks to all of you for putting up with my rants, which are often times purposely embellished and impolite regarding culturally sensitive topics.  Not that you need to know but I’ve diagnosed myself Libertarian in the true freedoms afforded by the Founding Fathers.  I’m fiscally conservative and personally liberal, and you will receive controversial rantings from me from those angles when the topics of the week entice them.  I really don’t know squat about plants, but I appreciate their beauty and purpose, much as I do our wonderfully spirited moderator.

Enjoy your special moments with those you cherish, for ’tis the season for doing so.  In reality, all 365 days should be devoted to that each year but hustle and bustle often win out for 358 of those days, unfortunately.  While on this planet, life is to be cherished and enjoyed to its fullest capacity.  Why carry the baggage of anger, resentment, and anxiety around all year/life long?  It is a waste of time.  Stay positive, for your college basketball team may go from 5 wins to over 27 in just 3 years time.  Or your favorite NFL team may jettison its Hall of Fame QB after a 2 win season without him, only to draft a new one and make the playoffs.  The best of life is always ahead of us, it just take a good attitude and resilience.

And if I may, please keep better track of who’s doing what in our government.  And remember it when it comes to the voting freedom you are afforded every year.

God Bless!

A. Some of my favorite collected quotes/sayings:

– It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.
– Never let your morals get in the way of doing what’s right. 
– Life is always important, but never serious. (Credit where credit is due, this is my mom’s)
– Hate almost always has a reason or rationale, but Love is almost always unreasonable.

People always misunderstand the last one, it’s about the limits of reason in human experience, not that hatred is superior because it’s almost always rational/rationalized. 
The collected wit and wisdom of Tim Thackaberry, abridged edition. Happy Holidays everyone!!

A. Merry Christmas to all in Liza Land. May the winter snow fall gently on your face. May the peacemakers be blessed in your lifetime. May your plants drink the December sunshine. May you hear the sounds you long to hear and find memories to keep you warm when the days grew short.

A. During this season, I particularly “wax” in a sentimental and philosophical fashion.

I am glad to see this chaotic year come to an end.  There is so much despair around the world.  I pray for all those that are suffering.  Hope springs eternal that the New Year will bring about a change and an improving lifestyle for all suffering humanity.

I shall never cease being grateful each day for my loving family, dear friends and the ability to live in a country that allows me personal freedom of expression and further, to enjoy the opportunity to explore my views in venues, such as the blog.

Thank you dear readers for bearing with this motley crew each week.  We love your comments and support.  It really eggs us on to be our most indulgent and I guess sometimes, obnoxious selves.  Forgive us for any offending times!

May you have a joyous holiday season with those you love surrounding you.  My best wishes to each of you, for a healthy, hearty and adventurous 2013.



I’m late today what exactly does that mean. Is that some old fat guy dragging his feet and didn’t get his work / commitment finished in a timely manner and the rest of the dear experts have to wait.. So what is time, a set interval of motions that occur between the rising of the sun and the setting of the sun, but no that can’t be cause where fits night, is it the rising of the sun to the rising of the sun again, is that time. That time thing late, I am away’ s late I haven’t had a watch in years they make me more tardy. But what late mean to a young woman is a whole different story then what it means to my dumb ass. Does a mother-to-be check her watch to see how her baby grows, or does Mother Nature run the show as she has done long before clocks, watches or Ipods, Ipads or Icrap ran our lives.  Time is on our side, times heals all wounds, Time’s a wasting, Time to burn, No time like the present, Time to go, Time’s up, Timely, You’re out of time,

Time Out,  now what is really with Time Out,  Billie, Tommy, Joey, Andy, Mary, Sally Lewis or Sue if you don’t behave you’re going to be in Time Out. Oh NO! Not time out that is just so scary, hairy, frightening, terrifying horrible, anything but that Mommy, Daddy, teacher, preacher or Grandma Dee. Not Time Out, that phase, pause, interval, segment,  that interlude where human children, stop, quit, cease existence and transcend into the nether world of corner standing. Hell in that duration of life called my childhood Time Out was swift hand to the butt or at school Sister Mary Hardass grabbed a hand full of ear and swung you around a few times and bashed you against a desk or whatever was handy, to this day that’s why my right ear is longer than my left.

See I squandered a little more of your valuable time. Time is just the catch word for life, our life the spark the light that connects us to the rest of the universe is vast and beyond our vision and understanding and that’s ok. If I stand at the shore of the mighty sea and I put my little toe in the water, did it rise on the other side. Does it matter.

I ‘m asking for a clock, a watch, a Icrap for Christmas, I’m figure I’m not crazy enough yet.

To those who have gone beyond the boundaries of Earth we hold you always in our hearts.

My your Christmas be blessed and your New Year plentiful




You each have your own individual style, don’t you? I think that’s cool. I wish peace, and a Merry Christmas back to each one of you.

That does it for the 2012 Ask the Experts panel. The Experts will be back in 2013. Hope ya’ll have a great new year! Thanks so much for being here.

Now, let’s move on to the plant puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if this flowering Jade was real or fake:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Let’s see how you answered:

Charlie Hebert wrote, “My uneducated guess is Real! And I promise Not to vote twice this week!”

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “Im pretty sure thats real. but ii Im wrong its because I’m viewing it on an android phone. which explains any spelling errors too.”

Nancy Popp Mumpton wrote, “Those are real and just lovely. Jade plant does not grow well here in Phoenix because it hates the hot nights in summer and just melts…. but LA is loaded with them!”

Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves wrote, “Real – and wow, I’ve never seen so many flowers on one (OK, so I only know one plant that blooms at all…)”

Ginny Burton, Optician to the Stars, wrote, “Jade plants bloom? I’m astonished!”

Nancy Popp Mumpton wrote, “They do bloom lots in California in the ground. They are difficult to get to bloom in a pot in the house. My understanding is that is takes years and years and, even then, it is unusual and needs perfect conditions.”

Tree9616 wrote, “I have quite a few seeds from a thornless black locust (growing in my yard) if anyone wants ‘em, let me know. randy (tree9616@aol.com)”

Tom from Midwestern Jungle wrote, “Real!”

Martha from Plowing Through Life wrote, “Those leaves are wonderfully plump, so I’m going to go with real! I’ve never seen one in bloom. It is gorgeous.”

Jenifer Fox wrote, “Real. Major expert advice! Nice.”

Tina from Canada wrote, “Hi Liza! I can tell you most definitely definitely that said jade plant is the real thing…..for sure. My magic zoom photo feature told me so. The anticipation of getting one of the imaginary prizes is totally consuming!”

Dave wrote, “Really real!”

That’s nine votes real, zero votes fake, one shameless plug for locust seeds.

What’s the correct answer?

A few weeks ago, I’d used my phone to take pictures of some beautiful flowering Jades at Osuna Nursery. The photo I took for my “wider view puzzler revealer” shot disappeared from my camera roll. So yesterday, I stopped by Osuna to try again.

But by yesterday, everything had changed for the Jades at Osuna.

Meanwhile, the original shot mysteriously reappeared:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Very real and gorgeous.

Yesterday, all the Jades at Osuna looked like this:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Waaaaaaaaiiiiitttttt! Where are you taking them?

There were lots of employees making changes around the nursery. Maybe they were replacing the Jades with Christmas stock? By the way they’re packaged, I have to believe they are not coming back.

I didn’t ask any of the employees, I just left.

Ginny, I remember a long time ago my Dad telling me that Jades only bloom when they are mature and rootbound. I think what’s more true today is that different varieties bloom more than others. And when they do bloom, it’s during December and January.

I remember seeing some Jades at Jericho Nursery blooming, too, and since it’s near Osuna, I stopped by to take photos of them:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Those all look mature, but even the babies were blooming:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

I love those adorable star-shaped flowers!

One reason I enjoy these plant puzzlers is that I like showing off how beautiful real plants are, more so than I enjoy vilifying fake plants. The real ones are always prettier, and of course, real plants are the only ones capable of producing cute flowers.

If you’re willing to plunk down some cash, you can find some attractive looking fake plants. I know I’ve seen some nice fake flowers, again, very expensive. The vast majority of fake plants, however, are going to be uglier, in my mind, than a real plant. Those are just my tastes – everyone has their own opinions, and that’s fine. I don’t want to offend people who have fake plants or who don’t object to modified plants.

I’m a plant snob, so I can’t stand when plants don’t look their natural best. Like when they’re made of fabric. Or when they’re the wrong color, like these orange Poinsettias:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Ew. See? I’m a harsh critic. If you find yourself admiring the orange, or blue or green, whatever, you’re probably just a lot more laid back than I am. Don’t get upset with my criticism, pat yourself on the back instead.

Charlie Hebert, you were first with a correct answer, which makes you the best answerer. Well done! For being so speedy, you’ve earned the title of “Firstest, Premierest, Most Excellently Shoed, Swiftest, Rapidest, More Nimble, Accelerated, Most Efficient, Grandest Championtier of the Houseplant Blog Universe, the Eastern United States and Beyond.” Congratulations! You may multiply all the prizes by trail mix!

Everyone’s a winner! I’d like to show my gratitude that you played by awarding each of you the following prizes: One Merry Mary, three Candy Canes, 14 Bragging Rights, four Strands of Multicolored Lights, Glory, 2 1/2 Gingerbread Men, one Bowl of Christmas Cheerios, a pretend Trip to the North Pole, Yorkshire Pudding, five Compliments, 11 Bonus Points and a Coupon Good for one Christmas Miracle. Congratulations, everyone, and thanks for playing!

Up next, the new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Kindof a trick question, are these real or fake?

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Think you know the answer, smartyplants? Leave your best guess in the comments section or on my facebook wall. You have until midnight next Thursday, December 20th, MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winner(s) next Friday. Remember, the prizes may be imaginary but the link to your site and the triumph of winning are oh-so-real.

I’ll be back manana, hope to see you here.