Hello beautiful moons, and happy Friday!

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

We’re closing the books on another workweek by blowing off a little steam with our Panel of Experts. We do this just about every Friday.

It wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and determination of our beloved Experts. Let’s say hi to them now. Hi Experts!


“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

You’re so cute! 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.

In honor of Arbor day, I decided to ask the Experts about trees. Here’s this week’s question:

Q. Tomorrow is Arbor day. Can you tell us about your favorite trees, or tell us a tree-related story?

Expert Andy will start us off as usual. Andy?

A. First off, I swear the tree was dead before any of this happened.

Every Friday after Thanksgiving in my 20s my buddies and I would venture to the San Carlos Reservation to take up some gamble quail hunting.  The annual event would come to be known as “Guns, Liquor and Ammo”.  I know, the savviest of you would claim that those 3 things should be mutually exclusive….but not in this case.  We would hunt during the days and blow stuff up at night.  It would all start with some cocktails at dusk and lead to the inevitable gas-in-a-wine-bottle-with-aluminum tape thrown in the fire and ultimately digress into shooting a Coleman propane can after it was heated with the camp fire.  From a distance, of course, in the interest of “safety”.  It so happened that one such trip was in the midst of a cold, cold front that we later estimated to drop nighttime temps to the teens.  It was so cold on this occasion that we lit a dead cottonwood tree on fire to keep us warm all night.  It was about 14 foot tall, the kind you see on Scooby Doo when Scooby and Shaggy go searching for the bad guy on a cold, dark, rainy night.  This tree was in an old wash that was dry, rocky and sandy.  We had to drop down a 3 foot wash bank to get to it on the way back and forth to refill our vodka and whatever cocktails which I deemed a “51 – 50”.  51% alcohol, 50% mixer.  As it happened, my best friend Darren was ambling up the wash bank on the way to the “bar” when the cottonwood decided to finally give way after being on fire to keep us warm.  It’s largest branch had lost final support and tumbled onto Darren’s back as he aimed for a noble pursuit.  Thankfully, it grazed him on the left shoulder knocking him into the brush and cockle burros.  Of course our inner sober sprung to action and made sure he was ok before we started laughing into the night.  In fact, my friend Doug quipped to Darren “Tell me you are ok so I can laugh.”  We all lived to tell about it much as I am doing here.   We still laugh about a comment made later that night by the remaining fire as we were reflecting upon the incident.  The comment was “That limb fell faster than gravity.”
Looking back on it, a big lesson was learned; Don’t take your eye off a dead tree that’s on fire.

A. I don’t have a single tree-related story I can tell. Not a single one. A whole lifetime of experiences, and not a single tree story. I haven’t lived…

My favorite tree is the weeping willow. I just like the way it, well, just hangs there weeping.

A. There was once an old cottonwood with large arms and green leaves that flickered cool. It was a place to sit and tell stories of ghosts, la llorona, and wolves that howl on cue. It was a place where you could count stars or sunsets. Old cottonwoods hold truths.

A. Thank you for reminding me that I should be ever grateful to all the trees that surround me and give me life!  They provide me with food, shelter, beauty, entertainment, tools, games and on and on.  Thank the foresight of Julius Sterling Morton for creating the first Arbor Day on April 10, 1872 when over one million trees were planted.  The state of Nebraska made it an annual legal holiday in 1885.  The idea spread all over the U.S. finally being proclaimed a national holiday by Richard Nixon in 1970.  The holiday has now gone international: for example: Japan calls it “The Greening Week”, Israel: The New Year’s Days of Trees, “The Tree Loving Week” of Korea.
Saving the trees and reforestation can save our planet!

Think too of the memories created in the carving of initials as a sign of true troth in the “Old Apple Tree” –
The fun as a child in climbing and finding a comfortable branch to “hang out” on and get a spectacular view of your world –a hidey ho to sit and read a book and be at peace with the world.

All the songs and poems written to honor trees—my favorite:          TREES BY JOYCE KILMER

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that my in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree!

Now, I am going to go out and “Hug a Tree”!

A final thought:  Get your dog’s point of view!


Ok who pissed off God,

Will you please say you’re sorry so we may be gifted with some rain

As I was walking across the High desert recently the ground bone dry

Not a trace of green the desert plants that usually survive here dry and brittle no growth this year

No bugs, no ants or gnats, butterflies, stinkbug or grasshoppers nothing

Maybe they all  lying low, out of the hot sun under the cloudless sky

Only the stupid humans out walking in the hot and dry

A lone jack rabbit gaunt, long and lean, looks at us with weary eyes ,grumbles as it amble away

Come on you damn people stop being such damn asses as you screw up the world

Tell God you’re sorry before we all die of thirst/madness/ hate/ intolerance/  ___________

So I will start

I’ m sorry God for calling all those people/drivers with excrement for brains

Excrement heads I know there are one or two good folks / drivers out there

And I will try not to be the fool too

I will not badmouth politicians/ lobbies/ lawyers/ insurance / used car / __________ intelligence, upbringing  or insult their mothers lineage

I know I could say more and I will in my heart but

Now it is your turn Who of you out there is next

Ok don’t crowd or push you all will get your turn

A little louder please

Ok God we all said we’re sorry may we have some rain now

Thanks for listening


Wow! Once again, you all impress me so much!

Lewis, I for sure will pray for rain (PFR) – we need it so much! Dottie, I love that poem, and I love you for sharing it with everyone! I wish I could go climb in a tree right now and read! EZ, I wonder how many truths Andy and his friends burned with that old Cottonwood tree! Probably not the truths you had in mind. Thack, that’s ok – you have the rest of your life to create tree stories. Get out there and start! Andy, what can I say? You guys are hilarious. And crazy! That story made me laugh.

Hopefully the Experts brought a smile to your face. They did mine. Thanks Experts, for everything you do for us!

That does it for this week’s Experts panel. The Experts will return in exactly one week. They hope to see you back here.

Up next, the answer to last week’s puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

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

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

Let’s see how you answered:

Joseph Brenner wrote, “Fake.(B>{D>”

Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves wrote, “Agreed, it looks quite fake.”

Tina from Canada wrote, “This fake plant needs water! It’s so droopy!”

Martha from Plowing Through Life wrote, “I’m going to vote fake!”

That’s four votes fake, zero votes real.

What’s the correct answer?

Let’s take a closer look:


Ugh! Fake! And dusty! And ugly! What a waste of money!!!

You all nailed it. I’m not surprised – you’ve proven yourselves to me over and over. Well played!

Joseph, you were the first with a correct answer, which makes you the best answerer. For being so speedy, you’ve earned the title of Premierest, Firstest, Swiftest, Dapperest, Of High Moral Fortitude, Most Elegant and Intelligent, Grandest Champion of the Houseplant Blog Universe and Beyond. Congratulations! You may multiply all the prizes by glitter.

Everyone’s a winner again this week. I’d like to show you my appreciation for playing by awarding you the following prizes: Twin trees, three more ankles, a garden salad, 16 2/3 bragging rights, four furry hummingbirds, one family tree, one celebratory weekend, five bribes, 14 bonus points, a curry-scented shrub, a platter of toast, six blown kisses and my sincere treeciation! Congrats, and thanks so much for playing! Good job everyone!

Up next, a new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Is this Aloe 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, May 2nd, MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winner(s) after next week’s panel of Experts. Remember, the prizes may be imaginary but the link to your site and the glory of winning are oh-so-real.

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