Hello funky chickens, and happy Friday!

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

Yay for Friday!!! And yay for the return of our beloved Experts! They’ve been on a long break. I couldn’t be more delighted to have them back.

Let’s get right to it by saying hi to everyone. 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.

Because the Experts have been gone for a long time, I decided to keep their new question simple. Here it is:

Q. You’ve been away awhile…how are ya? Anything new or exciting going on?

Expert Andy Williams, you’re up first as usual:

A. I’ve been fantastic, thank you for asking.  Spring is in the air, Kentucky didn’t go undefeated or win the tournament, Indiana landed a true center, I received my Indy 500 tickets in the mail, Uncle Sam is paying me for the 1st time in 20 yrs., AZ is funding a trip to Kauai the week of July 4th with their tax friendliness, Liza took time to stop by on her AZ journey, my business venture is booming, I’ve been home for 3 straight weeks, the Diamondbacks are back on the field again and don’t act like their going to lose my predicted 95 games, I don’t have to go to China until mid-July, had a great visit by 3 of my high school buddies (Lutes, Tackett and Watson for you Hoosiers), figured out my golf swing today with my golf coach who unbeknownst to me is also a Hoosier, and my girlfriend Stacy and I are getting along swimmingly.  God has blessed me and shown me the light of life over the past year.  So, I’m very thankful to him and all of my great friends and family who make me who I am.

A. Doing well, Liza, thanks! I hope you are good, too.

I haven’t gotten re-married, been sued or gotten arrested since the last time the Experts convened, so let’s check that off in the ‘win’ column

Work has been absurdly busy, another big project just kicked off for us. But that’s boring and nobody cares; hell, I barely care.

I’ve been continuing to travel as often as I can: I’ve been to Phoenix, El Paso, Durango, and SW Missouri so far this year. Trips to Madison, Las Vegas, and Phoenix (again) in the near future, all topped off by another hop across the pond this summer, this time to London and Edinburgh. Then a quick hitter to NYC in late July, and something (TBD) with my daughter in the fall. I may go broke doing all of this, but am thinking it’s totally worth it!

A. I have interviewed some football players, chatted with a pole vaulter, watched some baseball. I wrote some stories, made some people happy, made a couple mad. I walked with the sun on my face, felt the wind, looked for rain. Said a prayer or two. Tried to get a little sleep.

A. “It’s Spring again! Birds on the Wing Again” What a glorious time of the year. My dear friends from England “Winged” their way here for a visit. I am so blessed with beautiful friends; here, there and everywhere! I think that I have Spring Fever—that’s the name they give the ailment when you’re dizzy with happiness—the world is your “oyster” –your heart aches with joy- Spring –the land is awakening; greening and flowering—one wakes up to birds chattering and singing their morning songs; longer days with warming bright sun; couples walking hand in hand, nuzzling along the Red Rock trails; evenings spent pouring over the deluge of treasure packed Seed catalogues; so exciting being on the UPSIDE OF MOTHER NATURE!

Now I think I know why most of my children were born in the Spring: it was all that clinging to life at the end of summer growth and the “Planting” of hope that “Springs Eternal” for new beginnings and fresh new creations that miraculously appear in the Spring! (That’s my story & I’m sticking to it!)

Neighboring gardeners are all out poking and prodding the soil with anticipation of the yield to be reaped. Ah, thinking of that first warm, luscious, red tomato plucked from your own vine.

Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be Only One of the instruments—not the Composer. Perhaps Robert Browning said it best:

The year’s at the Spring

And day’s at the morn;

Morning at seven;

The hillside’s dew-pearled

The lark’s on the wing,

The snail’s on the thorn;

God’s in his heaven-

All’s right with the world!

A. “Happy Birthday too you, Happy birthdays too you”, wait, wait, no not that, “We wish you a Merry Christmas”, no, no not now, “Here comes Peter Cotton tail, hopping down”, no,no not that either, “Go tell it on a Mountain”, wait wait wait , “Some say Love it is a” stop, stop, nope, “Hereee’s Jimmy Fal”, quit, stop “Have a great day and may God bless” that enough stop.

Ok what do you want,

A what, A what and where do you think we are going to get that at.

You’re kidding right, how do you want it, you know that won’t be cheap or easy

I ‘ve looked everywhere, under the couch, behind the bushes, clouds are to high

Stars to far away, though I heard there was one hiding behind the Moon

And they sent several to Mars, Spirit and Opportunity rovers used them

I haven’t had one for a while, their hard to get, find and keep, treasures

Precious, J. R. R. Tolkien. He had many, was a master in fact

Most of us just stumble about in our merry way but few go beyond

Happy where we are at, I got dirt under my nails, give Thanks for dirt

Occasionally voyage to the edge and play with  madness, insanity and genius

Empowering our art and creativity and have an original thought

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! You Experts are the BEST! I loved all those answers – every one of them made me smile.

Readers, I hope they made you smile, too! You can always leave thoughts for any of the Experts in the comments section. I’ll make sure they hear what you have to say.

It’s so good to have all of you back. Thank you so much for being here. You bring a lot of joy into my life, not only on this blog, but in real life as well. Thank you again!

The Experts will return next Friday. They hope to see you back here.

Let’s move on now to the puzzler.

???Real or Fake???

Last time, I asked if this Schefflera plant was real or fake:

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

Let’s see how you answered:

Claude from the Random Rants and Prickly Plants site wrote, “Real.”

Darryl Cheng, who has this cool houseplant tumblr, wrote, “Definitely a real schefflera!”

Judy Burrier from Ohio wrote, “LOL Definately real !”

Joseph Brenner from Texas wrote, “I will say real, because I’ve never seen yellow leaves on a fake schefflera! (B>{D}”

That’s four votes real, zero votes fake.

What’s the correct answer?

Maybe a closer look will help:

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

REAL! I’m not sure that photo is very helpful, but yes, the Scheff is real. Joseph is right – fake plants don’t usually have flaws, like yellow leaves. When I see yellow leaves on a real plant, I recognize that as the plant’s way of communicating with us. Yellow leaves can mean the plant is saying “hey, too much water,” or “I’m thirsty.” It’s up to us to interpret that communication, but that’s the fun part of loving plants.

Fake plants just sit there and collect dust. Where’s the fun in that?

Well done everyone. You nailed it! I’m not surprised at all – you’ve proven yourselves to be sophisticated plant lovers.

To show my appreciation for you playing, I’d like to award you each the following prizes: One April weekend, a blue ribbon, two fish tanks, above freezing temps, four jackpots, eight salmon wontons, an old-fashioned phone call, 13 cherry blossoms, seven checkered tablecloths, six rosemary sprigs, nine envelopes, five accolades, one tropical paradise, 16 1/2 bonus points, your favorite corner, a feather in your cap, garlic salt, this bouquet of flowers:

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

Five gold stars, one stylish jacket, Silver City, three heartstrings, orange juice, two hugs, 12 more points, one clay trophy, a waterfall, a brand new orchid, three baby raccoons, Adam, one bejeweled crown, four tortillas, Avenida Del Sol, six pencils, curly hair, two munchkins, a grilled cheese sandwich, one high five, headphones, five clouds, Mexican Evening Primrose, three frisbees and six more prizes.

Congratulations! And thanks for playing!

Up next, a new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Are these plants 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. You have until midnight MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) next Thursday, April 23rd, to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winners after next week’s panel of Experts. The prizes may be imaginary but the link to your site and the glory of winning are oh-so-real.