Hello twinklearies, and happy Friday!

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

Another work week meets its demise. Shew! I’m guessing I’m not the only one who’s happy about that!

Today we’ve got a brand new Ask the Experts Panel, as well as a new puzzler for you. Let’s get the festivities started by saying hi to the Experts. Hi everyone!


“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.

Just for the fun of it, I decided to ask the Experts about their childhood for this week’s question. Here it is:

Q. Would you please share a childhood memory?

Pretty open-ended. Let’s see how they answered. Expert Andy Williams, you’re up first:

A. My most memorable days as a kid typically involve fishing.  In my early childhood I used to ride my bike with the neighborhood kids and go fishing in the Big Blue River at Sunset Park.  It was famous for smelling polluted, so we never ate anything we caught in there.  Then as I grew older, in my junior high years, we moved and as I started hanging with my new friends on Van Ave.  We’d often spend our nights looking for night crawlers for the next day’s adventures.  We eventually would be the envy of many kids in surrounding neighborhoods because we had a really cool nickname; the Van Halens. We would often go to Kennedy Park and fish the Blue River falls during summer days and we’d ride our Schwinn Mag Scramblers out to Shelby Lake and try our luck on largemouth bass and crappies at night.  We had quite a bit of luck actually, just young boys focused on fishing.  Props to all of my fishing friends who felt like brothers back then; Greg Neeb, Todd Amos, Eric Gordon, Jeff Pleak, and Greg Pence to name a few, for all of that good time and innocent fun with a fishing pole.

A. Childhood memory, huh? This seems like dangerous turf for some of us, like it might lead to my accidentally dredging up a long-suppressed memory of my being assaulted by Mickey Mouse in an alley off of Main Street, USA at Disneyland.

Wait, did that happen? Ah, no, never mind, that was my cousin. It was weird.

Anyway, one of my favorite childhood memories is not a specific one, but a general one of summer road trips with my Dad and my brother. Here is what sticks with me: we always stayed at Holiday Inn, and it was always one that had indoor mini golf and a pool. There was a special name for them, and we always picked that kind out of a Holiday Inn guide we had in the car. An odd thing to remember, but it’s one of those I recall clearly.

A. When I was a boy, my summer chore was to irrigate our garden, our peach trees and corn, the carrots and peas. I would open the acequeia gate and guide the water along the chosen rows with an old but sturdy hoe. One day I came upon a rattlesnake slithering under the shade of the corn stalk leaves. It frightened me so I killed it, chopping its head off with my  hoe. I did not know it but the mayordomo, the man in charge of the ditches, had watched me kill the snake and saw that I was shaking. He took my hoe and gathered the dead snake, taking it to the edge of the garden. He burned the snake, telling me that would tell other snakes to stay away. The summer passed. I never saw another rattler in the garden. When I went to the mayordomo’s funeral, I thought I saw a rattlesnake sliding away from the graveyard. I may have been mistaken.


Liza here. The ever-charming and wonderful Expert Dottie is unavailable to be with us today. Waaaaaahhh! She’s ok, but not feeling great. So if you could send her some good vibes, prayers and/or well wishes, that would be lovely. Let’s admire how cute she is:

And move on to Expert Lewis. Lewis, what say you, fine sir?

(Before getting to Lewis, I should mention that I don’t think he meant for the following to be his Experts submission, because it’s a recent occurrence and not a childhood memory. It’s quite possible he meant for me to see this, and not all of you. Still, it’s the only thing I have from him so I’ll use it for now because it’s cool. If he wants to send something else in, I can always swap out his “real” submission sometime this weekend.)


A. BeesBeesBees
They came in that shop vac from a little mechanic’s shop on Yale, made themselves right at home in my humble hive. There was a lot of bees.




Yay, new bees! Good for you, Lewis. Like I mentioned, if you still have a childhood memory you’d like to share, I’m happy to update the blog. So readers, you may want to check back.

Andy, Tim, EZ, I really enjoyed your entries. Andy, yours brought back lots of memories from the small Indiana town we grew up in together. Tim, your family is weird, haha! That’s a good thing. And EZ, wow, what a pure New Mexican story – I loved it.

Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories and/or photos. You’re amazing people.

Readers, as always, you can leave your thoughts about the Experts in the comments section, and I’ll pass them along for you.

That’ll do it for today’s Experts Panel. The Experts will be back next Friday. They hope to see you back here.

Up next, the answer to the current puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if these plants were real or fake:

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

Let’s see how you answered:

Joseph Brenner of Texas wrote, “Fake! And ugly too. I can see why it’s hiding in the bathroom.(B>{D}”

Darryl Cheng, who has this cool houseplant tumblr, wrote, “This looks quite fake!”

Chris Gonzales wrote, “The plant is real but the planter is fake…no seriously. I think the plant is fake. It appears it’s in a location where it doesn’t receive much light and I don’t like the leaves touching the wall.”

mr_subjunctive from Plants Are the Strangest People wrote, “Oh yeah. Fake.”

That’s four votes fake, zero votes real.

What’s the correct answer?

Let’s take a closer look:

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

Ugh – FAKE! And soooo ugly! And dusty!

To be fair, I should say these fake plants live in a vacation home, so the owners wouldn’t be able to keep any houseplants alive there. And I’m sure they just wanted some sort of splash of green. But given how ugly the plants are, they would’ve had better luck with a nice piece of artwork or something.

When possible, real houseplants are always better than fake ones.

So congrats everyone, you nailed it again this week. Well done!

To show my appreciation for you playing, I’d like to award each of you the following prizes: Waning April, four cinnamon sticks, a plaque that says, “You’re the Best!”, six polka dots, three compliments on your outfit, 14 green beans, a new rug, one bouquet of Boronia flowers, five celebratory exclamations, Paseo del Norte, seven safety pins, pale yellow, one viking hat, 11-1/2 bonus points, a spare earlobe, four meteors, a toaster oven, a village named in your honor, three baby llamas, one all-new sunset, Philadelphia, six peppercorns, one bowl of glitter, a notepad, two circles, one hairdryer, Janine, a glass of grape juice, three glances, seven accolades, origami, two woven baskets, one Dracaena marginata, eight raspberries, six hair ties, and a new sofa.

Congratulations! And thanks for playing!

Up next, a new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Is this plant 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 30th, 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.