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Patriotic garden, hot pepper gov.-elect in Virginia

  • Subject: [cg] Patriotic garden, hot pepper gov.-elect in Virginia
  • From: Don Boekelheide dboekelheide@yahoo.com
  • Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 12:43:40 -0800 (PST)

Kaine admits to a brown thumb
The governor-elect helps volunteers plant the first
America's Anniversary Garden near Jamestown Settlement
for the 2007 fete.

Daily Press
Hampton Roads, VA, USA
January 12, 2006

JAMES CITY -- Virginia Gov.-elect Tim Kaine admits his
gardening skills are limited.

"I've had very poor luck with gardening, unless it's
hot peppers, which I have been able to grow," he told
a small gardening-type crowd that gathered around him
in James City County on Wednesday.

With that secret out in the open, he picked up a
gold-colored shovel and carefully placed rich-looking
soil around the root ball of a red-twig dogwood. The
native plant is one of several featured in the first
America's Anniversary Garden established along
Jamestown Road, near the entrance to Jamestown

The 300-by-65-foot garden, designed by Peggy Krapf of
Heart's Ease Landscape Design in James City County,
showcases plants that feature red, white and blue
flowers, foliage or stems in a tribute to the
Jamestown 400th anniversary events that begin in May.
There's even a "Jamestown maple," a new red maple
hybrid released by a Richmond nursery.

Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life
Sciences and its cooperative extension unit, which
launched the anniversary garden idea statewide, hopes
schools, businesses and homes will plant their own
versions of these gardens to recognize the important
role that plants play in state and national history.

The garden at Jamestown was planned and supported by
several local community-based groups and businesses,
including area master gardeners and the Williamsburg
Land Conservancy. Kaine hopes his participation
symbolizes how much he values the work of volunteers
throughout the state.

"Am I doing OK?" he asked the crowd, looking up for
some kind of approval and laughing.

"Clearly, I'm not the only one planting, right?"

His roundabout plea for help brought experienced
gardeners to the rescue. He stepped away from the
dogwood to let others plant white and blue pansies,
red-tinged nandinas and inkberry hollies.

But, the gardeners at Cooke's Garden, a nearby
nursery, weren't about to let him go without giving
him some tools of the trade. Jeff Schell presented him
with a plain shovel.

"This is a real man's working shovel," Schell said.

Charlie Martino offered up a silver platter with
several pairs of gloves on it. Kaine took a brown
suede pair. But he was more interested in working the
crowd, listening to people praise his election or prod
him with questions.

And, about those hot peppers he likes to grow. Kaine
is a salsa man, so he grows the spicy peppers to mix
with the great-tasting tomatoes his wife, Anne,
harvests from their backyard plot. "I put salsa on
everything," he said. 

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

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