Shooting From the Hip


“Shit or get off the pot.”  This is a phrase my mother commanded on a regular basis while I was growing up and continues to utter to this day.  She has never needed to shout, these five words are enough.  Especially for someone like me with a good, Catholic upbringing.  (Guilt, duty, respect.  They all kick in.)  If you want to do something, then do it.  Get to it and do it right.  Which leads to my mother’s next utterance, often stated a bit more firmly:  “And if you’re going to do it half-assed then don’t do it at all.”  Well, this about sums it up.  Not to offend anyone, but phrases such as these do get to the point (and I’ve taken them to heart).

Shoot or Pass the Pistil, my garden friendly version of “shit or get off the pot”, is a resource aimed at inspiring gardeners and exploring fertile ground in an attempt to get both cheeks in on the action.  Get to it and take it to heart.

Shoot or Pass the Pistil

Gardening, in its strictest sense, is the cultivation of plants and while this is true, we know it is much more.  The tending of plants is the beginning, the crazy love of gardening that comes from the tending of plants is a synthesis of experiences.  The expression of this is personal and individual, but also common and shared.

I’ve started Shoot or Pass the Pistil in part because I have yet to come across an easy to read publication that touches on these ideas, from the “how” of gardening to the “why” of gardening.  The spectrum of these ideas are not separate, but essential to one another.  It is in the cultivation of a plant or garden that we also cultivate ourselves (and each other).

Then there is this insatiable, wren-like, curiosity and love of learning I can’t shake.  I have a graphic and insane vision of myself quite literally popping if I don’t begin this process.  A forum to explore and test the relationship between the act of gardening and the outcomes of gardening seems essential, vital and necessary.  And yet, inspiration for the simple act of gardening might be enough for us to each draw our own conclusions.

Do it now.  Grow a garden: kitchen garden, flower garden, potted garden, school garden, community garden.  Tend a garden for habitat, play, beauty, contemplation.  Get to it and let it take you by the heart.

Though my mother would say it differently, it’s time to Shoot or Pass the Pistil.


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