car signVillage Books in Bellingham, Washington, hosted our first bookstore appearance of the Great ‘Here Come the Plant Docs’ Book Tour of 2010. There is something very comforting about beginning such a venture talking about a book surrounded by good books, in the company of bibliophiles and phytophiles.


On this, my first trip to Bellingham, I discovered what a delightful town it is. Kathy, at the Village Inn, greeted us with an enthusiastic, “Oh, I should have recognized you. I have your book.”  Making us feel a little like the Olympic athletes who were also staying there (overflow from the games in Vancouver, just across the border). Naturally this welcome warmed my heart immediately and made me very predisposed to love Bellingham.

village inn

Robert, our host at Village Books, was equally kind and welcoming at this great bookstore filled not only with great books, but intelligent readers. I overheard some fascinating discussions about books as I wandered the store. As wanton book-o-holics David and I had to be very careful not to fill our van with books.  This may have been a dangerous place to begin the tour. But we survived. And we only bought four books. Whew.

village books

 We had a good turnout for the talk and even sold and signed some books We got some great questions, such as: “What is the white stuff covering the soil in our houseplant pots?” Naturally we asked some questions and found that these folks were new to growing plants. We asked about their water and fertilizer practices, because we thought perhaps that the white substance was salt build-up in the potting media. But no. So we asked if tiny black bugs flew up into their faces when they moved the plants? Yes. Okay, those are fungus gnats. And is the white stuff soft and fluffy? Yes. Okay, that is a fungus that grows on the potting media. Use a mulch such as decorative stones or sand on top and that will cut down on the fungus problem and help to control the fungus gnats. We signed their new book and they went away happy.

We ate breakfast the next morning with a flowering plum. The early spring exuberance encourages and energizes us for the road ahead.

flowering plum

Today we are in Philadelphia, about to venture into the huge Flower Show at the convention center next door to our hotel. We traveled all day yesterday to get here. Got a great night’s sleep and are ready to roll. We look forward to giving a lecture tomorrow (March 3, 2010) here at the Flower Show.

We invite you to share your stories of the greenworld, and welcome you to join us at one of our stops on the road. See our events page for all the details (

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