The obtuse gardener

Although I went to a science and tech magnet high school, there was a time when I thought I would never be accepted into my high school class. I thought I had failed the placement exam just based on how much I struggled through the spatial relations portion of the test.

Spatial relations, as far as I can tell, is the fine art of beating one’s head against the desk (that’s the relations part) just before it explodes off one’s neck into orbit (the space-ial part) because one cannot figure out where the dot would appear on the Hanging basket hookunfolded cube if the cube was unfolded.

And why are they unfolding the cube in the first place, and what does this have anything to do with high school?

So it should come as no surprise to myself that the simple spatial reconfiguration suggestion from Annie of The Transplantable Rose never occurred to me. In the comments of my post about how I planted my hanging basket backward, she said, “You must have an unusual hanger or something, Genie – isn’t there a hook at the top that can face left or right? I occasionally rotate my baskets 180 degrees to keep them even.”

In the correct directionUm. Right. A hook that can face left or right. Or forward or back, depending on how one’s setup is, well, set up.

I can duly report that while I am creative and innovative in some areas, in the basket-hanigng arena, I am apparently not so much. I can also duly report that when I reversed the hook, the basket hung the right way. Blue Evolvolus in front, Orange Thor in back. As I planned it. As it should be.

I would change my name to The Obtuse Gardener, but it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it…


26 Responses to “The obtuse gardener”

  1. 1 Katiez September 7, 2007 at 2:44 am

    Sometimes it’s the obvious that escapes us.
    I have a friend that totaly rewired a lamp because it no longer worked…. After much frustration she finally just changed the light bulb… She’s in Mensa…

  2. 2 inadvertentgardener September 7, 2007 at 6:42 am

    Katiez, I can totally relate to your friend! Sheesh…

  3. 3 Heather September 7, 2007 at 8:17 am

    That is frigging hilarious! I aced the spacial relations portion of the placement tests and it hasn’t done much for me. Rather than pursuing the fine careers of chemist and physicist recommended by said placement tests, I am a very happy office manager — I really hated writing lab reports. I can’t cook anything without a recipe, so let’s assume that the creative cooking portion of your brain is an either/or with the spacial relations portion of my brain. You win!

  4. 4 inadvertentgardener September 7, 2007 at 8:56 am

    Heather, I can definitely relate to not wanting to write lab reports. :-)

  5. 5 NC Heather September 7, 2007 at 10:27 am

    Now, there’s the Genie I know and love!

  6. 6 inadvertentgardener September 7, 2007 at 10:34 am

    NC Heather, are you talking about the smart-but-stupid Genie? Yeah, that’s right…

  7. 7 steven September 7, 2007 at 10:36 am

    I’m glad someone helped you with this. When I read the original post I was thinking “No, don’t say anything. She’s really smart and she’ll figure it out on her own.”

  8. 8 NC Heather September 7, 2007 at 10:38 am

    That’s the one! Love her!

  9. 9 inadvertentgardener September 7, 2007 at 10:46 am

    Steven, the whole reason I keep this blog is so people can give me advice when I’m being stupid. I mean, really. If you keep that all to yourself, how will I ever figure anything out? :-)

    NC Heather, excellent. And, by the way, it should be noted for the record that last week, when we had Tailgate Day at the office, I forewent any Hawkeye gear in favor of Wolfpack apparel, including my Wolfie earrings. I’m just sayin’…

  10. 10 anniebetty September 7, 2007 at 11:15 am

    Now see, I always wrote lab reports backwards. I definitely did the experiment, but when I wrote the report, I started with the RESULT and worked backward … worked like a charm.

    I’m sure you are all happy at this point that I am NOT a physician.

    I, too, am somewhat relieved that someone stepped up to the plate to correct this story. What a happy ending.

  11. 11 Jen-Ben September 7, 2007 at 11:45 am

    I actually laughed out loud when I read this because I thought back to a futon that once brought us to tears, which, no matter what Clamy says, WAS really complicated. But this hanging basket deal really does take your mechanical ineptitude to a new high, and I’m assuming the hanging basket didn’t come with directions written only in Japanese.

  12. 12 inadvertentgardener September 7, 2007 at 11:54 am

    AB, I’m definitely glad, although that does seem like the most sensical way to write those reports.

    Jen-Ben, if I recall correctly, there weren’t even instructions in Japanese…just pictures. Stupidly drawn pictures that did not explain ANYTHING. Still, it’s amazing that I manage to function in a world filled with door handles and moving vehicles, if I can’t even figure out how to turn around a plant hook. Seriously… :-)

  13. 13 Maria September 7, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    :-) LOL – am doing things like that all the time, and my husband just smiles and shakes his head a little bit, then fix it for me…. As I’m always telling my students – you can’t be great at everything!

  14. 14 bright September 7, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    you’re awesome! i like the basket both ways… anyway, i’ve apparently got pretty good spatial relation skills (but i walk into everything! do i only know where things are in my head?) and the only thing that i’ve really gotten out of it, is that the bbc thinks i’m a man, baby!

  15. 15 Carol September 7, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    You’ve learned a valuable lesson… all containers can be turned. I do like Annie and rotate my hanging baskets occasionally to keep them more even, otherwise it looks like they are always stretching to get out from under the eaves. Because they are!

  16. 16 Natalia September 7, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    Ha! I also went to a math and science magnet school… And I also really struggle with the whole which-figure-folds-into-a-cube thing. I rocked calculus but only squeaked through geometry.

    Today I was planting irises, and the whole clump/drift thing was a comedy of errors.

  17. 17 Michelle September 8, 2007 at 8:08 am

    ROFL I did too wonder if there was some bit of info I was missing that would prevent you from turning it around. But hey! I gave you credit for smarts, that’s a good thing right? We all have days like this. Chin up!

  18. 18 inadvertentgardener September 8, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Maria, that’s good advice for your students!

    Bright, I’m going to have to check out that quiz — how bizarre!

    Carol, yes…it is a valuable, head-smacking lesson…

    Natalia, I don’t even know what the whole clump/drift thing is, so you’re ahead of me there!

    Michelle, I blame it entirely on tomato poisoning. Or something. :-)

  19. 19 NC Heather September 10, 2007 at 8:46 am


    too bad those earrings didn’t help the Pack last weekend. But, I am touched that you wore them for Tailgate Day in Iowa! At least I know the Pack is still in your blood! We’re looking forward to seeing you in October for the tailgate and game in Raleigh!

  20. 20 inadvertentgardener September 10, 2007 at 8:48 am

    NC Heather, I’m looking forward to it, too! I’m immersing myself in college football this year, just ’cause I can. Hooray!

  21. 21 anniebetty September 10, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    Off the subject entirely, but are you talking about MY PACK? The Pack that won over the Eagles yesterday? The Pack that I’m GOING TO SEE next week at Giants Stadium?

    THAT PACK?!?!?!

    Oh, Genie, how did I not know this? I went to the Y today with my Pack cap on. Remember I live 70 miles NE of Philly … Lots of grumpy old men at the Y today. And they all, to the man, frowned at me this morning.


  22. 22 NC Heather September 10, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    Sorry anniebetty, I’ll respond for Genie on this one. We’re referring to the North Carolina State Wolfpack. My husband and I introduced Genie to “big time” college football when the three of us drove from DC to Jacksonville FL in 2001 (I think) for the Gator Bowl game of NC State vs. Notre Dame. That would be one of the recent good times for State. There are few to point at!

    Did you know that the final college game Favre played in he lost to the Wolfpack? With that said, I should also add that recent NC State star Philip Rivers, who is now playing for the San Diego Chargers, grew up a huge Packers fan. And, I think anyone who has a true appreciation for football can recognize what an amazing career Favre has had. I know I like to watch his games.

  23. 23 inadvertentgardener September 10, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    AB, what Heather said is exactly right, although it was the 2003 Gator Bowl that pushed me over the edge into NC State fandom.

    Although I will say this…I’m not a big fan of the NFL, but the Green Bay Packers are my favorite of all the teams. There’s sheerly no reason for this — I have no ties to Wisconsin — but maybe it’s just the history.

  24. 24 anniebetty September 10, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    Hey wait. Aren’t I sort of a tie to Wisconsin?? C’mon!

  25. 25 NC Heather September 11, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    Wow – it was just in 2003?!?!?! The good days seem so much farther back than that……

  26. 26 inadvertentgardener September 12, 2007 at 6:18 am

    NC Heather, doesn’t seem like that long ago, huh? Of course, it was January 2003, so it was almost five years ago now….

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