grow, marvel, eat, laugh, persevere

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Most Hated Presidential Gardener

I love the way Carol over at May Dreams Gardens always has such timely gardening posts. Today being President's day, Carol's post is all about President gardens. Check it out if you havnt already. Reading Carol's post today made me think of something I saw a few weeks ago on 60 minutes about a not-so-loved President.

Some time after his death we are finally hearing the details about Saddam Hussein's prison life. In a very captivating interview, George Piro, an FBI agent, shared way more details about Saddam's prison stay than I ever thought we'd learn. George was one of the few Arab speaking FBI agents and was assigned to Saddam for most of his stay in prison after his capture. Other than the fact that Arab speaking FBI agents are slim pickins, this guy was probably chosen because of his friendliness. I even wanted to hang out with this guy he was so cool!

So the deal was this guy hangs out with Saddam every day, controls his life, becomes his friend, then learns all his dirty secrets. The interview was interesting on many levels that I'd love to talk about, but this is a gardening blog, not a political blog, so I should get to the point, yes?

According to George Piro, Saddam spent all of his limited recreational time tending his garden located near his cell. Because he was a prisioner, he was not allowed any gardening tools, so he did it all by hand. I am just facinated by this. Of all the stereotypes I have swirling through my head about gardeners, I certainly thought they were about the most peaceful people on the planet. Now I learn that this "evil dictator" loved gardening! How about that? I am just dying to know what he grew there. I've done a few quick searches to try to find out but nothing so far on his prison garden. However, I did find some interesting things about his other gardens that I plan to read later.

If you had to take a guess, what would you say Saddam grew in his prision garden?


  1. I saw that interview but blocked out the part about SH tending a prison garden. I'm going to block it out again.

    Thanks for the link!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. Just goes to show you there is good in everyone!

    Concerning your previous post. I would highly recommend that you keep your newly seeded flats covered with plastic wrap to keep in the warmth and moisture. I have plastic covers that I put over mine and that works great. If you don't keep them covered the top will dry out rapidly and the seeds won't germinate. This is crucial for seed starting. I have excellent luck doing this and I also have my lights very close for warmth. Except for that, you have done an excellent job with your first indoor sowing. Also, look through lots of catalogues and many will tell how many seeds are in a package. I've found that Parks is expensive and are skimpy with seed amounts. You'll find that indoor sowing isn't such a pain once you've done it a few times. I still go downstairs each day to check if there is anything happening with my flats. Sometimes I even use a magnifying glass!! Talk about no patience!!!

  3. Well, you know, Hitler was a vegetarian.

    I rest my case.

  4. "What do you think he grew?"

    Carnivorous plants, maybe? Or poison nightshade?

  5. I think he was just digging for hand grenades!

  6. I am not commenting on this post but your previous one..I hope you don't mind? What did you decide to do with your patio? I am very curious.

    I agree clean it up and assess the look. Then decide, there is nothing wrong with mixing different elements, stone with concrete, or even paving stones and concrete...IMHO.. it needs to be larger and not a square or rectangle. Our houses are angular and your patio could really soften the look.

    My patio is concrete that we had stained slate gray (went with house) and then grooves cut into a nice pattern. It is fun and everyone likes the look.

    I am from St Louis but moved to TN 30 years ago....there is no getting rid of your regional accent I still sound like I am from the mid-west!


  7. alyssa - thanks for the advice!

    soilman - I did not know that!

    gale - thanks for stopping by! I'd love to see a picture of your patio.

  8. Wow...That's like finding out that Duke's Coach K is actually a nice guy...(Just kidding, Duke fans--no emails please) Seriously, that's a good reminder that the line between good and evil doesn't follow national borders but runs right through the middle of each human heart. As a counterpoint to the image of Sadaam gardening, I read that Mother Teresa, when asked why she did what she did, replied that she knew there was a Hitler inside her and she had to fight him.

  9. How interesting, Gina!

    I've read that some anthropologists and sociologists view the biblical conflict between Cain [representing the owner farmer] and Abel [representing the nomadic hunter] as a reflection of how agriculture was the impetus for wars over territory.
    Guess that Gardeners aren't necessarily nicer people ;-]

    Maybe S.H. grew some kind of herb? In prison anything with scented leaves might be a plus.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  10. Very interesting post Gina and very interesting comments from David in Greensboro. Thank you both for enlightening me.

    People tend to do what they think is right. It is really just a case of not everyone agreeing with people such as Sadaam (and particularly his sons).

    I once heard someone say that history is the writer's opinion. The same can apply to current events being the reporter's opinion. Perhaps there was a case in Iraq for Sadaam doing what he did. NOT THAT I AGREE! But we must keep our minds open to what might be going on in the minds of others and try to see it from their point of view.

    This realization regarding Sadaam has reminded me to do so.

    Thank you.

  11. annie - very interesting!

    miss canthus - thanks for the very interesting perspective. I love the way you Canadians think!