Arts and Entertainment

Looking into a green garden with Ciscoe Morris

Ciscoe’s been gardening since age 10.

I don’t know how old he is now — because he doesn’t have a page on Wikipedia and sometimes it’s rude to ask that question — but I’m sure he’s gathered quite a breadth of knowledge from then to now.

Talking to him, it seems he’s learned from some of the best and gardened with the best. And he even noted some of the best gardeners in the world are living in Kitsap.

He’s full of things “that people don’t know.”

“Another thing that people don’t know is that North America and South America and a few different islands are the only places that hummingbirds exist,” he said, suddenly straying from talking about the different kind of plants that attract the birds. “People don’t realize that lavender attracts them like crazy.”

He said he’s got hummingbirds in his garden all year long. To keep them coming in the winter, “you’ve got to put out plants that they like in the winter,” he said.

Gardening is a very simple, cause and effect, trial and error process to hear him describe it.

And through decades of experience, including having a hand in running one of the world’s most prestigious gardens without poisons at Seattle University, Morris has picked up more than a few tricks on environmentally sensitive gardening.

Things like using a bit of vinegar to kill dandelions, a strong spray bottle of water to take care of some minor pest problems, and his favorite pest control technique — “El Kabotski.”

“You take the insect between your thumb and fore finger and you yell ‘El Kabotski!’ as you squash it,” he explained. “It’s very important that you yell ‘El Kabotski!’ or you won’t get the same effect.”

What does it mean? He made it up.

That’s Gardening with Ciscoe for you. But for every zinger like that Morris has troves of knowledge.

He’s speaking at 3 p.m. at the 2008 Home and Garden Show at Woodward Middle School, 9125 Sportsman Club Road on Bainbridge.


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