Ciscoe Morris, Seattle’s resident garden expert, can be a bit of an acquired taste. I’ll admit that at first I wasn’t sure what to make of him. He doesn’t have that slick HGTV, "Hi, I’m Bob, and I’m here with Jane to talk about easy tips for fall color" vibe–which is a good thing–and decades in Seattle have done nothing to tame his Wisconsin accent. But Seattlites love him. He walks through the Seattle Garden Show and he’s treated like a rock star. So what’s the appeal?
I was in Seattle recently and I caught this episode of ‘Gardening with Ciscoe’ on the local news. (Sorry, no way to embed it.) This, I think, shows what makes Ciscoe such a great local garden personality. First of all, he’s insanely excited about the accidental discoveries he makes in his garden–giddy, almost. Now, "giddy" wouldn’t work for everybody, but you can’t help but giggle when Ciscoe gets a little nuts over a red twig dogwood.
What I loved the most about this video clip was the moment, about 2 minutes in, when the host asks him what plants can be rooted by simply sticking the twigs in the ground in fall. He shrugs, kind of amazed by the possibilities, and says, "Go around the garden, chop off a bunch, and see what roots! What the heck, you got billions!" In other words, "Don’t ask me! We’re talking about putting sticks in the ground! Just go outside and give it a try!" This is someone who actually gardens. He’s not afraid of looking foolish, and he’s the exact opposite of intimidating, but he doesn’t dumb it down, either. He’s a master gardener, a certified arborist, and he spent 24 years as the grounds manager at Seattle University.
YouTube does offer up one video we can embed, and it happens to be a cool idea for composting food scraps in a small space, so here you go: