Monday, March 30, 2009
Growing accustomed to disappointment
How many of you have love/hate affairs with your local garden shows? We are lucky enough to have a garden-only show (as opposed to our other home & garden one, which is really deadly), but our show could be so much better!
I go every year, because there are always things to see and possibly buy, no matter what, but this year more than other years, I was shocked by the disconnect between what the landscapers there consider to be a garden and what I think of as a garden. To be fair, they have difficulty getting full-grown perennials at this time of year for display gardens that are only going to be viable for a few days. But I accept that. I’m happy to look at the forced bulbs, evergreens, and rhodies. No, it’s not the plants.
It’s the waterfall with a flatscreen TV mounted above it (see top image). It’s the ten or so firepits I saw—and I am fairly certain it would be illegal to use them in much of our area. It’s the endless paths of Unilock winding their way throughout the space, and the monstrous grills bristling with bewildering attachments. It’s the assumption that backyards are made to be paved over and made to look as much like a living room as possible (albeit a rather tacky living room). It’s the complete obliviousness to any notion of sustainable gardening and the utter lack of any reference whatsoever to growing vegetables—the biggest trend in gardening today. And at least lettuces can be forced pretty easily to make a very pretty display garden. One would think.
This little tableau wasn't bad.
To be fair, the show had a theme: “Garden Party.” And who could possibly have a garden party without a firepit? But the shows always have themes; that doesn’t mean that they can’t be twisted to interest those of us who actually enjoy growing things in our gardens.
Oh well. I did buy the Ultimate Hose Nozzle and am very exciting about using it. And I always like looking at interesting water features.