So here’s the rest of the poem, following on from Monday’s post. My point was that if real plants were truly in danger of being superseded, the media and the nurseries had to take partial responsibility for devaluing or underselling both the depth and breadth of the appeal of gardening.
Well over a decade ago the Horticultural Media Association in NSW asked me to contribute to a kind of debate called ‘Gardens of the Future will have no plants’. The timing was perfect, as Leo Schofield had recently passed on to me an article from a US newspaper about a garden made entirely of plastic plants. In this garden, the plastic wisteria had plastic flowers added and then removed, in season. I called the store that supplied the plants, and it was extraordinary how many different kinds were available “thirty two different hydrangeas at all stages of growth” they boasted. I asked about lavender “Oh ‘erbs? you want ‘erbs? We have hundreds of different ‘erbs’!”
I think I’m past the plant snobbery phase. You kind of have to let it go when you observe yourself starting to really enjoy plants again that you once dismissed, and so accept what you’ve suspected for some time – that your opinions are highly unstable, and you may as well just adopt a default setting of more of less enjoying everything.