A lovely landscape outside the CECUT, Tijuana, MX
There is unfortunately a pervasive trend amongs landscape afficionados to be a bit haughty and snooty when it comes to knowledge of plants and what’s best for them. Two recent scenarios illustrate the point.
1. On a recent excursion to a nearby nursery to scout out containers for a client, PRAIRIEFORM witnessed the classic, completely disappointing interaction between burgeoning plant lover and believed plant expert:
Giddy Customer (box full of potted herbs in hand) to Owner: So, can I plant all of these together?!
Curmudgeony Owner (without looking at the customer in the eye), in deadpan, grumbly voice: Thyme absolutely cannot be planted with cilantro, the other two plant together.
Giddy Customer: So, the Basil and Cilantro are cool together; Thyme separate?!
Curmudgeony Owner: That’s what I said.
Giddy Customer: Great!
Curmudgeony Owner never looks up to acknowledge the customer’s enthusiasm.
2. J-Dog, the Chicago-based gardener who will be growing fresh vegetables on site for a downtown Chicago restaurant, was recently installing her raised beds in the parking lot when a passer-by stopped to presumably chat with her about how groovy and forward-thinking the project was.
Passer-by, grumbly and in an oh-so-patronizing tone: You know we have rats here, so I don’t know how you plan on getting those vegetables to grow.
J-Dog: Oh, it’s cool, I’ve had good luck with growing vegetables in the city. There are always various elements to be braved.
Passer-by: *silence, rolls eyes*.
J-Dog: If need be I’ll get a cat. It’s not the end of the world.
Passer-by, turning around and starting to walk away, looking victorious, says to the wind: The rats are as big as cats.
We are infinitely perplexed by the presumption that working with plants should be reserved for those who belong to a proverbial club with membership requirements. Granted, some knowledge of plant care is crucial if you are planning on pruning trees or larger shrubs, but the notion that that body of knowledge cannot be shared is quite preposterous. Plants themselves are the only ones who know what’s best for them; we just try and figure out what they might want. If gardening and spreading the good botancial news are the objective, then by all means get rid of the VIP-only attitude. PRAIRIEFORM observes this members-only attitude time and time again with various social movements – urban bicycling a key culprit – and wonders then just how committed its “members” are to the movement if they really don’t want anyone but a select few to join. Lose the dress code, open your doors, welcome newcomers with gusto.