Thursday, September 08, 2005

Plastic Plants

Believe it or not, I’m a little gardening crazy. Garden chatter invades my casual conversations. Even at work, my mind often strays down the garden path. In a recent exchange, as usual, I steered the talk towards gardening.

“Oh,” my coworker said, “We’ve been so busy this year that we haven’t had time to plant flowers. We usually plant something, for a little color, but not this year.”

I knew, right then, that I would not be having future gardening conversations with this woman. I don’t consider plugging a few annuals in the ground gardening.

Call me a perennial snob, but the yearly adorning of yards with impatiens, marigolds, and petunias, is more decorating than gardening. Most annuals are the living equivalent of garden gnomes and lawn flamingos. The short-lived plants require little more care than if they had been made of plastic themselves. I’ll admit, annuals do have a place in the garden. Sown seeds can yield plants that will mask the unsightly remains of spring ephemerals. Due to the difficulty of overwintering containers, annuals are the ideal plantings for window boxes and decorative pots. However, brightening up the front border by planting pastel impatiens under the evergreen foundation plantings is not gardening.

I mean no offense towards my coworker; she’s a delightful lady and busy with her 10 (TEN) kids. It’s just that, in the grip of a full-blown obsession, I want nothing more than to chat endlessly with those like me. I’m lucky to have found coworkers (like Patrick) and neighbors (like Tim) that put up with my single-mindedness. Speaking of neighbors, I definitely won’t be exchanging gardening ideas with the lady who lives next door. She decorates her front porch with a big, fake plant – the ultimate plastic perennial.


Blogger Dianne said...

I still like annuals. They are the troopers right now in assorted areas of my yard. If you come to Longwood Gardens right down the road from here, you will see tons of annuals. So, I think they have their place in any garden.
I also think that anyone who wants to plant flowers of any kind is adding something to their environment to watch and tend to. You definitely are taking gardening up a notch or two. ; )
Plastic plants do not qualify as gardening.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Tracy said...

I think annuals are wonderful and can be a great addition to any garden. I agree that many people (even here in NY) plant the same old impatiens, geraniums, and begonias. They're either afraid of change or just want to stick with what works for them.

I've gone crazy growing annuals from seed this year and plan to start even more next year. I love them for their blooming power and ability to hide fading perennials.

And I know what you mean about plastic plants- we live in a trailer park, so there are plastic plants everywhere! It drives me nuts. I actually saw an older woman outside this spring with her basket full of plastic plants, carefully positioning every single one in the ground, as if it were real.

By the way- I love your blog!

11:16 AM  
Blogger Kasmira said...

Thanks Tracy!

I think I'd count growing annuals from seed as gardening. I believe that is what most of vegetable gardening is.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Dianne said...

I grow annuals like zinnias,sunflowers, marigolds, cosmos and moonflowers from seed. Impatiens and many other annuals are hard to start yourself. I still like going to a greenhouse and picking out all kinds of plants and flowers-letting someone else do the basics for me. I don't have the indoor room or a greenhouse to start plants in.

5:13 PM  
Blogger OldRoses said...

I had neighbors who "planted" their entire front yard with plastic flowers. They put them out every spring and took them back in every fall. The display grew more elaborate every year.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Most gardeners start their obsession of gardening with annuals. They then move on to perennials,then to shrubs(usually deciduous,then evergreen then to my favorite, trees and conifers. Even though I've been a serious plantaholic for 22 years now, I still use annuals for some window boxes. Besides that I am too cheap to spend money on something that lasts such a short time!

9:28 PM  

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