There’s only one thing to do when the coldest weather in 40 years settles in over the state of Alabama like a worthless uncle who won’t go home. I’m building a scale model of the Kremlin in my back yard.
This may take some time, given my inability so far to secure quality Russian laborers. I think they’re all vacationing at my favorite hotel in Minsk, “The Randy Ruble,” where the rooms have walls and the maids have time. In the interim, I have the perfect answer for those of you who wail at the sight of a bleak winter garden.
That’s right. Plastic. What other material can provide such long-lasting color for so little care? Plastic flowers come in every color you can think of, as well as some you can’t. They don’t need sunshine, water, or fertilizer. They don’t care if it’s 100 degrees or minus 20 degrees. They don’t get bugs or diseases. They don’t die. Best of all, any flower can be any color you want. Want bright-blue roses, screaming orange carnations, and romantic purple daisies? Done. Welcome to “Avatar.”
The Grump has to admit, however, that plastic flowers aren’t a free ride. For one thing, you do have to rinse them off with the hose about once a year to keep them sparkly. Plus, unless they are made from UV-resistant plastic, the colors may fade after a year or so. And, of course, anyone who gardens with plastic flowers risks being stereotyped. Can you believe it? Some uppity snobs actually think that displaying plastic flowers anywhere other than a cemetery or a redneck wedding shows lack of taste and sophistication! I’m so shocked and disappointed.
A simple rule for plastic flower fans can reduce the chance for ridicule. Remember seasonality when gardening with them. Plastic poinsettias in summer and plastic wisteria in winter immediately look fake. So be seasonally appropriate. For example, try plastic daffodils in spring, plastic geraniums in summer, plastic mums in fall, and plastic poinsettias in winter. Make your home the most colorful in the neighborhood.
You are guaranteed to receive one of more of these comments from neighbors.
1. “Did someone just die?”
2. “I shop at Wal-Mart too.”
3. “May I offer you some Skoal?”
4. “Who is your landscrape arkieteck?”
And Now for Something Totally Different
Ever wonder who Dave from Dave’s Garden is? David Letterman? Dave Matthews? Davey Crockett? Nope, it’s Dave Whitinger and he runs the busiest garden website around with tons of info on just about every kind of gardening. Brenda Beust Smith of the Lazy Gardener blog has a nice little piece on him, which you can read by clicking here.