Sunday, December 28, 2008

Plants as surrogate children

"It's ... developing a piece of land in your own image? [laughing] Maybe because we don't have children, and this is something we can care and nurture for?"

-Ron Wagner, Portland, OR gardener, asked on HGTV's A Gardener's Diary about his and his wife's reasons for devoting so much time and energy to their beauteous Thai-influenced garden. With its animal-spirit topiary, hand-constructed clay oven, and tea room, it looks very labor-intensive, although we do learn that the couple's elaborate stone pathways were constructed by students in a pebble-mosaic workshop they taught on the premises. Smart!

3 comments:

EAL said...

Yes, but unlike kids, you can keep tweaking, fiddling and aiming at a completion that will never happen. The garden can't escape.

Ron said...

I feel the same way about live performance, and to some extent about writing (if you take the approach of someone like Auden, who kept reworking his poetry even after initial publication so there was never a "definitive" version).

One disadvantage of plants compared to human offspring is the realization that they won't lift a non-existent finger to help you when you're old and sickly. On the other hand, with the money you save by not having to put them through school, you can buy home health care.

Northern Shade said...

Oooh, what a great idea. I will have to give a Weeding Workshop. Do you think I will get any volunteers?