I have no trouble with people buying chocolates or wine instead of flowers to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays or peoples’ lives. We should all have choices. However, the other night I felt like I was entering the Republican caucus. I was minding my own business by the television set and became more than a little upset.
A website called insteadofflowers.com came on the screen. It provided serene music and wholesome images of busy women doing busy things. It turns out that such busy women enjoy a small token of appreciation, but apparently their enjoyment, according to the voice-over, does not include flowers. This website delivers meals to the house, anything from beef brisket to beef bourguignon. It is a fine website with a good idea.
But why pick on us? Why not use “insteadofbaloneysandwiches.com” or “insteadofgrilledcheeseandsoup.com,” “insteadofburgerdoodle.com,” or a dozen other things. When did flowers get to be the whipping boy? Maybe this was simply an anomaly, so I checked to see if there were other sites that were also picking on us — and oh my, we are not particularly popular. Check out notanotherbunchofflowers.com. Good grief.
Those sites deal with cut flowers, but what about garden plants? Many of my neighbors living on tiny lots employ a landscape service. My next-door neighbor wants a lovely yard but never gets her hands dirty, relying on her
service to plant a few begonias, a couple of roses and cut the grass. If her lot is 60 x 100 feet, I would be surprised. None of these people will be buying any plants at all, or soil or plant food. Can we blame all of this on harried women in the workplace? Or have we just lost interest? Times have changed, and I don’t know what to do about it.
On the other hand, that the garden is shrinking is a good thing. Outdoor living is not just a catch phrase, but is translated into real things. A smaller garden is less intimidating and maintenance is a pleasure rather than a chore. People have time to plant some containers, water some baskets and put a little color on and around their deck. They may not landscape anymore, but they still garden. There is light amidst the darkness.
I cannot stay disappointed long; it is not in my nature. I simply need to walk around and see my other neighbors, their gardens joyous with larkspur and cleomes and
windowboxes overflowing, and listen to them reverently wax poetic about their tomatoes. The more I walk, the more my spirits are lifted. Sure, the damn noise of blowers keeps getting louder and mowers and edgers multiply like popcorn.
Websites run by people with no creativity will continue to pick on us. Perhaps that is the price of being ubiquitous. After all, if we were not successful, we would simply be ignored.