We live in an age of rampant consumerism. We can have, and expect to have, whatever we want, when we want, and we increasingly want it free. There are no limits to our demands. Want cake but can’t eat flour? No problem. Want coffee but no caffeine? There is an answer. Want wine but no alcohol? There’s a bottle for you. Want sausages but don’t eat meat? There are lots of alternatives. Want flowers but don’t like gardening? Try artificial plants.
Hang on a minute. How far does this have to go. Personally I think that if you want wine without alcohol surely you just drink the grape juice before it is fermented. Do we really need all these products that pander to our lack of self control? But most of all, do we really need all these plastic and polyester plants?
As a gardener I think they are awful. The whole point of having a garden or of actually gardening is that you are nurturing, being creative and learning. Having a colourful piece of plastic that needs no more care than a dust or wipe over is an empty and valueless experience. Now I know that someone will argue that some people are not good with plants but this usually means that they treat them as though they are plastic so of course the plants die. But there is nothing wrong with not being able to keep a pot chrysanth for more than two weeks – they are supposed to die after that. And, of course, there are places in every house where plants won’t do very well. That’s OK – that’s what ornaments are for – to brighten up areas where plants won’t grow!
Now I have to make a confession here because I almost bought some once. I was walking round Ikea with someone who was intent on buying some artificial flowers and I got to the showy display and they had some lovely parrot tulips. I was drawn in and started to pick some out and soon had a large bouquet of fabric flowers. As I looked at their glowing petals and into the hearts of the flowers, where all that new life should have been, with splashes of pollen and velvet stigma, all I could see was plastic. I shuddered and carefully placed the offending imposters carefully back in their place and walked off to stock up on tea lights instead.
But, in this cold, dull season I can almost understand why people are attracted to any sort of colour, even if it is artificial. But if you live in a warm climate why would you do this – seen on a walk on holiday in Tenerife? Why would you fill your borders with plastic and fabric plants? The crotons make the artificial plants look dull anyway. I can only guess that the owners of this garden either hate gardening or it is a holiday home and no one knows what to do. Pity they didn’t cut the reversion out of that ficus last time they were washing their chrysanthemums!
From now on I will add a poll every week – just for fun of course! I will give the results every week and I promise they won’t be too serious.