What do you do when you have bred a new escallonia and want to get it some attention? Of course – you stick it in a bath with a naked woman!
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something comes along to make you want to break the seal on those cyanide pills.
We are used to the use of children in photos to make alliums and strawberries look bigger than they really are but now we are being sold plants with sex. Will it work? Will women be attracted to buy this? Will they think they will become a blonde teenager who looks like she has lost her Flake* (or worse) if they plant this in their garden? Personally I doubt it.
Or will men be encouraged to buy it either by believing that she comes with the plant or that their spouses will be transformed into something resembling this ‘vision of beauty’? Or maybe it is supposed to persuade men that women would like the plant. All I would say is that if any man hung around the point of sale material for too long their wife might end up buying an escallonia ‘Pink Elle’ to put on his freshly filled grave.
Which is all a bit unfair for the plant which is reputed to have larger flowers and a more compact habit than most. It looks a decent plant and, although I don’t usually get excited about escallonias, I think this looks like a welcome addition to a garden.
The plant will be available at a reasonable cost at a garden centre near you sometime this year. As for the bather – probably not!
Have you noticed the typical way, with new plants from Europe, that only one photo is ever taken and the image is manipulated and re used. Hence the plant in a black pot about to tip into Helga’s bath is the same plant in the same pose in the lower photo in a white pot. I have a feeling that Helga was photographed in more than one position. God, is there nothing marketing people will not stoop to?
I remember the good old days when cars had ‘virile’ names like ‘stag’ and at motor shows women were draped across car bonnets. Not very PC really but now we have cars named after household appliances and drinks – Dacia Duster and Vauxhall Mokka and we drape naked women over shrubs. Has the world gone mad?
* Flake is a chocolate bar that was famously advertised being eaten by a naked woman in a bath – all very tasteful of course.
Images from Plantipp EU and Crocus – proudly not mine.