Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Steve Aiken is editor of my favorite gardening magazine, Fine Gardening. In this this month's issue
his opening editorial really hit a cord with me as a avid gardener..and my name is Steve too!
by Steve Aiken
From what I understand, avid gardeners can go a bit overboard when buying plants. I don’t ever do this, but I know it happens because people have told me. It reminds me of something that happened to a friend of mine, not to me.
He was shopping at a local nursery widely known for its outstanding selection of cool and unusual plants. Sure, I shop there too, and am male, but this story is not about me. It is about my friend, who is not me-and who happens to be quite handsome for an older fella.
Amid all of the treasures at this nursery, he spied a shrub with glossy burgundy leaves shining in the sunlight, as though the gardening gods had focused a spotlight on this very plant so that he might gaze upon it. He was drawn to it, and reveled in its beauty.
As he bent down to add the plant to his cart, he happened to notice the price tag. Immediately, clouds obscured the sun and a cold wind blew. It was way too expensive. He placed it back where he had found it-with, it seemed, a little piece of his soul.
He continued shopping but his attention always went back to those glossy burgundy leaves. He looked at the carts of the other customers hoping that none of them had bought the coveted plant either.
That’s when he came up with a plan. He would buy the plant (car payment be damned) when he knew his wife wouldn’t be home. He would plant it immediately and once the plant was in the ground, he would cover up the evidence.
With the course of action clear before him, he returned to the plant where he had placed it, slightly obscured from the view of less-discerning customers. He placed the shrub in his cart and felt the warmth of the sun on his back. A bluebird perched on a near-by tree and chirped its approval. His soul was restored. And he marched triumphantly to the cash register, thinking to him self, “Nice choice, Steve!” Oh, my friend’s name is also Steve. This didn’t happen to me. Did I mention he was handsome?