Plant & Garden Humor: The Greenhouse Effect


Plant & Garden Humor: The Greenhouse Effect
  • Posted April 8, 2015

Stop staring out the window at the mud and let me take you on a little mind trip. Close your eyes and feel the rush of humid warmth as you enter the greenhouse. Okay, now inhale…but not so hard you snort! Oh yeah, there it is…that double espresso giddiness that comes from the first trip to the local greenhouse each spring! Mmmm, nothing like that initial whiff of massive amounts of potting soil! Then there's that dizzying optical overload of stepping into so much bloomin' color after months of brown – and in the north; white, some more brown, more white, and final slurry of wet brown. You start greeting old flower friends, classic and eccentric ones too, that can still brighten your day after months of being apart. You also get to meet new varieties face-to-face for the first time, some of them already so famous from their celebrity level publicity onslaughts that you feel you should ask for an autograph or offer “Let's do lunch sometime, dahling!"


No time for schmoozing now! There are rows and rows of annuals begging for your attention. Your expressions of admiration sound like you're cooing over a basket of puppies one minute, “Ooh, such adorable little blooms and fuzzy, wuzzy leaves…" and critiquing art the next, “The dreamy intonations of apricot and coral in the nearly translucent petals perfectly offset the bold reality of the spiky, chartreuse foliage…" Wow, such richly descriptive words from a brain that's been hibernating all winter! Better move on to the herb and veggie section you think, before I burn myself out.


Yummy, yummy, yummy! Rub, sniff, and salivate! The basil choices alone could hold you captive all day! But onward you push, to the oregano, the rosemary, and those bearers of future tomatoes and bell peppers you could combine with the herbs. You can almost taste the gourmet delight that is months away in reality, but being served up right now by your greenhouse gassed imagination. Your tummy is growling, but you can't break for lunch until you've moved beyond the benches to absorb the wonderment of all the hanging baskets and mixed containers.


Here your imagination can take a break as the baskets and containers spill forth already fully-fledged rhapsodies of plant fantasy. Obviously someone had a lot more fun than you over the winter, as they worked their seductive sorcery on the standard upright, mounding, trailing recipe for a surreal whole that has a fireworks level of liveliness well beyond the sum of it photosynthesizing parts. It's as if someone gave Disney World steroids then crammed it into pots and baskets! Your senses are simultaneously boggled and delighted by all these supercalifragilistic symphonies of color, texture, contrast and harmony.


Hey! Hey! Snap out of it now. I know it feels so good, but best you should come back to the reality of mud and spring frosts, before you whip out that imaginary Visa card and buy the whole place. I do hope you enjoyed this therapy session, but if you'll excuse me, I have a strong craving for some Italian food…

P.S. I am not a licensed therapist, but all my friends feel I'm certifiable.

Dawn Sherwood
About the Author

Dawn Ochsner is a landscape designer and garden writer.


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Plant & Garden Humor: The Greenhouse Effect