Garden Provocatuer Tony Avent Weighs In


Just to show we’re not the only ones following the Heronswood closing, the newest Plant Delights
catalogue has just come out and its cover – always a showcase for
outrageous horticultural commentary – highlights the event with this
cartoon entitled "The Day the Gardeners Cried." Click this one to

Immediately someone alerted the Garden Writers Listserv to the
cartoon and started quite a little dust-up with this thought: "About
Plant Delights catalog cover, I do think the previous owners should be
right up there riding the rig with George Ball. I suspect that there
are many stories of hort-greed in our circumscribed worlds with more
than enough guilt to go around."  Whoa, blaming Dan Hinkley?

A lively discussion followed, with most contributors defending
Heronswood’s owners and others criticizing the mischievous Tony Avent
of Plant Delights, asserting that with this cover he’d "gone too far."
Most commenters defended his right to be outrageous – Lord knows we
here at the Rant agree – and here’s my favorite retort to the would-be

Isn’t it healthy and entertaining when people
shake things up now and then?  We loved the Heronswood catalog because instead
of dry plant descriptions Dan included his opinions, side remarks, and snippets
of his life.  Avent can be counted on to deliver his never-to-be-humble opinions
along with the flora… I say it’s all for the better, and makes for a richer
world.  C.L. Fornari of


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