Lately I’ve been hearing that disclaimer a lot in the gardening world as writers assure their readers of their flexibility on such issues as organic growing methods or the strict use of native plants only. And I see it in other contexts, like a medical writer on the issue of using medical websites that carry advertising. I suppose on every issue in the world there’s a purist position that’s held by a minority, with the rest of us distancing ourselves from that position, even if we support it in large part. Maybe especially in that case.
Take me, for instance. Since I started ranting here and elsewhere I’ve begun to hear myself referred to as someone who would never use chemicals in the garden, and as a cheerleader for native plants, neither of which is true. So for the record, on these and probably any other issue out there I’m no purist. Because make no mistake about it – I sure as hell use Deet and Roundup to protect against assault to my person. Just because we’re gardeners doesn’t mean we have to roll over for every species out there, flora or fauna. And on native plants? I’m struggling to play catch-up with the mainstream media in its love of this new buzzword, reminding gardeners to ask a lot more questions than simply "Is it native?"
But there’s another reason I’m happy to claim membership in the "I’m no purist" club, and you all know what it is. It’s that purists are no fun. It might even be drags on the collective consciousness – or just plain drags.
Still I can’t resist this mini-rant, that it pisses me off when I see a homeowner walking around his yard with a big ole can of Roundup and a nozzle, spray-bombing every weed in sight. People, there are lots of great weeding tools on the market and face it – you need the exercise.