Miami is one of those cities that has its own gardening aesthetic. You could be smuggled into the city in the trunk of a car, dropped along the side of the road, and all you’d have to do is get a look at the flora to know where you are. It’s so insanely tropical, so dizzyingly bright and cheery and exotic, and so unlike anywhere else.
If there are any Miami gardeners out there, I ask you: Do tropical plants start to feel tyrannical after a while? Do you tire of the palm trees, the birds-of-paradise, the bougainvillea? Do you ever long for something more serious, less jubilant?
I don’t know. It’s all so cheerful, so uncomplicated, so mindlessly festive. Is that a bad thing?
I flew to Miami from DC last February, and I understood immediately why people on the east coast are driven to winter in Florida. To go from ice and snow to warm, tropical nights and brilliant orange flowers–ah, it felt so damn good. I strolled around an open-air shopping mall near my hotel, where the Carribean music and artificial coconut and bay rum fragrance seemed to be piped out of the shrubs, and I didn’t care. I loved it. I drank mojitos and spoke Spanish to the Cuban waiters. Damn, it felt good.
As you read this, I’ll be arriving in Miami to investigate its pleasures further. Any Miami readers out there? Please drop by the Miami Book Fair and say hello. The schedule is here–looks like I’ll be in room 7106-07 at 11 am on Sunday. See you then!