In Britain the politicians love to garden too, but they’re spending way more than Michelle Obama


Horse manure? Pergola beams? Hedge trimming? All these and more have been claimed as reimbursable expenses in the ongoing scandal over British politicians and their parliamentary expense claims. We have this kind of thing happen over here sometimes, but I’m more accustomed to seeing trips to Vegas and Miami on the list. Hookers, not hanging baskets, are what I’ve grown to expect. It’s kind of endearing in a way—at least they care about their gardens—but yeah, the party’s over. Dredge your moat on your own dime.

I chose a WSJ story for my link, but there are tons of articles online about this, and many involve gardening.

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. “Dredge your moat on your own dime”: I couldn’t have put it better myself. It’s an absolute disgrace. Though my own favourite is the one who claimed more than £300 for horse manure. And these guys are rolling in it! (Unfortunately, not in the horse manure.)

  2. Too funny, I only wish our US politicians were over spending in their gardens & not flying around the world on junkets with a full array of ‘assistants’in tow. Dredge on your own dime, so true, but I’d still rather have them dredging than ………

  3. Hi all.
    I just found the Garden Rant!
    So much material to get through and to catch up on! Wow!
    Anyway thought I would introduce myself and say hi from:

    Please check in when you come up for air. I am a Brit gardening in Austin in Central Texas, using lots of sun-screen and popular culture references to move my gardening blog along.


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