The heck with boring garden trend reports. This is what I’ve decided will happen in 2009, gardening-world-wise, with some input from Michele and Susan. Let me assure you (though you will hardly need such assurance) that I have no basis in fact or logic for these predictions. In the unlikely event that any of them happen, though, I’ll take full credit.
The chicken replaces the eagle as the national emblem.
Forget about Franklin’s turkey. In 2009, a chicken in every eglu becomes the nation’s motto and these cherished pets and providers easily replace the remote, unlovable eagle—symbolically and pragmatically.
Michele grows the world’s largest zucchini. Through no special effort—Michele tends all her vegetables with equal fervor—a twelve-foot-long summer squash takes shape on the Owens property in late summer, 2009. Michele takes it on the road in a flatbed, using it to promote a return to abundant food production in every home garden.
Buffalo becomes the garden capital of the U.S. As climate change takes hold, Buffalo’s idyllic summers lengthen and its gardens become world-famous. (New Jersey is already known as the Garden State. I rest my case.)
GBBD gets a lot stricter. Carol/May Dreams Gardens initiates covert surveillance over those gardens that post on Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. If a flower is not actually blooming on the 15th, or if that flower does not, in fact, exist in the garden in question, a 3-month suspension takes effect. Second and third offenses lead to further penalties. Gardeners begin to show the flowers in context with identifying garden features to avoid being audited by Carol.
(From Michele) The Obamas plant a vegetable garden at the White House. Barack suddenly finds himself in middle age. My God, he’s been a frustrated farmer all along, but didn’t know it. He begins behaving like the rest of us obsessed vegetable gardeners, which means running out of Cabinet meetings while shouting hysterically, "I don’t have time for this now! I have to get my peas in the ground!"
As a result of the new gardening focus at the White House, Susan is appointed Garden Coach-in-Chief, and is too busy supervising sustainable lawn practices to take care of her own garden, which becomes Garden Rant’s biggest giveaway ever. The happy winner gets to have Susan’s elegant, low-maintenance, turf-free oasis installed on their own property.
Isn’t it time a group of four cute male gardener/writers got together? In June, 2009, it happens, with the debut of the Garden Dudes, with Allan Armitage, Tony Avent, Don Engebretson, and Graham Rice.
A new botanical curriculum is introduced from the first grade level onward, with every class in charge of its own garden and every student tested on the proper names for each plant. The dual system of using botanical and common names is maintained, but it becomes less confusing as the terms are familiar to all. Little kids are commonly heard piping up with remarks like “Mom, that’s a chrysanthemum superbum, not just a daisy. Get it straight!”
As a natural result of this readjusted and intense focus on growing things and the natural world, garden bloggers become folk heroes, revered by everyone.
Turfgrass is outlawed. That’s it. The adjustment is painful, but in the end, suburbanites and urban dwellers alike discover uses for the property surrounding their houses that they had never dreamed of before. It’s a brave new world.
Site-specific photos by Michele Owens, Amy Stewart, Jim Charlier, and Elizabeth Licata.