The winner—and by the way, none of you were right


Jodi/Blooming Writer is the randomly-chosen winner of the Nichols compilation; I think she’ll enjoy it. The “contest” part of this was really unwinnable. You’ll be surprised by the correct answers.

…it reminds me of a clump of laurels on which someone has hung the weekly washing referred to DATURA.

as embarrassing as a middle-aged lady standing on the steps of a provincial town hall, disguised as Cleopatra for the annual fancy dress ball at the Rotary Club referred to PAMPAS GRASS (in the middle of a lawn).

…gaunt, gawky, and deliberately deformed by man, with its tortured, amputated limb sticking out in all directions, demanding pity rather than praise referred to HYBRID TEA ROSES (badly pruned).

Congratulations, Jodi, and thanks to all for playing.

We’ll have more giveaways to cheer everyone up during these hard economic times.

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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. Yes, congratulations Jodi. It is a good thing you said we didn’t have to be right. I think you would have to have been there in person to get those descriptions applied to those plants.

  2. Gosh, I never win ANYTHING! Does this mean that I should go out and buy a lottery ticket? Thanks, Elizabeth and cohorts. I really look forward to reading this book; as I said, I love Nichols’ clever British wit.

  3. This reminds me. I’ve enjoyed the unique wit of Beverly Nichols and Henry Mitchell because they were opinionated and funny. Can anyone recommend other classic literary garden writers from the past who were as intriguing as these curmudgeons? Has anyone compiled a list of the masters, both classic and modern? Is Amy writing such a book?
    On another topic, if your cable provider includes the Ovation Channel, look for the Pearl Fryar documentary this Sunday evening, February 1, at 8:00pm.

  4. Oops. It was a mistake to imply that Nichols was a crabby writer. His garden books are spirited, gossipy, and addictive.

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