Gardening Advice

By Agnes Plantain, Environmental Reporter for Beyond Green in North Carolina

Plantain: Today, on this cold January morning, I’m interviewing a leading national horticultural expert. Louie Crumble is past President of the Death Valley, CA Garden Club and author of Topiary This! Turning Your Boxwood Hedge into a Civil War Reenactment.

Mr. Crumble, I understand you were quite successful leading the green revolution at the DVGC. Turning the desert into a flowering oasis that livened the spirits of all who lived there. Quite an achievement.

Crumble: Yeah, well, I guess you could say that for the thirty-nine numbskulls living in that god-forsaken zip code. We did have at least three or four days of blooms last May. Like peonies and daisies, and a bumper crop of dandelions. Then the god-awful furnace-like heat arrived and roasted every plant into a dark brown dead stalk. Depressing. So, I got the hell out and moved to eastern North Carolina.

Plantain: Moving was certainly a professional challenge since there are gardening differences between Death Valley and eastern North Carolina.

Crumble: Not really. Plants are plants. Best I can tell, they all need sunlight, liquid refreshment, and something to eat.

Plantain: So, what are your gardening priorities right now?

Crumble: Stay indoors. It’s cold out there.

Plantain: But I mean, aren’t there some things the gardener should be doing even now?

Crumble: Stock up on manure. You can never have too much shit stored in your garage. And load up on pesticides and herbicides while you’re at it. Buy ‘em by the case, it’s a lot cheaper.

Plantain: That sounds environmentally sacrilegious.

Crumble: Look, do you want to be looking at weed-filled gardens all summer or acreage loaded with oversized beautiful flowers and vegetables. Tonnage is important.

Plantain: Any plant and pest killers you consider safer than others.

Crumble: Hell, we’re not talking about drinking the stuff. You never know what kind of crappy weeds will pop up, so buy one of everything.

Plantain: Mosquitos seem to like eastern NC. Any thoughts on a safe way to eliminate them?

Crumble: I always go with the best. DDT. It’s the nuclear option. If you go to war, go to war to win.

Plantain: But it’s illegal!

Crumble: Not if you order it from China. There it’s called Chairman Mao’s Insect Mortality Enhancer. I suggest the twenty-five-gallon container.

Plantain: You are certainly a garden outlaw. Dare I ask for any final thoughts?

Crumble: How about me and you and some tequila?

Plantain: Why, Mr. Crumble, I’m shocked by such a suggestion … let’s slip out the back way.