At the Chicago Flower and Garden Show this weekend working a table to promote native pollinator gardening I was struck by how commercialism, again, always, sucks. So much of what I love about gardening has nothing to do with 95% of what was at this show. Vendors selling tools for very specific needs, cultivars that look like realist paintings you have to water, and all kinds of lawn furniture. I have played enough Animal Crossing to know the value in being able to customize your space so it communicates your own aesthetic of comfort, but so much of mainstream garden culture is just another flavor of the “stuff makes you happy” fallacy. I mean, maybe it makes YOU happy but I wish it didn’t have to cost so much and be built on such an oppressive system.
I know I am complicit in that system and it’s very difficult to even divest a single life from it, but here’s what I am basically saying: all one needs to garden is sun, soil, seeds, and water. If I were in charge these would be added to our inalienable rights and no human would be allowed to be without them. Our whole system would be set up so that, like mycelium moving nutrients from the rich parts of the forest to the nutrient poor, we would ensure that every human had a plot of land to garden and piece of wild earth to steward. E plurbis unim.