News Post - JPW

Plants with Attitude

Gardens with too much fluffy & pastel beauty are like cake with too much frosting: so sweet your teeth hurt.  Frosting tastes best when the cake has attitude: unflinching contrasts of color & texture, along with a shocking detail or two.  Sour-cream frosting for carrot cake?  Yes, please—provided the cake itself is groaning with carrots, nuts, raisins, & coconut.  Thank you, Dorie Greenspan.

I saw this this cartoon in the current New Yorker—thank you, Amy Hwang—right after I posted a shot of one of my most proudly “attitudinous” plants, my giant topiary of stigmata-thorny hardy orange.

The garden fairly bristles with happy-but-dangerously-fierce succulents.  Never too soon to learn to look, not touch—and to start developing catholic tastes.  A delphinium is beautiful—but so are bloodthirsty thorns.