This manifesto was found slipped under my potting shed door…
Landscape Local 5-10-5
Although we plants are well aware of the efforts from certain partisan forces to weaken unions across the United States, we nevertheless feel that the time is right for us to organize. For too long we’ve had no choice but to put up with bad management in yards and gardens from coast to coast. Since most of us are rooted in place, without the ability to move into other work environments, there has been no recourse except to take this repeated abuse and lack of respect.
We have recently noted an upsurge in public interest for green issues, however, and feel encouraged that some people may be sympathetic to our efforts. Press reports about native plants, conserving the rainforest and a White House vegetable garden give us hope that tree huggers won’t be alone in embracing this cause. Whether we’re supported in the germination of our new coalition or not, the season has come for plants to unionize.
Our efforts will be focused on stopping mistreatment common to all plants, as well as those reprehensible practices that are species-specific. While we are determined to stop the rampant discrimination and maltreatment of those who photosynthesize, we are not unwilling to negotiate. We plants were the originators of flexibility and the capacity to evolve. As such, each chapter of our seedling society is willing to offer concessions even as we make demands.
Gathered under the central canopy of plants with trunks, the trees agree to continue to provide cooling systems on worldwide and residential fronts. From the mitigation of global warming to the production of backyard shade, this contingent will do its best to bring down temperatures in intense environments.
In return, the trees ask for a guaranteed retirement plan that provides for the care of plants until they die naturally. Trees will no longer be cut down because they are too close to buildings or have grown so large that they prevent sunbathing on patios and decks. People who feel the need to expose their skin to cancer-causing UVA rays can go to the beach.
This group of plants is willing to carry on in hiding unattractive bases of houses and providing attractive foliage and flowers in other locations. Certain activists among the bushes wonder why people insist on building houses with ugly foundations in the first place, yet the shrubs are still willing to do their part.
In return, the shrubs ask that people remove the phrase “out of control” as terminology that is applied to plants. They argue that bushes are not rioting, pillaging or otherwise running amuck; they are merely growing, which is what normal, healthy plants do.
It would also be nice, the shrubs add, if people would stop shearing them into meatball topiaries and green coffee-table shapes in an effort to keep them “in control.” They recognize, however, that halting this form of mal-pruning is probably beyond the general public’s aptitude.
Those plants that die to the ground in the winter and return in the spring will continue to do so as they are able. In return for this seasonal reappearance they request a cessation of false expectations about their abilities. Specifically, people should stop imagining them capable of creating low-maintenance gardens. Homeowners should be as reliable about weeding, watering and feeding as the plants are at returning in the spring.
Perennials also request that when offered for sale, all tags claiming they “bloom all summer” be removed from the pots.
Plants that have one season to grow larger and flower repeatedly have a high-pressure job that isn’t given much esteem. While they are willing to continue blossoming throughout the growing season, they demand better working conditions, especially when it comes to their roots. People cram these plants into tiny pots and then expect them to produce lots of color irrespective of how constricted they are.
To make matters worse, even when large pots are used, people fill the bottom of these containers with mulch, empty plastic milk bottles or Styrofoam peanuts. Annuals order people to stop being so stingy and start filling pots with potting soil instead of fillers that are completely incapable of sustaining plant life.
The Grass Group is arguably the consortium with the largest list of grievances. When installed as turf, these plants are expected to live a boring, monoculture existence. Lawns are frequently splashed with water in small amounts, a practice that that resembles torture more than a long, satisfying drink.
Additionally, grasses are repeatedly sprayed with a wide spectrum of unnecessary chemicals and they are cut to the quick just as they begin to grow into healthy, functioning plants. Although the turf group will agree to future mowing, they ask for a cessation of all toxic substances and to be allowed to intermingle with other plants such as their BFFs, white clover and the reliably cheerful dandelions.
Solidarity and photosynthesis forever,