That professorial yet bold stirrer-of-the-pot, Jeff Gillman, shows readers that it isn't just glyphosate that kills frogs, but vinegar, too. And he has photographic evidence. Poor little guy!
Ginny Stibolt writes about gardening in Florida and contributes regularly to team blogs, one of which is Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens. It's there that she stirred up a ruckus by wondering publicly if garden writers can be bought, referring specifically to Scotts' sponsorship of GWA and P. Allen Smith's gardenblogger shindig in Little Rock – attended by some of Ginny's blogging teammates, no less! Yes indeedy, there are comments.
In particular, she quite rightly complains that all commentary on gardens is positive, sometimes exuberantly and untruthfully so. She’s right, and this is pretty much unique to gardens. Reviews of movies, plumbers, restaurants, political campaigns, exhibitions, cars, even mothers… all just say it as the author sees it. And, often, dislike of the subject inspires fine and entertaining writing. But not gardens and, oddly, not reviews of garden books. When I helped run Plants & Gardens magazine (RIP) long ago, we were praised for our honest book reviews. But no else has been prepared to say that a garden book gives bad advice or recommends poor plants. It’s just not reviewed. Mustn't upset potential advertisers.
So, readers, SHOULD garden writers be more like others writers? Should we criticize gardens and gardening books as the need arises? Come back later today when I test Graham's approach by criticizing a garden I saw in the Seattle area. In the meantime I'll be steeling myself for the reaction.
Photo credit – Jeff Gillman, and he asked me to credit the vinegar, too.