Everybody's a Critic

The “Queen of Green”? You be the Judge

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Cheap-shot alert!  Because yes, we’re all sent cheesey emails from publicists that could be posted here for a laugh.  So we resist-resist-resist until along comes one that makes me say HOLD ON, I can’t stand it any longer; this one MUST BE MOCKED.

I’ll used italics to highlight the most ironic and ridiculous bits.

Hello Susan,

Looking for a true champion in going green? My client, celebrity landscape architect Ghada Dergham, knows the way to living a greater and greener life with her tips and tricks on lifestyle changes, cooking ideas, and better product use.

The term “going green” has become crowded with an abundance of companies and personalities trying to tack on to a trend, with little care for its actual meaning: taking easy action to reduce the damage we do to the planet. Dergham- who is renowned for her charming portfolio of transformed outdoor spaces, has been investing her free time in how to improve her own practices and living greener. By making some fun lifestyle changes – upcycling old household goods into fabulous decor, or propagating edible plants - living green becomes more glamorous than composting and turning off lights when you leave a room.

Dergham also has fun and creative approaches to greener cooking, too! A little attention to an at-home garden can save money and also help with some tasty recipes. While she takes the environment seriously, Dergham is aware that we can be lighthearted in our approaches to living greener. Every one of Dergham’s tips are approaches she practices at home, and not superfluous fodder in a saturated market of “going green.”

These are just a few of Ghada Dergham’s fun, at-home solutions to making a Greener home. You don’t need a massive budget or a huge lawn to make a great impact… All you need is a passionate master of DIY Eco-friendly living, and that is Ghada Dergham.

Please consider her for a feature on being the Queen of Green! 

I was going to give the queen a pass until that last bit of ignorance, about not needing a huge lawn to make a great impact, meaning a great  impact on the environment, one presumes. The ass-backwardness of which thank God I don’t have to explain to GardenRant readers.  So here’s your feature!

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It’s fair to judge the sustainability of the Queen of Green’s portfolio, right?  So have a look, if you dare.  Above are a couple of my favorite examples but they’re probably not all this bad, and I don’t know the flora of Florida, after all.

Then there’s the big picture –  those humongous homes and the far greater harm done to the environment by their ridiculous square footage.  And don’t you just know their owners have others homes, too?  Sorry, but when vacation homes claim to be “green,” I call that “tacking on to a trend, with little care for its actual meaning.”

But that’s enough snark out of me.  What do YOU guys think of the Queen of Green?

Posted by on September 27, 2013 at 7:08 am, in the category Everybody's a Critic.
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34 Responses to “The “Queen of Green”? You be the Judge”

  1. He he he he! I like the big lawn part. Ha ha ha ha!

  2. greg draiss says:

    Looks like she needs a reverse diet. I am tired of seeing these stick thin underfed celebrities.

    Unless she is ill…………….SHE LOOKS LIKE SHIT

    THE TROLL

  3. Jan says:

    I would say she’s more like the ‘Queen of Crayons’, coloring in with ornamentals and exotics. It’s all about how it ‘looks’ — without any thought to what ‘being green’ really means! Superficial, surface stuff. Just like skinny bodies. Wrinkle-free faces. Where’s the substance?

  4. Rachelle says:

    I can’t even relate to what her lifestyle must be like. Queen is exactly the right word. The green the publicist is talking about must be the color of money…is it possible someone at that strata would be paid in cash like others working in horticulture?

  5. commonweeder says:

    Who did the publicist think he/she was sending this to, when they chose you? Very funny and they were asking for it.

  6. allan becker says:

    There is some danger in taking pokes at folks with humongous homes. They are the ones who not only hire garden designers but who also have the budgets to keep independent nurseries in business. Building and owning an over sized home is a value that will not be easily discarded by the majority of those who hold on to the American dream. We are fighting imaginary windmills if we believe that our positions on this topic will ever influence public opinion. Sadly, we preach only to our choir.

    • This lady got on this website and lots of readers have looked her up and quoted their findings. It’s the next best thing to twerking – we are all talking about it. She will get the milage she wanted. We will have our fun. It’s all good.

  7. Stan Bookman says:

    The lawn comment is funny to those in the know, but demonic corporations like Scotts have been trying to convince the sheep that a lawn is a form of carbon sequestration. They are pushing the idea that maintaining a healthy lawn is good for the environment and the way to a healthy lawn is to drown it in the chemicals of which they happen to be the purveyors.

  8. Catherine says:

    I think you went too easy on this one. I know that part of South Florida and its flora well and what I see in those photos are stellar examples of water-sucking lawn decorated with vast expanses of water-sucking exotics. In fairness though, that is probably what the clientele demand. As a point of trivia, Jupiter Island boasts one of the highest per capita income levels in Florida and possibly the nation. Rachelle hammered it – the green those property owners care most about probably isn’t in the yard. This pathetic example of self-promotion misses the mark in so many ways its ridiculous. PR firm drivel is a gracious description of the pitch letter.

  9. Riva says:

    Best quote:
    “I don’t see how you can be bad at anything you’re passionate about, so I’d have to say I’m pretty great at what I do.”

    Another good one: “properties ranging from residential to commercial, as well as mansions and resorts. ”

    Sorry. Just being snarky.

  10. Laura says:

    I’d be interested to know if she really is a licensed landscape architect (can’t find any info about where she studied, but then again she is completed surrounded by expensive PR!)

  11. David says:

    She’s licensed in the state of Florida as a real estate agent. I can’t find anything about secondary eduction in landscape design, architecture or horticulture.

    Her company’s website, Jupiter Island Landscape, Inc, has a galley of her “work.” Her efforts showcase typical tropical and subtropical plants that can be bought at any Lowe’s or Home Deport in South Florida. There’s nothing collectible, unique or innovative in the plant selection, placement or composition.

    Her palm selection is pretty much coconut, pygmy date and royals. Nothing for scent, no veggies and no natives. Palm, bromiliad, bougainvillea, croton, grass, repeat. Her “designs” would not seem out of place circa 1954.

    She’s appeared on The Vanilla Ice Project. Multiple times. Evidentially, the Kardasians have a cousin in Florida.

    • Laura says:

      Hmm. Here in California one can get into a lot of trouble claiming to be a landscape architect (even a “celebrity” one) when one is not. Her publicists better be careful…

  12. “…And we’ll never be royals
    It don’t run in our blood,
    That kind of luxe just ain’t for us.
    We crave a different kind of buzz….”

  13. Marlene says:

    Something doesn’t seem right in the Queen’s world. Her “design portfolio” is nothing more than a collection of pretty pictures. Come on, what is the design impact of a close-up of a bird of paradise bloom? The photos look like they came out of a realtor’s portfolio, not a designer’s portfolio. And her press? She leads with a city newsletter??? “Ghada featured in a stylish red gown.”???

    I’m going to have to cut this short. I just remembered that our city’s newsletter called me a “true garden guru.” I have to contact a publicist. . .

  14. Claire says:

    I read her profile, looked at her portfolio, and searched her website for evidence of “green practices” and can find nothing to back up this ridiculous claim. If you are in the landscape business, using the buzz words ‘sustainable ‘, ‘green’, or ‘permaculture’ is rarely backed up with tangible practices. Unfortunately, it reflects poorly on our industry.

  15. Susan says:

    And the Department of Shameless Self-Promotion spits out another hairball….

    • VJ says:

      I’m out of breath from laughing at Susan’s pointed observation: “And the Department of Shameless Self-Promotion spits out another hairball….”

  16. Janet Butts says:

    “There’s nothing collectible, unique or innovative in the plant selection, placement or composition.”

    I don’t know, a tree “growing up” through a concrete wharf is pretty unique….

  17. This serves to show the real disconnect between designers who strive to do quality work for clients with the resources to support them and the ostentatious display of poor taste that many wealthy patrons long for.

  18. Jason says:

    Reminds me of the people who drive to Whole Foods in Hummers and Luxury SUVs.

  19. Susan says:

    Of course, we can’t discount the possibility that this individual is a product of the “self-esteem” generation. It’s not suprising that they build themselves up like she’s doing here – they’ve been told since they came out of the womb how amazing they are just for breathing. They’ve never been expected to actually have solid accomplishments to back up all their PR…..

    • Susan P says:

      I’m a member of the “self-esteem” generation, and I’m from South Florida, she’s too old to be a peer of mine. You might not be able to notice it, but she’s had some work done. But I could easily have gone to school with her kids, who are probably in their late 20s right now.

  20. Ha! Brilliant! My inbox is filled with crap from publicists. I’m glad you flipped this on them. Wonderful.

  21. I think the Queen of Green has a well paid publicist / marketing firm who is trying to do their job but obviously hasn’t done all their homework.
    If this publicist was on my payroll I would not be happy.
    They didn’t properly identify and research their target market and they over inflated their clients credentials, making her look like a clown. .. ( her own hubristic quote about herself on her website doesn’t do herself any favors either )
    Now instead of reaching the appropriate pin pointed market clientele her publicist and marketing firm has opened the doors of mockery.
    An important learning lesson for both client and marketing firm.

  22. Susan P says:

    As a native Floridian, I’m not surprised by this kind of person/PR firm/”design”/etc. It’s sad that she is the norm and the Garden Rant mentality is the exception. Obviously all of her photos were taken just after the plants were put down or after a solid week of rain, because there are watering restrictions and Florida lawns are not known for their greenness. Or they’re breaking the restrictions. I watched one of the Vanilla Ice videos, laughing at the before and after, people seem to forget that all of these houses will look like the before pictures in 5 years with the Florida weather. It’s humid and hot and insects everywhere, it’ll all rot. Oh, and those lawns, the grass isn’t soft (I was about 15 before I learned that grass is supposed to be soft) and they’ve got a team of immigrants to keep it cut and the rest looking nice. This is a nice reminder on why I left.

  23. Barbara says:

    To me, the photos all shrieked. “CHEMICALS!” Lawn chemicals, pool chemicals…. and God knows what else.

  24. Naomi says:

    I’m going to send her a New Moon Nursery catalog. Eastern native perennials, from the water to the woods … she will use all of our plants on her projects, yes?

    The ‘journal’ section of her personal website is blank, as is the ‘gardening tips’ section of her company website. I hope she will get some inspiration from our plant selections.

  25. Gail says:

    I wonder what her own homes looks like.
    Being from Wisconsin the gardens look exotic but there has to be a fair amount of chemical use to have those properties looking so ” perfect”.
    Looks like professional photography.
    For a chuckle I should check out her LinkedIn page.

  26. John says:

    I definitely do not believe those yards to be green, chemicals had to have a play in them.

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