The [garden] consultant arrived on time. She was neatly dressed and carefully made-up; her hair looked newly coiffed. She looked spiffy, meticulous and careful. We are collector/accumulators and I could see the shock on her face as she walked into the kitchen, where every wall is hung with cups, gadgets, utensils and advertising materials we deem amusing. "How do you dust?" she asked. (This question is the litmus test for our guests; they either get it or they don't.)
Things go downhill from there.



Gloria said...

What a story.
And what a shame that consultant had such poor people skills.
She had a person with some interest in and time for expanding her gardening knowledge. Instead she was made to feel uncomfortable with seeking advise.
I would like to speak with this writer in about two or three years to hear how they went ahead and gardened, for I know from experience that once stirred the urge will not leave you.

Frances, said...

Dust? How do you dust? What is dust? I don't know nothin' about dust. Is it like cat hair?

Gardener of La Mancha said...

hilarious story. I loved when she wrote:

"I felt as though my child had a cold and I'd brought him to the doctor. And after examining him, the doctor said he was not only sick, he was also badly behaved, and by the way, ugly, too."

After this discouraging experience, I hope she doesn't just abandon that child. She's got hang in there!

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

It's difficult to provide any real analysis because this is a writer who is writing for entertainment and may or may not embellish where she feel she needs to, to get the anticipated "emotion' she is fishing for.

What struck me in the story is that the writer probably was not looking for advice to assist her in making here garden a more health and productive place.

It sounds as though she was looking for someone to simply come in an agree with her that she had a little bit of tidying to do and all would be fine with her gardening world.

It's hard to say, because we only get one biased and slanted side of the story that is specifically designed to sell entertainment value.

I've participated in plenty of garden consultations.
It is an art form to try to get articulate verbalization out of the garden owner to understand what they feel they need help with.
Some times they are not looking for design assistance ( though obviously they NEED it ) but that they are looking for horticultural health information on how to make their tire planters grow more tomatoes.
All the dusty hanging kitchen utensils, cups and gadgets should have been a sign that they were not looking for design advice as much a they were looking for some one to agree with them that clutter and disorganization is fine for their type of gardening style.

chuck b. said...

I had no problem imagining the writer's garden as a dark, depressing place. I think avocado trees are depressing. Imagine what's left of the soil after it sucked 40' of growth nutrients out of it. Sounds like a depleted black hole of neglect to me.

What's also interesting/amusing to me is that the *husband* put the bid on the garden consultant, not the wife who had to deal with her. Heh.

lisa said...

Hahaha Frances...I have no knowledge of this "dust" they speak of, either! Good point that the story is slanted, but the consultant sounded like she made up her mind immediately to discourage this client and make a hasty retreat. I don't think she had to be such a snot, but when you work with people regularly, it's at the tip of your tongue all the time anyway. That's why I work in medicine-it forces me to express sincere kindness, no matter how hard it can be sometimes. Often I'm left feeling nearly euphoric with the responses I get back, then ashamed of myself for the mean things I was thinking. (Whew! Better than church! ;-)