The undeniable glamour of tropical plants is temptation indeed for gardeners who live in cold-winter climates. Those three-foot leaves; those lethal, trumpet-shaped Datura blooms--they're all Ava Gardner compared to the Doris Day domesticity of our faithful hollies and lilacs.
So in early summer we succumb, we buy, we lug them around the garden to just the right spot, we rush out with sheets as the evenings get colder. And finally we have to do it. One day turns far too chilly and we invite them to crowd indoors with us until spring.
Ava Gardner, with her long cigarette holder and her way of taking over a party, was sensational outside in a large garden. Living with her at close quarters is another matter.
Just how many times do you want your face slapped by a banana leaf as you edge your way through the dining room this winter?