Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Episode 2: Love blooms in Asheville, North Carolina

One of many fine 1920s buildings in downtown Asheville;
note the green tile roof.

Last time on Love Blooms in Asheville we eavesdropped on the love-struck gardeners, George and Alice, who had just met and were discovering all they had in common. Let's catch up on their conversation that afternoon in a downtown Asheville bistro:

And George, I grow a lot of shade plants--

I do too, Alice!

Especially rhododendrons.

Native rhododendrons?

Oh, all kinds. You know George, there are so many pretty hybrids and I--

This won't work Alice.

What?! What do you mean?

I can't possibly have a relationship with someone who grows non-native plants.

George rises abruptly, knocking over his glass of organic red wine.

Alice gasps as the wine splashes on her white Patagonia Synchilla fleece vest.

Oh no!

Alice, what have I done?

Never mind George. Just go.

Alice, are you crying?

Well George, you didn't let me finish my sentence. I was about to tell you--the rhododendron hybrids were already in the garden when I bought the house. But that probably doesn't matter to you. You probably think I should have dug them all up. Now please, leave me alone.

George sits down.

Alice, I'm sorry. I was just so surprised. It seemed like we were on the same wavelength in every way, and then, when you said you grew hybrids--well, it made me wonder if I really knew you.

But George, we've only been talking for an hour. You said you thought I was your soul mate but you don't know me yet. You probably don't even know that you ruined my vest.

Alice, give me a little credit. I understand about red wine stains. And I even know your vest is made from recycled plastic bottles. It's one of the things that drew me to you.


Yes. I thought, "There's a woman who cares about the environment." Won't you give me another chance Alice? At least let me buy you a new vest?

Oh, you don't have to do that.

Well, could I buy you a plant then?

Oh George, you're sweet. You know, I actually do need some organic vegetable starts for the sunny spot in my garden. You could get me some of those?

Sounds good. Let me take you to my favorite nursery.

They stand and walk to the door.

This will be fun, George. I wonder if we have the same favorite nursery? I'm really looking forward to growing my own vegetables in the front yard this year.

Vegetables in the FRONT yard, Alice?

They stop and stare at each other. Alice sighs.

George, haven't you heard of edible landscaping?

Well, no.

Did your mother tell you it was tacky to grow vegetables in the front yard?

Well, yes.

Alice heads out the door.

Come on, George. Before your nursery, let's go around the corner to Malaprop's. I want to show you some books by Rosalind Creasy....

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Bill Bird said...

Oh -- you are on one creative roll here my dear DP. I can hardly wait for the "Devil in the Lawn" episode...

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

And I am wondering if George and Alice will live happily ever after, like Bill and Venus. Many garden controversies ahead....

susan morrison said...

A year later and your star-crossed lovers are STILL at odds?

Bill might think the next ruckus will be over lawns, but I'm betting one of these two will go right for the jugular - does compost tea REALLY work?

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

Susan, You know how time stands still when you're in love! George and Alice were just waiting for us to check in on them again--Einstein, time and all that (says she who never took a physics class).

To heck with the organic wine, you've got them racing ahead to compost tea? It's not on the menu at Malaprop's Bookstore and Cafe. But maybe at their stop after that....

Genevieve said...

Daff, you crack me up every time. I love your tip o' the nib to your local indie bookstore, too.

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

Gen, Thanks! Malaprop's is one of my favorite bookstores--a major force in making Asheville the open town it is today.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad they got that little misunderstanding straightened out, DP! You are nailing the Asheville mindset too, as you obviously are aware. We do love it there. HA

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Ah George and Alice, one of my favorite stories....

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

Frances, Lucky you to be in Asheville so often. George and Alice will be hopping over to the northern end of town pretty soon.

Janet, Thanks!

Unknown said...

Hey there, DP. The George and Alice "garden opera" is such a gentle poke at our current preoccupation with
(retreat into) our gardens. Congrats! What fun.

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

Catherine, It's all fodder for humor--until someone hits one of MY gardening hot buttons. Then the gardening gloves come off.

VW said...

A perfect post with all the native wildflower posts right now. I'm happy for natives and hybrids - each garden is different, and there are places for both types of plants in my book.

Anonymous said...

Hi Charlotte~~ That George, albeit undoubtedly a lovable character is a bit clumsy and impetuous. I hope his budding love affair with gentle Alice will mellow him out a little. Nothing like an unwavering, purist mentality to ruin an otherwise perfect relationship. ....And the debate continues.

Botany Buddy said...

This may seem funny to everyone, but living in Asheville this is way too realistic. Unfortunately he sounds like a BB Barnes guy and She a Jesse Israel girl which can pose serious problems in a relationship. If he were smart he would have offered to walk her over for the City Tailgate Market to buy those vegetables, and taken her to the Laughing Seed instead of a touristy bistro. Of course that vest is probably alright because she keeps Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds on hand which works great for red wine.

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

VW, I do appreciate your harmonious touch in your comments and your beautiful garden!

Grace, You've got George's number!

Welcome Botany Buddy! Love the insights from a denizen of Asheville! I'm thinking Alice is more of an Early Girl than a Laughing Seed--and heavens, who knows WHAT will happen with the nurseries. Someone on Facebook was already touting BB Barnes as the best. Now we know he must be a Friend of George. P.S. Added you to the Southern blog roll here. If I had an iPhone I'd be buying your app.

Botany Buddy said...

Thanks for including me, I definitely enjoyed the post. I'm an Early Girl guy myself; cob salad and cornbread to be precise. Who knows, I could know them both. I do know nurseries though,and BB Barnes is Beautiful, but they are more interested in loading your trunk than your brain. I spent 20 years of my life working in nurseries, and prefer to shop at the one that hires old time gardeners. There are tons of great nurseries in the area, unfortunately all lack on the organic front. Most of the manic organics are cruising the tailgate markets which are loaded with good stuff. However when you need to solve a problem sometimes you need to be educated rather than sold something. Jesse Israels is a pretty special place and it is at the WNC Farmers Market so you can get some great produce while you are there! Next time you're in town I would check it out.

Anna Flowergardengirl said...

This is like my brain having a conversation with itself--very funny. You do a marvelous job of helping us laugh at ourselves over the new vege garden and native movement. I was gonna be a grand vege gardener until my lettuce came out tasting like crap.

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

BBuddy, Can't wait to order your "special" at Early Girl. And thanks for the organic tips.

Anna, Sometimes the produce section looks pretty good. And someone's got to support our local farmers, right? Glad you got a laugh--just hope you aren't spilling red wine on yourself during these internal debates :-)

Melanie J Watts said...

This is great. I can hardly wait for the next instalment.

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

Thank you, Melanie!

Now it's 2012 and the garden world has changed: 1) edible front yards are no longer shocking, 2) the Garden Bloggers Fling will take over Asheville in May http://gardenbloggersfling.blogspot.com/ . If you've read these comments you might be curious about the local nurseries mentioned. The Fling will be hosted by the kind folks at BB Barns http://www.bbbarns.com/. Take a peek at Jesse Israel too http://www.jesseisraelandsonsnursery.com/

The restaurants in the comments are walking distance from the Fling hotel: I am always happy to have a meal at Early Girl http://earlygirleatery.com/ or the veggie Laughing Seed http://laughingseed.jackofthewood.com/

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

Also new since this post: a great edible landscaping book, Eat Your Yard! by Fling committee member Nan Chase. See the link here at the famed Asheville bookstore Malaprops, where you will also find her excellent book on Asheville http://www.malaprops.com/book/9781423603849

Fairegarden said...

Not within downtown walking distance, but a favorite of the true locals, Sunny Point! Get that West Asheville vibe going....