Home & Design

Green Acre #90: Plant Lovers Find Their Tribe

Photo illustration by Stephanie Cavanaugh, with apologies to Goya.

PASSIONATE ABOUT hydrangeas? African violets? Bonsai? Orchids? There’s a Facebook group for that.  

Plonk the name of your obsession into the search bar at the top of your Facebook page and the choices mushroom with references, resources, photos, and mentions.

(If you don’t have a  Facebook page, feel free to stop reading now).

Let’s take hydrangeas (because I love hydrangeas). There’s a business called Hydrangeas Plus, offering more than 150 varieties, which is good to know. There are pages with instructions for how to dry them, how to turn them from pink to blue, make centerpieces and wreaths, and how to get more blossoms out of your plants.

But for the truly obsessive, Facebook is the place: There’s Hydrangea Happiness, with 1,843  members, that bills itself as a group for sharing photos, tips, and such—with up to six posts a day.

I got tired of counting the number of FB pages devoted to roses, stopping after 25, though there must be at least 100. There are many unimaginatively named groups like “Roses” and “I Love Roses” and “Beautiful Roses,” which are just what they appear to be, pages devoted to photos and comments about the plant.  

As you weed through them, the curious emerge, like “Roses . . . Just for You.” Which is devoted to “appreciating the beauty of GOD’s creation,” and cautions that there are “no nude pics and videos.” I would certainly join this group except for the absence of nude photos—which I never realized I wanted to see until now.

Then there’s Skulls and Roses, which boasts 10+ photos a day from its roughly 13,000 members and is billed as just what it says, “a place where you can post pics of Skulls and Roses.” Unfortunately, I can’t describe a typical post because you have to join the page first, something I am reluctant to do—even for you.

Some groups have marvelous monikers, like “Lawn Care Mafia.” There are currently seven groups that share this name, or some slight variation of it, like the 20-member “Deaf-Lawn Care Mafia.” Posts feature really cool, loud and large equipment and photos of complete irrelevance, such as the pimply-faced kid sitting in a car with what look like 65 acupuncture needles stuck in his forehead who asks, “How would you title this picture.” In a word: idiot.

“Container Gardening Gone to Pot” is the first plant group I ever joined. This was because of the name, which amused me. Here you can find gorgeous posts like a recent video of the orchid show at England’s Kew Gardens alongside items like what is clearly a pot of geraniums with some innocent asking, “What is this interesting flower?”

“Mid-Atlantic Tropics,” another of my favorites, is a non sequiturial* group of fools like me who insist on trying to grow Bird of Paradise among other clearly tropical plants in places where snow is known to fall with some frequency. Here you can share both triumph and tragedy.

No matter which state or country you live in, there’s a Facebook gardening group for you—frequently there’ll be several, so you’re covered within any state from mountain to shore.  

In Washington DC there’s DC Gardeners, which goes way beyond the cherry blossoms to ferret out special events and garden tours, host a garden book club and book signings—and generally promote public gardens and city gardening, from ponds to vegetables to native plants.  

Enjoy hands-on, hit-you-right-on-the-nose garden inspiration? The Philadelphia Flower Show, the Big Mama of U.S. flower shows is March 3 to 11, 2018. Wonders of Water, this year’s theme, features a rain forest jungle with a 25-foot waterfall, and an extravaganza of garden displays, presentations and demonstrations—plus a drool-worthy assortment of plants and accessories to buy and take home.  

Here comes spring! Are you ready?

—Stephanie Cavanaugh

*Not a word, but should be

LittleBird “Stephanie Gardens” writes every Thursday about the triumph and tragedy of city gardening.




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