Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Rose (Garden) by Any Other Name

In the newest issue of one of the half dozen gardening magazines I subscribe to, a columnist suggests that every garden should have its own proper name. It sounded like a good idea, and would at least make garden record-keeping more succinct and efficient. (My plant database currently assigns individual specimens to “the big garden,” “mom’s old weed patch” and “that new bed where the neighbors think we hide the bodies.”)

Each garden has its distinct personality, the writer argued, and deserves a name befitting that uniqueness. A garden’s name should be descriptive, yet intriguing. It should convey the essence of the plot while preserving a sense of mystery and romance.

With these criteria in mind, I sat down to ponder the possibilities. My first notions tended to be apt, but unappealing: “Snake Haven, “ say, or “Diminishing Returns.” I‘ve considered names that acknowledge the inevitable (“Bunny Buffet”) or provide full disclosure (“Overdraft Arbor”). I could go with something grand, like “Eden’s Acres” -- the kind of name likely to get you mentioned in the local tourist brochure. However, since even my biggest bed is only 40’x10’, it’s an appellation that could be challenging to defend in a court of law.

A shrewd businesswoman could, I suppose, take a cue from professional sports teams and offer a name in exchange for sponsorship: “Fleet Farm Farm,” perhaps, or “Tastefully Simple Beer Beds.”

For now the quest continues. If anyone reading this has an idea, feel free to pass it along. Or, for a small sum (just $1,000 or so!), you could have a patch of weedy ground named for YOU. Get ‘em while they last!

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