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If You Can't Plant It, Name It

I’m guilty of it, you’re guilty of it and almost all of our gardening friends are too: We all have a motley collection of plants still in their nursery pots living in our driveways. 

Someday their day may come. Until then, let's call it a Driveway Garden.

Someday their day may come. Until then, let's call it a Driveway Garden.

(Before anyone gets all superior and claims that their driveway is free of plants, well, that only means you’re not a serious gardener or that you’ve squirreled your cache of impulse buys somewhere else. Behind your garage. On your patio. Maybe on the driveway of your neighbor, the one who is housebound and cannot see your plants from her window.)

We gardeners have been known to laugh sheepishly about this among ourselves, but it is a very real problem we need to face! Neighbors look at us funny. HOAs complain. Some of our numbers have been served divorce papers! 

When enthusiasts of other pastimes accidentally max out their credit cards buying yarn, fishing lures, cute scrapbook stuff and other crap, they can hide the evidence from their neighbors and sometimes their spouses by stashing the goods under beds or in attics. Or even in a storage unit they pay for on their own secret charge card.

But not us! Nope. Our indiscretions need light and water, and so, dammit, there they sit in plain sight. Collected in our driveways for weeks. Months. Years, even! We drag a hose to them daily. They get weedy and chlorotic while we anxiously await the mythical day when we’ll have both the time and the place to plant them. And while we know that that day will eventually come, and while we’re certain we made a great purchase, and while there is absolutely no doubt in our hearts that buying all those plants was totally necessary, we’re forced, again and again, to hang our heads in shame every time we walk past them with any non-gardener.

Well, this whole thing has to change, and I’ve got just the idea, but we must all be really cool about it. All of us have to be in, and we can’t go blabbing to others. Okay? Here’s what we do. We rebrand. “Driveway plants?” Nope. Never. We don't speak those words again. From this moment on, we have "Driveway Gardens." Yep. Deliberately planned, functioning, high-value novelty spaces, just like any Fairy Garden, Railway Garden, Moss Garden or whatever.

Of course, by calling them Driveway Gardens, we will need to raise the bar a bit. A random stash of plants just won’t do. Sometimes, our Driveway Gardens will need more color or texture or other corrective design elements. We’ll need to buy more plants. Perhaps our Driveway Gardens might need a birdbath, or a gnome, or an irrigation system.

Are you following how perfect this could be for us? Are you in? Just remember: "Driveway Garden," and act like it is the most normal thing in the world.