"For me, a good plant fulfils a specific function in the garden, and does it well."
In the literature
I read of plants being used as
Function, not poetry.
In the world of production
Plants may function by
Sequestering carbon or cleaning the air.
Plants may be used to draw lead out of the soil -
Stabilize the bank of a stream or river -
Break the wind, fix nitrogen, or protect
The topsoil of a farm that lay fallow.
But in the garden
Plants are not technical objects.
Plants may “do” something
They signify, make allusions, affect
But they don’t function.
(I am drawn to the word “Gesture.”)
Beware of false prophets
Who write of plants that function.
This is engineering speak
Not poetry, design, nor gardening.
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From Matthew Dore, the "I" voice of Buffalo Horticulture and "The Buff Hort Project."