The Avant Gardener

June 19, 2015

Dear Ladies of the Beverly Hills Garden Club,

If you have any inclination to follow proper decorum, then I suggest you read this update in gardening trends. We are all going avant-garden. Yes, it’s startling, and I know, you don’t know what it means, (that’s because I, Harriet Hunter, BHGC President, just made it up), but it is bound to revolutionize our homes and allow us to remain at the top tier of Southern California’s, and the country’s, and the world’s, competitive landscaping arena.

It all started on my husband and my’s spring trip to Moscow (lovely city, though I’ll always prefer Paris as we all know) where I saw a Kazimir Malevich exhibit. There it was, hauntingly subversive and enchanting to its core; like nothing I had ever seen before. (Ladies, if you don’t know the artist to whom I refer, I suggest you brush up on your Russian art history, and I invite you to come over to my home as I have since added two Maleviches to our collection. Just give me a call and I will gladly give you a tour so you can see what I’m talking about. You can also take a look at my new kitchen that we’ve just had redecorated again. And my Italian sconces. Yes, hand-crafted in Italy, I know you’re all wondering.) Finally we will be doing something innovative enough to receive our well-deserved recognition from the National Gardeners Association in this year’s NGA Garden Gala Awards!

So here’s what the board of the BHGC has come up with in our plan to become the world’s first avant-gardeners:

Firstly, grass is out. Yes, it’s time to retire that wretched vomit-colored adornment we’ve kept around our expensive acreage for so long. Grass is crass. Grass is loudly singing the same yawning lawn song that our great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfathers’ yards boasted when they were signing the Constitution! It’s time for a change. I know this may seem too radical to some of you, but I believe it is time for us to create a higher standard of the artistic nature (pardon my intended pun, yes I am that clever) of our gardens. An emerald dressed lawn evokes the unimaginative, uninspiring brush-strokes of the tired Impressionists. You know who prefers Impressionism of all the artistic movements, right? Ordinary people. Ladies, correct me if I am wrong but members of the BHGC are anything but that. We are better.

A stark gravel or soil covered lawn could shock people just as the avant-gardists did when suggesting political upheaval through imagery. Picture it now: a wood chip

covered front lawn representing a cerebral self-consciousness that announces to the world just how smart we really are. No more being scoffed at by those tired-looking working mothers for spending so much time on our gardens and homes. I’m done with working on my garden for hours, only for my husband and his business partners to traipse through the calla lilies without remarking upon their elegance. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, IT IS TIME FOR ARTISTIC RECOGNITION.

Uproot the hydrangeas! Kill your pesky roses! Fire your hedge-trimmers and cancel your watering system!

Ladies, it’s time to go avant-garden. Join me at our monthly meeting to discuss our plans to mow the lawn, once and for all.

Signed,

Harriet Hunter
Beverly Hills Garden Club President


November 12, 2015

Dear Mrs. Hunter

I felt it was my duty to write to you before before next month’s NGA Garden Gala Awards. I believe that your bold action with the Beverly Hills Garden Club has caused some unexpected results and I do not want you to be caught off guard while on camera at the event.

Unfortunately, your avant-gardening movement has not won you neither Best Garden award nor Most Artistic Garden. I am sorry to have to inform you of this unexpected and regrettable news. As a former member of the BHGC, I know how much effort it must have taken for you to convince all of the neighbors to dig up their perfectly green grass and replace it with Redwood chips. I also cannot even begin to imagine the looks on the ladies’ faces when you suggested they replace their dahlias with those unsightly succulents. Even that name makes me cringe.

However, it seems that your brazen action has won you an honor that I don’t believe has ever been awarded before. You will receive the NGA’s Environmentalist Award. Yes, it turns out that your gardening revolution is actually concurrent with a trend known as xeriscaping, apparently popular among those hippies in Colorado. Supposedly it reduces a garden’s need for watering and consequently helps conserve the earth’s limited resources. So, it turns out that by reducing all of the greenery from your gardens, you have made them more environmentally green. So, congratulations!

I hope that this letter reaches you well and I cannot wait to see you at the gala. Remember to look surprised when they announce your award!

Best,

Kelly Adams
National Gardens Association Board Member

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