Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Gardening For Guys Only

I am a member of the Men's Garden Club of Wethersfield Connecticut. We are the only male organization of this type in our town. And possibly in the entire state. But we're not the only ones in the world. Here are some of the other lesser known Men's Garden Clubs that I found - without even Googling.

The Gaelic Guy Gairdiners of Dublin was founded in the late 1950's by a group of flower-loving fellows who got tired of trying to have serious horticultural conversations in loud, smoke-filled, whiskey and beer smelling pubs. After a series of meetings at the home of one of the founders, Seamus McDoofus, the group realized that all they were interested in growing were potatoes and that basically all they had to do to propagate them was to throw an old spud into the ground and wait. So now they meet once a week in the barroom of a local tavern where they smoke cigars, drink Guinness, burp, and bitch about pretty much anything and anybody.

The Compagni Planters of Corleone (Sicily) with branches in Newark, New York City, Las Vegas and Providence. This group is perhaps best known for their unique method for disposing of unwanted foliage by encasing the roots in cement and tossing them into the nearest deep body of water. They are also internationally recognized hybridizers for being the developers of the Floribunda Rosa Mafioso. The club's annual plant sale brings in record numbers of donors and patrons each year who say that the club's "offers just can't be refused." Additional funds are raised through the sale and distribution of other (shall we say) "under the counter" plant byproducts. The current President is Gino "The Zucchini" Gambini (husband of the actress Omerta Lollamangaiani). The immediate Past President has not been seen or heard from since the day after a dead fish arrived on his doorstep. Wait, late breaking news - The Zucchini has been replaced by Nero "The Kale" Di Toscana. There is no word on Gambini's current whereabouts.

The "We're More Born Again Than You Are" Men's Horticultural and Theological Society (know to the cynics in town as the "Hors and Theos"). The membership of this organization practices what they call faith-based gardening, firmly believing that literally all you need is prayer. Like us, this group is also responsible for the maintenance of their hometown rose garden. Due to their horti-theological beliefs this means basically that they show up there once a week, offer up a few invocations and then leave to do other good works. As a result the plot, at least in the view of non-club members, is (to phrase it as delicately as possible) as dead as a doornail. But not in the minds of the Hors and Theos who believe that nothing has the right to leave this earth until they, the members of the club, say so. The official club emblem is a "live" Christmas Tree from 1983 (their first year), which is propped up by wires and fed intravenously with a mixture of Gatorade, Red Bull and Miracle-Gro. Membership dues are ten percent of your income.

The West Texas Men's Quail Hunting and Sagebrush Gardening Society is comprised of a small group of multibillionaires who meet once a month to indulge in the manly activities of twenty-first century gentleman ranchers. It hasn't rained a drop in that part of the country since sometime during the reign of Emperor Julius Caesar so it is totally impossible to grow anything at all in that dry, dusty desert. As a result, gardening in West Texas is comprised entirely of a mysterious ritual called "clearing brush" - an act that is performed only when newspaper photographers are present and seems to consist of taking a chain saw and cutting up piles of dried, dead bushes. The decapitated brush is then piled up to be burned and otherwise disposed of by underpaid Spanish speaking ranch hands with dubious Social Security identification numbers. Most of the activities of the club therefore involve quail hunting. Shooting this prey however has become much more dangerous since a group of antigun activists began dressing up all of the game birds in tiny little orange vests and matching baseball caps. As a direct result the quail population has expanded and club membership has declined at a rate of one to two members a hunt.

The Brokeback Mountain Gardening Guys
, the other Texas men's garden club, was founded in the 1980's by a group of cowboys who, after several months on the trail together found that they had a common interest - and they enjoyed gardening too. This organization is best known for their success in developing and maintaining the world famous Gay Caballero Rose Garden in Dryer-Than-Dry-Gulch Texas where they display stunning examples of floribunda roses such as the Princess Diana, the Judy Garland, the Bette Midler, the Barbra Streisand and the Sir Elton John. They have even developed their own unique method of fertilizing which they call "cross dressing" - a technique that they claim can bring out the suppressed inner beauty of anything. Maybe the gang that maintains our town's rose garden should consider giving it a try this year - a free starter kit including makeup and boas is available through this organization.

No comments: