Like oxalis, certain words pop up everywhere. Icon, for instance. The ratio of icons to iconoclasts has diverged as markedly over the last few decades as the salaries of CEO’s to those of their employees. Sustainable is another. It drifts perilously close to lapsing into the orbit of junk words, satellites reflecting a bit of light but with not enough charge to stay in communication. We have junk words, junk food, a subcontinent of plastic floating in the Pacific, and crap in space. Why are we talking about sustainability? Wouldn’t changeability be more apropos? I googled Icon of Sustainablity, not really expecting to find much. Ha! Over a million entries. My favorite is near the top: MAKING TIFFANY AN ICON OF SUSTAINABILITY.
(Welcome, reader. We meet in the capsule of parentheses. This is the launch of my first blog for The Late Show Gardens. In no time I expect to be an icon, at least. So be nice.)
I asked Robin, the driving force behind the Show, about “sustainable,” how it pertains to the enterprise. She wrote: “I believe that sustainability is the ability of the natural world to remain in balance, with processes of removal and forces for renewal allowed to proceed at the same time. In its most basic form, an organic vegetable garden is sustainable. All living material removed during the vegetable growing process is returned to the ground in the form of crops and compost. Birds and insects are given some space/adjacent space and the garden can be maintained indefinitely. Of course, by our very existence we are causing damage, but it can be greatly mitigated by care and thought.”
Mitigation. (Mitigare. To soften. ) If that doesn’t work, maybe we can hope for mutation. (Mutare. To change. ) In upcoming days I’ll ask the designers, vendors et al., what their slant on this is, if they have any big (or appropriately small) ideas.
R. E. Faro