April 13, 2013

"You come to the garden, you expect it to be people gardening. And these people aren’t gardening. They’re having a party."

" I was elected to get rid of that and get things done."

April Ward, the  president  — arguably ousted — of the Roosevelt Island Garden Club, quoted in a NYT article by Vivian Yee that depicts the political microcosm of a garden club in hilarious, delightful detail.
“Since she came, oh my God, everybody’s fighting,” said Raphael Elbaz, a longtime garden member.... “It’s like the slave became the king.”...

“People start to be afraid of having a garden when you have a dictator like that,” Mr. Elbaz said.

The final straw for many came when Ms. Ward declared that the formerly neutral territory known as the border plots, which encircle the patchwork of individual gardens, would be divided up and given to anybody who wanted them, even associates, no waiting list necessary, so that the border could be maintained with the proper shrubbery and florals. It was, full members protested, a violation of the two most basic tenets of the garden club: that one must wait one’s turn for a plot, and thus full-member status (even if it might take three to six years), and that associates may help, but may not own (a longstanding class distinction).
A coup ensues... Read the whole thing. And I'm going to follow Vivian Yee on Twitter.

28 comments:

Michael said...

Women at work.

Pogo said...

The first rule of Garden Club is: You do not talk about Garden Club.

Patrick said...

It was, full members protested, a violation of the two most basic tenets of the garden club: that one must wait one’s turn for a plot, and thus full-member status (even if it might take three to six years), and that associates may help, but may not own (a longstanding class distinction).

Funny that the two most basic tenets of the club have nothing to do with gardening itself.

ironrailsironweights said...

Ms. Ward looks to be the sort of hippie-ish woman who might still be in her natural state. She probably considers it to be channeling her inner goddess, or something New Age-y of that sort. Based on her ethnicity, Vivian Yee also may avoid the tyranny of the razor.

Peter

AprilApple said...

I don't want to get involved.

ah crum,, I read through the article link. Funny stuff. A reminder that we really can't all get along.

"Then she announced that, among other innovations, like public education initiatives and worm composting, she would be taking a stand against weeds.

Weeds!

“People start to be afraid of having a garden when you have a dictator like that,” Mr. Elbaz said. ...

Capt. Schmoe said...

Was MS. Ward actually born in Roosevelt Island? Can she prove it?

Paco Wové said...

It's all about the pecking order.

AprilApple said...

"Sex noises" or full-throated bullfrogs. Any wagers?

traditionalguy said...

I love this group. They are a microcosm showing why society will always need its lawyers. It's the principle of the thing!

Feudal fields were divided into strips so each owner got some good land and access to it. The people needed that order. Good boundaries make good neighbors, hence the "private property" notion became law. Collectives coming in to consolidate administration need to eliminate private property concepts, but then Good Neighbors are gone too.


Nomennovum said...

I would never join a club that would allow a woman to become a member.

Pete the Streak said...

First world problems, to the extreme.

cubanbob said...

It's springtime for Hitler and Germany....winter for Poland and France...... be a smarty and come and join the Nazi party. What Mel Brooks could do with this garden party.

James said...

Hilarious... I lived on Roosevelt Island from '89 to '92 but I don't think there was a garden club then.

AprilApple said...

Off topic:
Obama pays 18.4% tax rate.

The media are proclaiming Obama a hero! with nary a mention that 18% is not the 39.6% most other Americans pay in his tax bracket.

Taxes are for other people. And why on earth would Obama take advantage of charitable loopholes?
That's vulgar.

Phil 3:14 said...

I wonder if Maltilda is in the garden club.

cubanbob said...

The media are proclaiming Obama a hero! with nary a mention that 18% is not the 39.6% most other Americans pay in his tax bracket.

I intend to have a Come To Jesus talk with my CPA about that. It doesn't seem right that I pay a higher rate than the Obama's and I can't exclude being taxed on some of my perks.

edutcher said...

Somewhere, Ricky Nelson is smiling wryly.

chrisnavin.com said...

Up twinkles.

ricpic said...

Looks like it pisses Yee off that folks are having fun when they should be gardening, dammit!

pm317 said...

We had a squabble like this in our hiking club with the then (founding) president who opposed the club from having a presence on the Internet (Web page), because she was not computer savvy and the guy who fought her wanting to use the Internet to conduct club's business. She was ousted. Everybody else told her to take a hike! :)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Wow. What a bitch.

I expect that someday soon we will see a show on the ID (Investigation Discovery) channel about finding Ms Ward with a garden trowel shoved down her throat.

Humperdink said...

Well it's a good thing the Auburn University tree poisoner is not a member of the club.

http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/stories/beloved-auburn-university-oak-trees-to-be-cut-down-april

C Stanley said...

People in groups are hilarious. We once had to be involved in a road maintenance organization for upkeep of a gravel road leading to our vacation cabin in the GA mtns.

No one wanted to do the heavy lifting, of course, but our neighbors (who are from FL) stepped up. For their thanks, they faced a revolt from the local landowners. It was hilarious...another FL guy had gone behind everyone's back to rile up the oldtime folks and convinced them that our neighbors were dictators who needed to be ousted. He stirred up a ridiculously passionate argument about what everyone wanted the community to be...my hasband and I still laugh heartily atnthe one guy who turned to us and said "If y'all want this place to be like a country club, y'all done did build (sic) in the wrong place!" yes, havong a traversable gravel road year round is exactly like enforcing the building codes of a country club.

So the other FL dude (the instigator) then forces a vote to remove our FL friends and have the bylaws state that there are no officers, because there should be no leaders. He then proceeds to run the rest of the meeting...too funny.

virgil xenophon said...

ALL of adult life is nothing more than "Lord of the Flies" writ large..

LTMG said...

Clubs give petty tyrants a contained space within which to vent their outrage and act abominably. Better there than in a broader and more influential context.

LTMG said...

Clubs give petty tyrants a contained space within which to vent their outrage and act abominably. Better there than in a broader and more influential context.

Conserve Liberty said...

After a near lifetime of seeking I have finally come across a form of political life lower then a subdivision trustee.

Vocel Perkerson said...

We don't have heaps of different pointless payroll 2013 tax brackets.We don't have lots of special tax breaks for special interest groups!!!. Good tax rebates for donations to charities. Company tax is 28% and hopefully lowered to 25% soon. A basic capital gains tax of a simple flat rate would be a good addition