A new phrase for taking one particular of our favourite pandemic-impressed pastimes on the road
It all started when Adam Overland’s colleague at Minneapolis’s Southwest Journal gave him a petunia. To transportation his new plant residence, Overland hung it on the get handle in excess of his car’s backseat window. In his humour column the next 7 days, Overland praised the roving greenhouse manner he had unintentionally designed: “I’m contacting it ‘cardening’—that is my new phrase,” he wrote, “but you can use it, as long as you allow me merge.”
That was in 2007, and it’s unclear whether model-section writers touting the pattern in the Guardian and Apartment Remedy in 2021 are informed of Overland’s trademark (or participating in proper highway etiquette). But cardening—growing plants in one’s car—has taken off. “It’s a excellent supply of light—nowhere do you have additional windows than in your motor vehicle,” suggests Overland, who even now operates as a author. This serene trend is element of the pandemic gardening fad, and has observed everything from pickup vans to Volvos planted with dashboard succulents, miniature herb gardens and bonsai trees. Cacti are a hardy choice, but all those spines could spell harm if placed in the car’s cupholder.
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It is not the initially visual appearance of these purely natural air fresheners. When the primary flower-ability vehicle, the Volkswagen Beetle, was produced in the 1950s, a clip-on porcelain vase was an optional added. Even this was a throwback: at the outset of motorcar journey, Henry Ford invented the “auto vase.” On scorching summer days, a bouquet of refreshing flowers was required to mask the bouquet of battery acid (and the sweat of fellow travellers).
Now that modern climate regulate has taken treatment of operate, cardening is all about aptitude. Overland coined the term far more as a joke than a way of living, but he sees the charm, in particular for the green-thumb-challenged. “I should really have taken it up,” he says.
This post appears in print in the December situation of Maclean’s magazine with the headline, “‘Cardening.’”