Man, this guy has a way with words, and I agree wholeheardedly.
He is the Renegade Gardener, AKA Don Engebretson, award-winning Minnesota writer and garden designer.
Here's his latest:
"Americans will spend thirty-four billion dollars this year on plants, gardening products and services, and a growing portion of the industry that sells them to us is convinced that we are a bunch of overworked, stressed-out, attention deficit-disordered fruit baskets who have no time, no desire, and no ability to learn how to garden.
This is the marketing monster behind the great dumbing down of gardening in America that began ten years ago, and gets worse and worse every breath I take. We are exposed to a multiplying plague of insipid plants, products, and procedures designed to convince consumers that gardening is easy, that it takes little time, and that you don't really need to learn all those fussy minor details such as soil preparation, planting procedure, pruning, propagation, pest control, watering, winter care, botanical Latin names of plants or, lord help you, design."
One notable blunder, according to Engebretson is using too few containers, structures, art, accessories, and other types of non-plant materials. That should be easy to fix, but make sure those containers are big, and you have lots of them.
I've noticed that the blunders Engebretson outlines - a biggie is planting a circle of bitsy annuals around a shade tree and outlining this with black plastic edging - aren't only found south of the border. They're typical of landscaping in Canada too. Bad landscaping with zero design sense must be a North American plague.
If I had a nickel for the number of times I've been asked what to plant in that circle bed under a tree (mind you, most of those inquiries do come from the US), I'd have a lot of nickels! Next time I get this question, I'm simply going to send the link to Engebretson's excellent article. If I learn anything from him, it will be not to mince words.
Read the full article, Top 10 Gardening & Landscaping Blunders — and How to Avoid Them, at his site.