Yard Notes: First Impressions Can Stink Like Carrion Flowers

    You’re finally having some people over, but the flower beds aren’t made, the window boxes are pretty much dirt boxes and the sills are bare. It’s not like you’ve had a year to get the garden into gear, invest in houseplants that are nearly impossible to kill, or chisel out a spot in the kitchen for vegetables that grow in pots. What will the family/guests/contractors that are finally allowed to visit think? 

    Maybe, that you’re conducting a study on dormant seeds that requires a 142-year wait before planting? Or that you’re a rancher on drought-stricken land who needs more resilient grasses to keep the cows coming home? 

    The least you could do is hang some arboreal art or pop on a fruit print, both of which will put you on trend and scratch a visitor’s nature itch. Otherwise, brush up on tree-based trivia, and if there’s time, consider dropping some of the 15 best flowers for an aromatic garden into the dirt. 

    Beware though, you might attract all sorts of sniffers with a cotton candy-scented katsura tree. That would be better than a visit to a flatulent forest (methane-emitting rotting trees in coastal wetlands) or a run in with Aristolochia microstoma, which arrests decomposer pollinators with carrion charisma.

    There’s a history to all this. Chinese horticulturalists are studying fossilized angiosperms for clues on how the miracle of growing began, even as other research shows that it took iron-jawed dinosaurs to keep up with plant evolution. And who would’ve thought that the gregarious grazing of ravenous herbivores would’ve shaped horticulture as we know it: a Vietnamese gardenista harvesting rose apples on TikTok with her admiring son.


    Today, mom harvested her fruits from her Rose-apple tree! Have you had these before? 🤤👩🏻‍🌾❤️ #roseapple #fruits #learnontiktok #spotlightapi #fypシ

    ♬ La Vie En Rose – Emily Watts

    If nothing else, be thankful you’re not a banana farmer who needs have his Os GMed to save bunches from blight. So lean into your lawless land as if it were “an adorable crusty gremlin” that has all the potential of Q-Tip:

    In soil-derity,


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