Dear Hortense Hoelove Answers "Enough Flowers?"

"Dear Ms. Hoelove,

Something has been nagging at me for some time now, and I hope that you can help me. A year ago I decided to dig up another area of the back lawn to create a new flowerbed. Usually I don't consult with my husband before doing such things, but I thought it would be courteous of me to mention it to him since he is the head of lawn mowing here.

To my surprise, he wasn't very thrilled with the idea and told me, "You have enough flowers." "Enough flowers"?? I've never heard this phrase before and wondered if there was such a concept...

Dear Hortense, if you can find the time to answer this pressing question soon, I would appreciate it. If there is such a thing as "too many flowers," perhaps you could suggest a 12-step program for plant addicts like me. The new garden catalogs are coming in every day, and I'm already developing plant lust--Help!!

Bewildered (aka Prairie Rose)

Dear Prairie Rose,

I am so pleased you asked this question as it has given me an excuse to take over the laptop and post something on this blog.

Do you know how hard it is to get a turn with this laptop? If Carol isn't using it, then the garden fairies are. Those garden fairies have become quite the prima daisy publicity hogs, thinking that every little thought they have ought to become a blog post.  I swear, they run through this blog like chickweed runs through the garden in early spring.

It's hard for a garden advice columnist to get a post in edgewise.

But your question is an important one, so move over garden fairies. Hortense gets the keyboard tonight!

I've consulted with some experts around here to help emphatically answer your question about the concept of "enough flowers".

First, I consulted with Carol's therapist, Dr. Hortfreud. She's a learned gardener-therapist-listener-sounding-board and has good input at times.

Dr. Hortfreud once heard of this concept of "enough flowers" and did her own research on it. She has concluded that as a scientific theory, no one has proven that the concept of "enough flowers" exists. If it doesn't exist, well, then it isn't there. It's like two random words said together.

Carol's stylist, Gloriosa Vanderhort, was also asked if there is such a concept -- "enough flowers". She laughed. The only place she could imagine "enough flowers" was in one of those Japanese Ikebana floral arrangements that involve all kinds of rules about how many flowers are included. Gloriosa is not one for rules. She likes lots of flowers in the garden.

Now, if you want someone to follow rules, Miss Jane Hortaway, Carol's personal assistant and organizer,  knows all about rules.  I swear, you can tell Miss Hortaway about a rule and she will follow it off a cliff. So, we don't tell her many rules, as a rule.

Miss Hortaway would certainly know if there are any rules about how many flowers a gardener can have and she knows of no such rules. She also thinks the concept of "enough flowers" is pure fiction. As she put it, "Chief, you can never have enough flowers, as a rule".

I have to agree with these experts. As a scientific concept, there is no proof.  As a rule, it doesn't exist.  If there is no proof and it doesn't exist, then we can ignore it. "Enough flowers." Really, it's laughable to think about, isn't it?

Given all of this, there is no need for a twelve step program. There is no need to limit your plant catalog browsing. You can never have enough flowers.

Hortifully as always,
Hortense Hoelove


  1. Dear Hortense, that was brilliant. You need to push the garden fairies aside and take over the key board more often. Indeed there can never be enough flowers...
    yours truly,
    No way are there ever enough flowers

  2. I agree with this advice. There's never enough flower in the garden. I'd say have fun with those catalogs and go big. :)

  3. And I would add to Rohrerbot's comment....go big or go home! Power to the flowers!!!

  4. The only person who can - with authority - tell me that I have "enough flowers" would be my bank assistant... But as long as I don't have to go to her, asking for a loan to finance a new flower bed, I'm pretty sure that "more is more" is the correct motto for a garden.

  5. "..two random words said together." That is pure brilliance! No such thing, absurd actually, enough flowers. Almost the same as enough shoes (Uggs).

  6. i have some advise for those who are worried about 'too many flowers' Do not spend your money on therapy, you will regret this. It doesn't work and all the money tht you spent on therapy will be wasted and you could have spent it on more flowers.

  7. I agree that there can't be too many flowers. Unfortunately, my husband thinks I have enough. He mows the lawn, so he doesn't want to work around flower beds. i keep telling him that if we had more flower beds. he would have less to mow. It falls on deaf ears.

  8. Thank you for not only answering my question, Hortense, but also for doing such extensive research! I'm so glad you were able to shoo the garden faeries away from the keyboard for awhile. I was wondering if you were possibly sunning on a beach somewhere until gardening season began.

    I feel so much better now that I know my husband was just uttering two random words together--he does that sometimes. Mr. McGregor's Daughter also offered some interesting insight before I read your reply--that males have a basic need to mow lawn and sometimes resent encroachment on that area. That would be an interesting question to pose to Dr. Hortfreud, but don't ask Carol--she might find that a rather sexist remark:)

    Once again, thank you; now I can start planning orders from those garden catalogs with a clear conscience!

  9. Whew! I'm glad to hear that. I was worried I'd gone overboard too. :) ~~Dee

  10. I am glad to see this question put to bed with such exhaustive research. Just in time for spring planning too!

  11. Whatever would we do without the sage advice of Hortense Hoelove?

  12. Like Dee, I experienced a strong sense of relief when I read this research.

  13. It's like Franz Joseph telling Mozart that his music has "too many notes." Heresy!

  14. LOL, Carol...enough flowers...never!! I knew this would be your final conclusion (although, I did wonder for a brief moment if you were going to suggest a 'greener' alternative')...Thankfully, you didn't.

  15. The myth that one can have too many flowers ranks up there with Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster.

  16. If you are planning on downsizing or moving in the next 5 years, don't plant more flowers; too many flowers are a negative to homebuyers who see High Maintenance after a certain point. If you will be living there longer than 5 years, plant away and enjoy to the fullest. It's your home, after all, and your "Garden Castle"!

  17. Thank you for your research, Hortense. I love the answers you found!


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