Ms. Demeanor's Vertical Etiquette

Dear Ms. Demeanor: Firing a volunteer green thumb

By Jamie Lauren Sutton  | June 27, 2012 - 10:37AM

Dear Ms. Demeanor,

To save money, our co-op gave over the planting of our sidewalk garden to an interested resident. Said resident assured us she could do the same job for much less; she would only charge for the materials.

Sadly she has replaced the lush but elegant flowers and plants with anemic-looking impatiens and various tacky small garden sculptures.  A garden gnome in Manhattan is meant to be ironic interior decor, not part of an actual garden.

How do we tell OUR garden gnome to lose hers and bring back the hostas?


Pansy Posey

Dear PP,

Cheap is dear, my dear. Nothing is harder than firing a volunteer.

Your building has three options:  (1) hire a professional landscaping company again, (2) have the house committee or board discuss the issue with the gardener and ensure any future designs/sculptures are pre-approved, or (3) ignore the gnomes and enjoy the communal savings - they are even more rare than garden gnomes in Manhattan.

Hosta la vista,
Ms. Demeanor

Ms. Demeanor is channeled by a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur who writes under the pen name Jamie Lauren Sutton. She is here to commiserate, calm and correct. Please email your quandaries to [email protected] and put "Dear Ms. Demeanor" in the subject line.

See all of Ms. Demeanor's advice here


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