When the archaeologists sort through the American empire, my bet will that none of them will think that our civilization put any value on novelty. They may piece together the Home Depots and Lowes that will litter the far expanses of our domain and will conclude that we, the people of the early twenty-first century worshiped the powerful gods of automation and convenience above all else. Home Depot is a cathedral built to exalt automation and convenience. Need some succulents? Don’t worry about thinking. The well-managed superstore overlords have been studying the data and they have considered everything. The garden center is laid out exactly as it should be. Get those succulents and be home before you even realize you left.
M and M Nursery, on the other hand, will confound those same archaeologists. While the remnants of the super stores will only build their grand unifying theories of our predisposition for saving time, this little family own business will throw a monkey wrench of made beautiful novelty into their discussions. M and M Nursery is the antithesis to Home Depot. Instead of being grabbed tight, pulled in, and spit out, this nursery opens its arms, welcomes you in, and makes time stop.
My objective was to stop and pick up some plants However, what I found was a wonderful shop devoted almost entirely to fairy gardens. There wasn’t just one or two, or even a table full. There were row after row of them in every imaginable fashion. Fairy gardens for the sun, fairy gardens for the shade. Small fairy gardens. Big fairy gardens. Fairy gardens that incorporated water. Fair gardens that made use of old red wagons. Fairy gardens followed by intoxicating fairy gardens.
I wanted to move quickly like I would in a Home Depot, but I couldn’t. Novelty sang out to me with her quiet but captivating voice. She forced me to stop and look around. I forgot about my responsibilities and my checklist. A half hour slipped by unnoticed. I found my way through the displays of the fairy gardens into a small building where they actually sell everything that a person would need to build one of these little marvels. I spoke with Beverly Turner who was as warm and welcoming as a person who has built a career around fairy gardens should be. Not only has she literally written the book on fairy gardens, but she also teaches classes on them and thankfully has posted her videos here.
M and M Nursery is a wonderful place that will confuse archaeologists and will spark debates among the academics in the millenia to come. Should this document survive to that era, I would like to communicate to them that the spirit of novelty is a powerful one. She took hold of me at M and M Nursery and has not let go yet. As I sit and commit my experience to the Internet, know that I can’t help but think that I’ll return there one day and will begin to build my own fairy garden. It will be a fairy garden that will celebrate novelty and will stand in open defiance to automation and convenience.
M & M Nursery
380 N. Tustin
Orange, CA 92867
July 4, 2018