The Nation: The Plastic Garden

Out of the fertil ground he caus'd

to grow All trees of noblest kind for sight,

smell, taste.

—Paradise Lost

Gardening has made considerable advances since Eden. In the lush greenery of the Pacific Northwest, for example, Mr. and Mrs. James Cummings of Renton, Wash., own a $33,000 house that sits amidst a profusion of huckleberry, juniper and salal. Conveniently, nearly every blade of grass, every twig and leaf is made of plastic or some other synthetic.

"We both work," explains Cummings, a riveter for the Boeing Co. "And neither of us has a green thumb." For $3,500, the Cummingses had a versatile landscaper install a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!