Art Responds to Criticism

It would appear I must defend myself against totally unsubstantiated charges from a source that has absolutely no knowledge of the horticultural field!
by Art Drysdale
by Art Drysdale


Art Drysdale, a life-long resident of Toronto and a horticulturist well known all across Canada, is now a resident of Parksville, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, just north of Nanaimo. He has reno-vated an old home and has a new garden there. His radio gardening vignettes are heard in south-western Ontario over radio station Easy 101 FM out of Tillsonburg at 2 PM weekdays.

Art also has his own website at

September 26, 2010

Above, we thought we had totally excluded all deer from our street-side garden (the waterside is open territory!) and until recently we had no problems. But recently, one had gotten in through a narrow opening for which I am currently working on building a narrow, tall gate that will block that entryway. Only a couple of weeks ago, this is what I came out to when I came to turn on our geyser: two shots of the green and yellow bean plants in containers (which had been very productive) totally stripped of their foliage (but the growing beans were left), and the container with red petunias on our front porch completely picked clean of flowers! Below, our fall flowers are looking fine: three shots of Schizostylus (pink and red) and two of our cactus-type dahlias. Author photos.

I believe it has been over a decade now that I have been electronically duelling with a Miss Kazimiera Jean Cottam. For years, each time she wrote to me (by e-mail) complaining about something I said on the radio, or wrote in a newspaper, I would dutifully respond with the correct scientific answer to her supposed problem. I have even had others in the gardening and related scientific fields write and ask me how I dealt with Miss Kazimiera’s ravings and ranting. For the last several years, my way of doing that has been to ignore her totally! Until now.

Miss Kazimiera, and her enviro–maniac–ghost–writers, seek to impose needless, senseless, and malicious life-style choices on their unsuspecting readers too often by the routine concoction of myths, deceptions, fear-mongering, fraudulent lies, misconceptions, coercion, threats, terror, and paranoid conspiracies to scam and deceive the public into believing that families are in some non-existent danger with conventional pest control products.

Miss Kazimiera, and her enviro–maniac–ghost–writers, often employ the title of «Doctor» and «PHD» in order to pretend to possess expertise in order to scam and deceive the public, and lend credibility to her enviro–prohibition ideas.

In fact, Miss Kazimiera herself acquired a mere doctorate in Russian and East European History from the University of Toronto in 1971. Neither Miss Kazimiera, nor any of her ghost-writers, have any recognized expertise, training, or background, in matters concerning pest control products!

Miss Kazimiera, and her ghost-writers, do not know anything of what they are talking!

Miss Kazimiera personally claims she is indisputably qualified to discuss pest control products because she pays a membership to a trade association (Writers’ Union of Canada)! Miss Kazimiera claims that she was awarded a little prize for writing an obscure article in the scientific journal Reader’s Digest. Give me a break, please!

Under the guise of being some kind of professional, Miss Kazimiera, and her enviro–maniac–ghost–writers, have written in blogs and newspapers across Canada to express their valueless and worthless opinion regarding conventional pest control products. Additionally, neither Miss Kazimiera, nor her ghost–writers, has any recognized expertise, training, or background, in matters concerning pest control products!

They certainly have no expertise regarding Health Canada or the Green Space Industry. Miss Kazimiera, and her ghost-writers, are totally unqualified!

Having all of the above and more about this is 80-year-old divorced and chronologically-gifted octogenarian in my mind, and as well, knowing that sadly, because of her age and diminished capacity, environmental-terror-activists have been using her as «cannon fodder» for several years I have to say that I was a little bit annoyed to read a recent couple of blogs she and/or her ghost-writers have submitted for posting on Though they were apparently submitted on September 13, they seem to be awaiting approval/disapproval from the moderator of the particular forum. Who knows how that will go, but meantime, you can witness for yourself a couple of excerpts. For example, in the following post, it is inferred that I may have Alzheimer’s disease.

What a shame that this poor man seems to have fallen into a veritable tarantella of fear, jealousy, denial, outraged ego and mental unwinding. Has he developed Alzheimer's, perhaps, or possibly, ironically, become a victim of his own toxin-laden enthusiasms? Or... could these paroxysms of rage be this man's frantic response to the admittedly heart-gulping realization that his whole career--hence his many-decades long reputation--has been predicated upon beliefs and developments now generally accepted as having been dangerously fallacious from their inception, and highly toxic to many more organisms than was originally thought, back in the post-WWII days?

And here is another choice one wherein she/they infer I am at “huge risk of being humiliated, vilified, ridiculed, and rejected in any number of ways.”

He would come out looking, and being, far more honourable, believable, admirable and, above all, trustworthy if he could make a supreme effort to conquer his bowel-churning fear, putting aside ego and self-interested tirades in favour of making a long, careful, honest and objective study of the organic/natural/'green' advocates' legitimate concerns about the witches' brews of pesticides, herbicides, etc. concocted in the labs of the unprincipled, for the profit of the greedy, from some of the deadliest chemical combinations on the planet! Mr. Drysdale might emerge from such delving, one would hope, a wiser and more informed man (I have to wonder: does he already know the answer, but feel he's already dug himself in so deep that there's no turning back now?) But, that doesn’t have to be the case! After all, most of us at one time or another clamp onto a 'poisoned bone' of some sort and run with it for awhile, until we finally wise up and drop it. But, luckily for most of us, we don't have such a public forum (or vested interests...?) as Mr. Drysdale, which puts him at huge risk of being humiliated, vilified, ridiculed, and rejected in any number of ways--so his fear and fury are completely understandable, distasteful and untenable as one may find their expression.

Note in this last posting, that she/they refer to my “vested interests”. I challenge anyone, particularly the no-knowledge-of-horticulture Miss Kazimiera to come up with any vested interest I may have or have had with any pesticide company, now or through the past decade, or even before that. In fact I wish I had had such an interest, or as most people refer to them in this business a ‘sponsor’!

Note as well she/they suggest I should make “a long, careful, honest and objective study of the organic/natural/'green' advocates' legitimate concerns about the witches' brews of pesticides, herbicides, etc. concocted in the labs of the unprincipled, for the profit of the greedy, from some of the deadliest chemical combinations on the planet!”

Keeping in mind that Miss Kazimiera is originally from Russia, the foregoing quote sounds like something a staunch communist/socialist would state. [Miss Kazimiera was born in Czestohova, Poland on April 23, 1930. At age 9, when Hitler invaded Poland, she was forced to live in a children's home in Russia from 1940 to 1946. Her parents died of illnesses during the war, so she became orphaned at age12 in 1943. In 1948, she immigrated to Montréal at the age of 18 to live with her uncle, the Reverend Adolph Sergent, who officially adopted her.]

She apparently hasn’t realized that this entire continent is made up of for-profit corporations and while some may be greedy, that doesn’t exclude some of the organizations for whom she ‘plumps’ regularly--the so-called non-profit ‘green’ companies that are owned by many of the people behind the entire enviro-maniac movement. There are many more details available on this on the Web if anyone would like to look.

If she wishes to write about “witches’ brews of pesticides, herbicides, etc.” she should look first in the mirror. Many of the so-called green concoctions that I see being marketed are just that--witches’ brews that simply do not work; and some may even be much more harmful than the ‘chemicals’ that they are supposed to replace. Many of them I have tried, and long before they became popular.

There is a third posting on that I have read as well. It is the longest and most rambling of the three in which the author writes about having me change sides and support the enviro-maniacs--“how utterly admirable if you were to face your thousands of devoted admirers and say something along these lines.

Well, the only part of this posting that I agree with is that I know I have a very large following of “devoted admirers” who are interested in what I write and broadcast and ever-so-many of them write to me asking for my opinion on subjects such as this. Most are very interested to hear the “other side of the story” so to speak, particularly including my long-time friendship of horticulturist Dr. R. Milton Carleton (the co-inventor of 2,4-D). I enjoyed dinner with him in Chicago at least once each year when I was there judging at the Chicago Flower Show, and I also enjoyed listening to his comments on 2,4-D, and his corrections to the likes of, for example, the terrible paper from the Ontario College of Family Physicians (which included only research that was negative to pesticides and nothing from the greater volume of positive research).

So, Miss Kazimiera, do not look for me to join up with your enviro-maniac crusaders anytime soon. The way I see it, when folks begin to read all the facts, they are less convinced than ever that you and the other phonies in that enviro-maniac movement are anything but that.

Be well!

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