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Dear UPS You Forgot Which Direction Is Up

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Fresh young test plants

Fresh young test plants

Dear UPS Corporation,

Today I received a delivery of fresh young test plants that were sent so that I am able to try them out in the garden. I am a test gardener and plant arrival is always an exciting moment for me. My readers, and I’m sure your delivery team, know that categorically I have a deep and passionate obsession with gardening, right? It’s like a love affair with none of that messy controversy, except when my city gets upset with me (but that’s another story).  I actually work out in my garden in the spring at night with a head lamp on because I MUST get the plants in the ground in time.

But I digress.

What I’m trying to say is I’m garden nutso. And you get this by now by seeing the sheer quantity of plants you deliver to my household annually. Having said all this, I’m sure you understand how important it is to get these plants in good condition.  You’ll note in the photo above how the plants arrived on my front porch today. Do you see something wonky here? Note the very specific arrow placement.

Now I understand that this might be your busy season because it just happens to be my busy season too – I’m planting the front lawn veggie garden, my kid just graduated from college, I’m writing a book, and I’m touring the country speaking all over the place. Perhaps your drivers are so busy that they have forgotten which freakin’ direction is up. This is surprising to me because the word “UP” is actually a part of your corporation’s name.

Let me confirm. ::rereading your company name::

Yes it is true: UPS has “UP” in it!

I just wanted to remind you hereto and forevermore which direction is really up. It’s the direction that plants grow. It’s where you look when you look at the clouds. It’s the place you go after you sit in a chair then change your mind and decide you need a cup o’ coffee. It’s the direction that success can be found. Up is always at the top of things. Generally speaking, it’s the opposite of down.

I hope you’ll continue to deliver lots of plants and other stuff to me, but  will be sure to face the box the direction the shipper intended.

Thank you ever so much,


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  1. Hi Shawna – I just wanted to let you know that this is a nation-wide epidemic. ;o) Our UPS driver complained about the soil all over his truck yesterday. Steve stopped to explain the meaning of the ‘up arrows’ and how it directly affects the soil level in his truck – here’s hoping it sticks! – Yours in Gardening, Janit, Seattle, Wa

  2. Thanks Janit. The reason I decided to post this is this is not the first time it’s happened. It’s pretty inconvenient to open up a box of plants upside down with soil and roots going everywhere.



  3. This is Proven Winners plants!!!!!!!!!!!!! How strange is that Jenny? I can’t believe it. Soil everywhere, but the plants survived.

  4. Some of the UPS folks are very good and some are just LAZY! I was in my home and ups crammed boxes in my entry way. I could only get my hand out the door to push and shove the boxes back to open my outside door. This took about 15 minutes, which in an emergency or if I was weaker or sick would have taken way TOO long!

  5. Mine arrived right side up. However, I was in the yard when the UPS man got there and he handed them to me. No soil escaped a single pot.

    I told him today that I was going to start calling him Santa Claus, because this was the fourth time he’d brought me a box of test plants in as many days! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Aha! I also garden with a headlamp on, for the last week at least and probably a few more before I might settle down to a more regular pace, either that or the days will get longer ๐Ÿ˜‰

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