This week’s green thumb-themed edition of GOOP features advice from Gwyneth Paltrow‘s “friend” José, who’s an “expert in the garden.” Translation: José is Gwyneth Paltrow’s gardener. But she deigned to include his layman’s tips in her ultra-populist newsletter — and lucky us, we got our hands on José’s very own email blast, which he sends out to all his gardener friends.
Managing Rich People
I get some great lessons in dealing with the wealthy and out-of-touch from my employer, Lady Paltrow (she only makes us call her that after three glasses of Shiraz, but I like to keep a professional distance at all times), who’s an expert at not wanting to seem like she’s not an expert at anything, and is therefore very easy to manipulate.
Lady Paltrow likes to ask my opinion on things. Just the other day she said, “Jose, I’ve been trying to breed a cucumber with a shoshito pepper because I think the cool-to-spicy ratio would be a perfect element inside the summer salad I always bring to Sir Elton John’s Guy Fawkes Day party, which he celebrates in July instead of November because David Furnish looks good in shorts, but it doesn’t seem to be taking. Any tips?”
I responded: “How about planting the seeds inside the greenhouse (it’s pink) so they have the best chance of cross-pollinating (don’t know what that means), and also have you tried candles and Marvin Gaye?”
Lady Paltrow thanked me for my help, and afterward, she felt so good about herself for asking my opinion that she gave me permission to spend my afternoon napping in the hammock on the East veranda, the one made of Locks of Love hair from blonde California girls. She also had her “service expert” Annie bring me a glass of lemonade made from the Jonathan Rhys Meyers lemons we’ve been growing all season (pilot season), to which I added a healthy dose of artisanal vodka, the kind made from paint fumes and Damien Hirst’s saliva.
We’ve tried planting some new things this year: thyme, sage, rosemary, discontent, heirloom tomatoes, hissop, pickles. The difference between an heirloom tomato and a regular tomato is that an heirloom tomato is large enough to feed a Guatemalan family (of 37) for a week, and also it can be passed on from generation to generation through a process of regurgitation not dissimilar to that between a mama and baby bird. The secret behind hissop is that it’s just grass. But I tell her it costs $80 a bundle and pocket the cash!
Here’s how to plant your seeds:
• Dig a hole
• Put the seeds inside
Here’s how to plant your seeds if Lady Paltrow’s watching (note: sometimes through binoculars, once through a replica Hubble Space Telescope):
• Dig a hole using a $700 Kate Spade spade, then pawn that for the plasma TV you’ve had your eye on for a while
• Put the seeds inside and cover with dirt
• Get some of that dirt on your pants. She’ll offer you a pair of Chris Martin’s designer jeans, which have been pre-worn by every member of The Strokes for authentic rockstar fading
• Pee on the plot, just out of spite