WASHINGTON—In one of the most startling horticultural power plays to strike the executive branch in years, conniving groundskeeper Irv Williams is gaining sway over the West Wing staff, anonymous sources said Tuesday. The 83-year-old has reportedly used his favor to place aides in prime gardening posts, silence hostile landscapers, and manipulate his way into daily classified security briefings. "It started with a few tiny water elms along the edge of the property, and then there was a koi pond, the zinnias, and that ficus he gave [Press Secretary Robert] Gibbs," said one source, peering over his shoulder. "Now he's taking late night meetings with the attorney general to address 'concerns' he has about the president's ability to pick perennials. Christ have mercy on every last one of us." Sources close to Williams said he will stop at nothing, or when he gets a new watering can.