Aha! THEPLOTTHICKENS, my dear Watson!
Literally, in the case of this puzzle, where some industrious gardener (not likely myself, given the state of the plants in my office) sees their plot go from dirt to grass to bush to jungle. I like this theme because I had no idea until I was done with the puzzle what the connection from the revealer to the theme answers was. Also the four theme answers are solid phrases in their own right, with none sticking out above the others (although I do like BUSHLEAGUE).
It's ironic (and not in the Alanis Morrisette sense) that the segment of the puzzle with the least aesthetic fill should be the area right around GLUEY. I'm fine with JIF, although it is a brand name entry, but it's a nice and Scrabbly one. But UANDI and IED and FYI make for a bunch of disconnected letters. The symmetric area in the north is definitely better, even with the ancient Maleska era RIATA.
Otherwise, there's the very nice WENTROGUE and the odd CARPOOLER. The chunky NE and SW corners have some nice BOFFO answers, including ATMFEE. Which I don't like in real life, of course. And which are completely unjustified in any real sense, except insomuch as any institution should feel free to bilk people of monies.
And now I fall off my high horse with a loud PHD. I think that's about enough, BUSTER.