Glory's Garden

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Jim's mystery flower

My friend, Jim, asked me to identify a plant he found growing in his garden. He didn’t know if it was friend or foe, but he gave it the benefit of a doubt and allowed it to stay, all the while keeping a watchful eye for any sign of it being an invasive and throughly unwanted weed.

I asked if it was at least pretty. “Yeah, it’s gorgeous!”he said.

So, then it’s not a weed, I told him. In my opinion, any plant which makes you happy to have it in your garden can’t be a weed. But he wanted to know it for certain. He needed to give this thing a name. Then I asked what difference does it make what it is if he liked it so much?

“Ignorance is not good for me. If I don’t absolutely know it’s a real plant with a real name, I’ll forget about it and yank it out next year.”

Couldn’t argue with that. How often had I thrown down seeds and not labeled them, only to yank them out later when I forgot I had planted them there to begin with? Silly, thy name is the careless gardener!

So, I had Jim send me a picture of this gorgeous mystery plant. It took me a couple of tries before finding out for certain it was a Phlox paniculata, a very pretty pinkish red one. He was happy to know it was a ‘real’ plant. I told him I wouldn’t be happy until he sent me seeds from it. I don’t have any Phlox paniculata and I want some!

He assured me he would. That, I take as a solemn promise, from one gardener to another, and that cannot be breached. You are my witness!

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