Why do they do that?

I would like to start the week on a positive note but sometimes I just can’t avoid slithering down into the pit of despair. And the cause of my descent into my low mood is the evil art of spray-painting plants.

Why do they do this? If you think heathers are dull just don’t grow them.

Even worse is that now the practice has spread to calocephalus, a plant we used for bedding at Kew many years ago but is now considered too dull to sell in its natural form and the foliage is not silver enough – it has to be sprayed silver and gold, and more.

The trouble is that people buy these. They are bright (the plants, not the people) and they remain bright even if the plant dies. If the plant lives then new growth will be green (or silver). There is no reason for this except avarice.

Almost as bad are Decorum Fairy cyclamen ‘Super Serie Petticoat’ – I am afraid I can’t work out what is the real name from the label – just a load of nonsensical names. The label says – ‘Once upon a time – there was a cyclamen that was really different. This fairy-like creature has hanging flowers that remind one of skirts being blown up in the wind. The Petticoat will even be prettier in a hanging basket or pot and will cast its spell on any interior, from castle to modern building. ‘

I am a sucker for anything new but really, what is the point of this strange mutation. Frills on the petals around the mouth of the flowers is nothing very new in cyclamen but when combined with flowers that don’t have reflexed petals, what is the point – you can’t see them! (I have tipped the plants over to see into the flowers)

While I am getting things off my chest, a recently received catalogue has been raising my blood pressure. It is full of mistakes and rather inept descriptions but one actually offends me. It is of a lily and goes

‘Another new lily from North America ,pendulous tiers of mahogany red flowers with deep orange centres on 4’+ stems that are god-like in their perfection. An established clump at the peak of bloom is such a sensory overload that you are to be forgiven if you think you’ve died and gone to heaven.’ (sic)

I won’t mention the origin of this to save blushes.

On a more positive note, if you are in Wexford, make a trip to Springmount garden centre, Ballycanew – they have 10 different heritage apples in stock, at 19.99 each (well with rounding in Wexford that will be 20 euro!)

Do not miss the chance to get a piece of Irish heritage at a bargain price. They still have some left despite me buying nine!

 

Sunday Puzzler solution

How did you get on?

The plants were:

Iris

 

Ipomoea

 

Hoya

 

Callicarpa

 

Acalypha

 

Euphorbia

 

Phalaenopsis

 

sorbus

 

Hyacinthus

 

Rodgersia

That gives you I I H C A E P S H and R

rearrange those to make ‘Irish Peach’

This is an early season eating apple dating from the early 19th century, from Sligo. It is said to have a good, sweet flavour with hints of peach and like all early apples is best eaten fresh from the tree and does not store well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 Comments on “Why do they do that?”

  1. derrickjknight
    October 9, 2017 at 10:20 am #

    You have my sympathy. The spraying is naff, and the cyclamen description dire. We managed to miss the Sunday Puzzler, which is a shame.

  2. thelonggardenpath
    October 9, 2017 at 12:42 pm #

    What timing! We were having the same conversation yesterday while walking into the village. We passed a front garden where several different “coloured” heathers had recently been planted. To say neither of us were keen would be an understatement! Well spaced out, I get the impression they were considered to be permanent planting – the owners will be in for a shock next year! The conversation then moved on to an event, which had been decorated with brown, painted roses!! 😱

    • thebikinggardener
      October 9, 2017 at 1:07 pm #

      I do wonder what people expect these things to do in the future too

  3. painterwrite
    October 10, 2017 at 4:27 pm #

    What in the world?!! I have to say, even though we Americans seem to go the tackiest route possible in most things (presidents, for example), I have yet to see spray painted plants in the garden center. The mind boggles. How do the plants photosynthesize? What chemicals does that paint leach into the soil? Why not just plunk some brightly colored kids’ toys in the garden if you want that kind of color in your beds?

    • thebikinggardener
      October 11, 2017 at 6:46 pm #

      I agree entirely. No comment about presidents! I must say I am surprised you don’t have painted plants too – you must have blue-dyed orchids. I don’t think anyone worries about how the plants photosynthesise! I hate plastic flowers but yes, why not just stick them in the soil

  4. sweetgumandpines
    October 11, 2017 at 12:14 am #

    Haven’t seen spray-painted plants around here, but we do have the dyed phalaenopsis and sad little cactus with fake flowers hot-glued on top. The latest abomination is hippeastrum (amaryllis) bulbs that have been dipped in was. Supposedly it means you don’t have to water them, but the bulbs are basically trash after they bloom.

    • sweetgumandpines
      October 11, 2017 at 3:01 pm #

      “dipped in was” should read “dipped in wax.”

      • thebikinggardener
        October 11, 2017 at 6:43 pm #

        I guessed that was what you meant. I have seen roses dipped in wax here too – often scented of chocolate, as though roses don’t smell anyway – though florist roses often don’t.

    • thebikinggardener
      October 11, 2017 at 6:44 pm #

      I hate those poor cacti too! I have seen the waxed hippeastrum too though I have not seen any for sale lately, thank goodness.

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