Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
We lay on a blanket in the grass among the glow-in-the-dark frisbees and whirling light sticks, and listened to a guy on the loudspeaker repeatedly express his thanks for the "Decoration of Independence." They played a lot of sappy tunes from the 80s and 90s. Everyone sang along (loudly and off-key, I might add) to I'm Proud to be an American, and the display ended with a massive finale as the loudspeakers blared the 1812 Overture.
(Photo courtesy of smtpboy (Josh Simmons) on Flickr; original image available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/smtpboy/2042718984/.)
Friday, July 3, 2009
It’s taken me a long time, but I think I finally got this whole annual vs. perennial thing figured out: if a flower is bright and colorful and looks like something you’d want to put in your front yard, it’s an annual, which means it will die soon. If it’s kinda scraggly looking with itty bitty flowers, chances are it’s a perennial, and it’ll hang around far longer than you’d like.
I’ve figured this out by doing a lot of research on the subject. For example, the word “annual” has both Latin and Greek origins. The Latin word annualis means “buy repeatedly,” and the Greek word anulopolis means “a sucker is born every minute,” which explains why nurseries love annuals so much.
All of this amassed wisdom came in handy today at the annual Fourth of July sale at the local nursery. In front I found these gorgeous black-eyed susans in one gallon pots, with enormous yellow petals and deep purple centers. Appling my rule (see above), I guessed—reasonably enough—that these must be annuals, rather than the perennial variety, which is hard to grow around here and which often has thin, scraggly looking blossoms of pale yellow. It usually looks like it’s dying, even when it’s quite healthy.
But my little rule can’t really be so simple, can it? No-oooooooo. A little research and you will find that Rudbeckia F1 ‘Tiger Eye’ is “technically a perennial” as in “this plant is a perennial if maintained through the winter months at a constant temperature of 82.6 degrees Fahrenheit with Mozart’s Symphony No. 10 in G Major playing in the background,” only they left that last italicized part off the label because, as we learned from the Greek, if a flower looks good at the garden center, it just has to look good in my yard, and it'll make it through the Winter, right?After all, it's a perennial, not an annual, except it really isn't.