Rodger Whitlock totototo@telus.net
Sat, 15 Apr 2006 19:08:16 PDT
On 14 Apr 06 at 17:27, Jim McKenney wrote:

> Ranunculus ficaria plants are the Uruk-Hai of the plant world. 

Come, come, let's hold back on the exaggeration, eh?

Your remark implicitly poses the question "what *is* the uruk-hai of the 
(horticultural) plant world?" and that's a very interesting question. Seems to me that 
the epithets "ugly", "destructive", "harmful", and other such are the applicable ones.

Ranunculus ficaria escapes being so categorized because it *is* rather pretty and 
nothing out of Mordor, the mind of Sauron, nor that of his boss Melkor, is going to 
have more than a factious, tinselly, superficial beauty. Like, for example, that of 
Paris Hilton.

I'm going to nominate the blackberries that spread and take over waste spaces in the 
Pac NW, and thence invade one's garden via seeds in bird droppings. 

To be slightly more serious (a real effort, mind you), the issue of Brazen Hussy being 
a thug or not is interesting. In my garden it has repeatedly failed in spite of being 
gifted with large clumps of the stuff. Yet the ordinary double, Bowles' double, 
the orange 'Cupreus', and another double all thrive. Given that Diane Whitehead and I 
garden a hop, a skip, and a jump from each other, I suspect that drainage has a lot to 
do with Brazen Hussy's success or failure. Diane gardens on a ridge of sand left by the 
glacier; I garden in an old swamp with heavy damp soil and standing water in low spots 
during the wettest periods of winter.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island

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