off-topic botanical question: Curious about shrubs as a gardening term
Tue, 08 Jan 2008 10:47:45 PST
One difficulty in sorting out what's a perennial and what's not is 
that the word is often used in a loose sense for the more precise 
"herbaceous perennial."

The Hardy Plant Society in England had to deal with this issue years 
ago when they formed: what should they call themselves? "Perennial" 
wouldn't work as it was both too broad and too narrow -- some folks 
grow annuals and biennials and monocarps. "Herbaceous" was too narrow.

The final choice of "hardy plant" is actually a very good one, 
including as it does trees, shrubs, bulbs, annuals, etc in addition 
to the classical plants of the "herbaceous border."

Of course there are still gray areas to keep the pot boiling. Our 
local rock gardening club's show rules stipulate "hardy out of doors 
over an *average* winter", but that turns out to include pleiones. No 
body wants a show sans pleiones, so a blind eye is turned toward 
those who put them in the refrigerator for the winter and those who 
cover them with a thick blanket of dry oak leaves.

The stipulation also covers plants that our occasional arctic cold 
spells spell death to.

["spells spell" -- I hope that makes sense.]

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

on beautiful Vancouver Island

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