off topic, bloom / flower / back yard

Jim McKenney
Wed, 12 Feb 2014 09:36:17 PST
One more yard
Before we leave our discussion of yards,  I want to mention one which has long filled me with a sense of queasiness or downright revulsion. In his account of celery in his 1629 Paradisus, John Parkinson (he knew celery as sweet parsley or sweet smallage)  mentions that the first place he saw it was in a Venetian ambassador’s garden near Bishop’s Gate Street in London. So far, so good – but Parkinson also states that the celery grew in the spittle yard of that establishment. If you’ve ever grown celery, you know that it needs lots of water; was the celery planted in the spittle yard to take advantage of the abundant moist sputum expectorated by loitering Jacobean dandies? 
I first read that passage decades ago, and to this day I can’t look at celery without remembering it – and then washing my celery very carefully.   
For more on this topic, see here:…

Jim McKenney

On Saturday, February 8, 2014 12:25 PM, Peter Taggart <> wrote:
In my vocabulary (a form of English from Britain), a 'bloom' describes an
individual flower such as might be mounted on a board or examined in order
to compare with blooms from other related plants. Blossom is a mass of
flowers. To me a 'yard' is either a measurement, or a utilitarian space
-"stable yard", "timber yard", "truck yard", "kennel yard". A "back yard"
to me is the space at the back of my house where I wash pots, mend the car,
chop logs..... The "garden" is an amenity space where I grow plants, or
children play on the lawn.... I would like to know the American English
term for a  utilitarian space such as the British 'back yard'.
Peter (UK)

On Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 10:30 AM, Tim Eck <> wrote:

> Subject: Re: [pbs] what's in bloom
> According to my Oxford English Dict., in this instance, flower would more
> correct, but there don't seem to be any hard and fast rules.  Anyway,
> there's always inflorescence to fall back on.
> And efflorescence for the other.

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