noxious weed reasons/ way off topic

Terry Hernstrom
Sun, 28 Jan 2007 11:00:44 PST

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Diane Whitehead
Sent: Saturday, January 27, 2007 2:56 PM
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: Re: [pbs] noxious weed reasons

Diane wrote:

"Being deadly to humans doesn't necessarily count, and it took me a
while to get Conium maculatum (which has killed one child here)
removed from a public garden."

As a director of a 'Public Garden' This comment disturbs me somewhat. While
very aware of the responsibility of the safety and welfare of visitors to
our gardens, banning species and varieties, takes us down a slippery slope.
What next? Will there be a movement to remove the oleander, solanums, and
lantanas? Will people be marching outside our gates demanding the removal of
the euphorbias, hyacinths and artemisias because they can make your skin
itch?  Will the city council pass a resolution banning roses, cacti and
agaves because someone might get poked? Taking a quick assessment of any
garden you will most likely find more poisonous and dangerous plants than

Personal responsibility has to come into play. Everyone, especially
children, must realize a garden is fraught with danger No one is allowed to
just willy nilly touch and ingest as one pleases. After welcoming children
to our gardens for tours my next line is 'Please do not touch or taste
anything in the garden!!!' A short explanation follows as to why. Just as
you have to explain the perils of crossing a street, visiting a garden or a
park, there can be danger in innocent behavior.

I don't intend this diatribe to be critical of Diane. Death of a child is
tragic and public reaction is called for. But education is more reasonable
than banning or removal. Our gardens will suffer if limits are placed upon
us what we can grow and what not.

There is much debate on 'invasive species' or 'alien organisms'. I have not
taken sides yet, I am listening and learning.
I do recommend an interesting book; 'Invasion Biology, Critique of a
Pseudoscience' by David I. Theodoropoulos. It certainly provides a
compelling and alternate view of this subject.

Terry Hernstrom
Director, Gardens & Grounds
Kimberly Crest House and Gardens
Redlands, CA

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