During late winter, we are vulnerable to the botanical hype produced by mail order businesses, online and through their catalogs. The urge to acquire more flowering plants is a symptom of a disease from which I suffer, and I suspect that some of you may have this expensive illness also.
Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962) wrote, “I have grown wise, after many years of gardening, and no longer order recklessly from wildly alluring descriptions, which make every annual sound easy to grow and as brilliant as a film star.”
Marketeers describe plants using adjectives such as "improved, mammoth, unrivalled, vigorous, abundant, profuse, and enormously productive," and the amazing thing is that we believe what we read, knowing that it can't be true, but hoping that it is.
Duane Campbell provided insight for us by defining some catalog terminology. He said:
“A challenge means it will die; "provides winter interest" means boring in the other three seasons; "light fragrance" suggests that you have to crush it and shove it up your nose to notice the scent; and "spectacular" often means tasteless.
Katharine S. White wrote, “As I write, snow is falling outside my Maine window and indoors all around me, half a hundred garden catalogs are in bloom."
Try not to start ordering too early in the spring, as there is a lot more time before we can safely plant outdoors.
This is Moya Andrews, and today we focused on seductive descriptions.