New plants – where do they come from? Part Two
Delphiniums by David and Shirley Bassett

Tell us the name!

Garden writers often discuss plant names and how to make sure we use them accurately and according to the International rules that govern their use. Only last month many garden writers were involved in a detailed discussion of the subject.

Lowesannuals500 So there was I in Lowe’s the other day (for British readers: Lowe's is like a monster B&Q), looking over their stock, and they had rows of dahlias, salvias, helichrysums and more - not one of them with a name tag. Every one was labelled with the same generic tag saying “Assorted Annuals”.  The fact that most of them were perennials, although not all hardy up here in zone 5/6… well, that’s another issue.

But how unhelpful could they be? Here are we writers trying to get the names exactly right so that everyone knows precisely which plant we mean – and Lowe’s take the easy way out and don’t even bother to try. What’s more, at $3.58 these plants are too cheap – give us a decent tag, charge $3.98 and they’d still be cheap. Charge $4.58 and they wouldn’t be expensive. Another case of knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing, I’m afraid.

[Sorry for the recent break in transmission, so to speak: busybusybusy… extending the deer fence, building a dock, lots of garden and desk work. Normal service now resumed.]