Some plants are just so ugly that you want to chop their heads off.
Look at this echinacea. What a mess! Such an ugly tangle of petals it disgraces the name coneflower. It’s the perversion of simplicity that so often make me want to reach for the shears. We all know the simple and elegant daisy shape of Echinacea purpurea
, the purple coneflower. And this is what is said to be an improvement.
To be fair, Echinacea purpurea
‘Doubledecker’ (left, click to enlarge) is not supposed to
be like this. It’s supposed to be like this (right, click to enlarge) – which I have to say is not much better - but in all the years I’ve been growing it these horrid messy tangles have dominated ten to one.
Then there’s daffodils ('Jersey Torch', in case you want to avoid them). Isn’t this a
horror? (left, click to enlarge – if you dare). Takes all the elegance away. You’ll never see these “Tossing their heads in sprightly dance,” as William Wordsworth put it, as he “wandered lonely as a cloud”. The heads are so heavy with all those extra mangled petals that they’re more likely to simply hit the ground when it rains and never stand up. These don’t “flash upon that inward eye, Which is the bliss of solitude” – they make we want to reach for a long cane so I can swish their heads off.
And then... just today… This hibiscus opened in the garden, Hibiscus
Sugar Tip (‘America Irene Scott’), a variegated sport of the popular ‘Lady Stanley’. Its neatly edged foliage is quite
attractive and I was looking forward to a single rose pink flower, perhaps. Instead of which we get this pasty mess like a wrung out dish cloth. Well, now I’ve taken its picture I can cut the flowers off.
But don’t think I hate double flowers. There are some lovely double echinaceas and even at least one double daffodil that I’ve grown and enjoyed.
But these are just too much. Off with their heads!