The glow of the Vernal Equinox will soon bathe us in happy garden thoughts. In the short time before that happens, let's vent about the flowers and bushes we don't love so much.
What ornamental plant sets your teeth on edge when you see it in a garden, or even on a friend's seed list? What proudly displayed botanical specimen makes you fantasize about applying a judicious spray of Round-Up™? [No, Scotts isn't paying me for product placement in this post, but they can go ahead and contact me!]
I've got a theory, and I contend that the cringe-making plants fall into one of the following categories:
Too bright a color. Some find fault with the vivid yellow forsythia hybrids for that reason.
Too far from the original color. Flowers that trigger a startle reflex when one sees them--mauve daylilies, for instance.
Too strange a form. Double peony tulips are odd--they don't look like tulips and they certainly aren't peonies. I'd like them better if they had a different name.
Most of you are broad-minded gardeners; surely, though, there is some breach of good taste in the botanical world that you long to correct. Come on, tell.
You have to name two. First, a plant so dreadful that you believe it should be removed from commerce so no one can buy it anymore. Second, the merely annoying, a plant that makes you turn quickly away.
Dreadful: Double Narcissi, all varieties. Those mangled darlings look like someone attacked them with an egg beater. If you don't believe me, study the photo above.
Merely annoying: Anthuriums. Go back to the jungle, you red and pink anthuriums, with all deliberate speed. In a post-petroleum world the flowers might possibly be useful as a plastic substitute.
And now that I've offended many of you (I'm sorry, I just had to get it off my chest), I hope that someone else will join me. This is sort of like a Gardeners Anonymous meeting, "My name is Daffodil Planter and I am a garden snob". Will you stand up and tell the truth too?