Friday, March 17, 2006

Naming rights


And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
Genesis 2:19

Imposing order holds sway at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show. Brenda came to take notes on Kong Red coleus, Wind Dancer eragrostis and ornamental millet Jester in her mission to subdue the backyard. The ideal of plant husbandry was displayed in themed displays: summer colors, serene Japanese gardens, wild tree specimens. A competition was organized around categories such as pigmented leaves (headlined "morphing pixels"). To everthing there is a phylum, even photography: A competition placed shots of hummingbirds on plants in a separate category from those of butterflies on plants.

Brenda herded me toward Cass Turnbull's seminar on "ending senseless torture" in pruning, my aggressive thinning being our outdoorsy inside joke. We stopped on the way for a backyard birding seminar by bloggers Bill Thompson III and Julie Zickefoose, whose 80-acre exurban Ohio garden presents quite a contrast to our urban experience (no apparent problems there with rats and pigeons).

We merely gawked at the beautiful orchids for sale, but did break down on the way home and bought gorgeous vegetables from the Fox & Obel deli counter.

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