Thursday, July 14, 2011
ek-in-AY-see-uh's the name . . .
"Ek-in- AY-see-uh", my lovely and playful coneflowers (shown above), said, after the herbs, vines, plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees which I grow in my urban terrace garden wondered how the new arrivals pronounced their name. These new-comers to my terrace garden snuggled easily into their new home; however, their entrance was bittersweet. The Echinacea plants were a gift from a dear friend, who gave them to me as a form of consolation, because my Honeysuckle Vine, a vine which I have discussed in a number of posts, including ones which you may refer to by clicking here as well as here and here, was attacked by mildew; possibly caused by an exhaust fan that was put in the window of someone who lives in the building directly west of me. There is no space in between the buildings, so it is likely that the recently installed fan blew fumes onto my Honeysuckle Vine, which was vulnerable to such an appliance. Hence, there was no way to protect my sweet Honeysuckle Vine — such is one of the tribulations of maintaining an urban garden, where things grow in containers, making them very susceptible to the consequences of man-made things. In any event, the Honeysuckle Vine had to be pulled down immediately because, as any gardener knows, mildew, such as the variety that attacked my vine, would spread quickly and destroy other things that I grow in my garden.
Therefore, the Echinacea plants were given to me as a way of easing the pain of losing my Honeysuckle Vine, and although they will not crawl up my recently built trellis as my Honeysuckle did — which was discussed in a blog that you may access by clicking here — the Echinacea plant's brilliant colors and fun shapes will add some much needed cheer to me and the things that I grow in my terrace garden after losing the vine.
I have always enjoyed Echinacea plants, even though the known perennial is an annual in my garden. Sometimes this perennial-as-annual-bit happens in container gardens, because certain plants just prefer to be in the ground. That being said, when I do my garden winterizing, I always include my Echinacea plants — giving them the chance to winter over with the other things that I grow in my terrace garden. My winterizing methods are successful, however, in spite of the many Echinacea plants that I have had over the years, all from different growers, and in different colors such as white, magenta, orange and pale yellow; they have not lived through the winter.
Most gardeners know that the Echinacea plant is "a genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family, Asteraceae. The nine species it contains are commonly called purple coneflowers." (For source and more information, please click here.) Even though the Echinacea plant is associated with its coneflower, it does not appreciate being called a cone-head. In general, the herbs, vines, plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees which I grow in my terrace garden do not go for nicknames. This fact was expressed by my Physocarpus opulifolius (Coppertina) tree, who, as you may recall, dear reader, from a posting which he authored on May 5th, 2011, expressed how weary he was of being called "Coppertone" (referring to the suntan lotion), based on his "common name", Coppertina. When it comes to nick-name calling, I must say I am in agreement with the "brood" that I grow in my terrace garden. Since my name is Patricia, folks often take it upon them selves to call me Trisha, Trish, Patsy, Patti, or Pat. I find it somewhat rude when I introduce myself as Patricia and in turn the person that I've just introduced myself to turns to me and says. "well, Pat . . . " or " and, so, Patti . . . ".
It is not the nick-name per se that I am against (in fact some people prefer to just use an abbreviated name), it's the assumption that's made by certain folks to call me by something when, in fact, I have just introduced myself as something else. I respect what people prefer to call themselves, and I extend that further by respecting the names of things which I grow in my terrace garden. In fact, I've recently had name-tags made for everything that grows in my garden, and I plan to write about this in a blog post on the networking of things which grow in a terrace garden; so, please, stay tuned to my blog for details. Each one of the sixty-plus things that I grow in my terrace garden will have a name-tag for this networking event, but, meanwhile, for a sneak preview of what their name- tags look like, I have included a couple of photographic collages, posted below of my 'Tamukeyama' (Japanese Red Maple) and Pyracantha coccinea (Orange Charmer Firethorn), respectively with their name-tags.
Both my 'Tamukeyama' (Japanese Red Maple) and my Pyrancantha Coccinea (Orange Charmer Firethorn) are excited to be a part of the upcoming terrace garden networking event, and, dear reader, you are probably familiar with both this tree and small shrub from prior blog posts which you may refer to by clicking on the following numbers.
As for this past Tuesday's (July 12th 2011) newcomer to my terrace garden, my Echinacea plants: the things that grow in my garden and myself are honored that they are here. We love their "pods" which have the texture of hedge-hogs as seen in the photographs posted below.
My herbs, vines, plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs, and I are well aware that the Echinacea plants are well known for their medicinal purposes, but just looking at them and enjoying their playful personalities is medicine enough for us!
Additionally, Echinacea plants have always provided much inspiration for me, which was cited in a blog entry that I made this past May (you may refer to by clicking here). Moreover, a photograph which was taken of Echinacea plants that I grew a number of years ago was rendered into an image used in one of my petite wrap-around cards known as Echinacea Triplets.