The image posted above is of me, a lone strawflower, with a pesky ant making itself at home on one of my petals now that he has no flowers from Youngquist's Paeonia suffruiticosa (Tree Peony) to bother. You may recall Youngquist blogged about these pesky ants in a previous blog entry which you may refer to by clicking here.
Now, dear reader (as I've heard Youngquist call you), if you have been following this blog you know that, on occasion, the things that grow in Youngquist's urban terrace garden take it upon themselves to weigh in by posting on this blog including her Paeonia suffruiticosa (Tree Peony), Tulips, and her Physocarpus opulifolius (Coppertina Tree).
With the knowledge that the things that grow in Youngquist's terrace garden have been posting on this blog, my comrades (my fellow strawflowers who live in a clay pot — which means we need to be watered often — with me as you can see from the image posted below) took turns, and we drew straws (if you will excuse the pun) to see which one of us would get to write today's blog entry, and I picked the winning straw! (And its not because I look like E.T. in this picture either!)
We strawflower are members of the daisy family (but please don't hold that against us), and our Latin name is Helichrysum bracteatum. The flowers that we produce have a papery, straw-like texture, which is why you humans refer to us as strawflowers.
It is said that yellow is our traditional color but , being yellow, I take offense at that as I feel there is nothing traditional about me (or the ones that I live with in this clay pot in our blogger, Patricia Youngquist's rooftop garden here in NYC), as evidenced by the photographs posted below.
According to Jean Dion, "the strawflower dries extremely easily, making this a favorite plant for gardeners into wreaths and winter-crafts." That being said, I, as a strawflower, am so glad that my gardener (AKA your blogger) is not the craft type. This means that she lets us hang out as long as possible with the herbs, vines, plants, shrubs, trees, and other flowers that she grows in her terrace garden.
Besides, Youngquist will probably try and let us winter-over as she does with everything that she grows in her terrace garden. (This is a fact which you you may read about by clicking here, and from what I have heard, everything — even things that are "not supposed to" — come back from season to season.)
Having told you that Youngquist will not turn us strawflowers into wreaths or use us in winter-craft projects, this does not mean that she won't use images that she takes of us to include in her line of invitations that preserve a moment in time, her event program covers that enhance any occasion, or her greeting cards that are about more than communication.
Meanwhile, due to our animated nature, we bring total joy and a sense of humor to even the most serious gardens. However, we almost didn't make the cut of chosen plants for Youngquist's terrace garden, because she has the weirdest association when it comes to us strawflowers.
Her association is this, apparently Ms. Youngquist's high school graduating class's student council chose the strawflower as the class's flower, and since Youngquist had a "Janis Ian" experience in high school, there is a lot of pain associated with those days. I guess I shouldn't assume that you know what I mean by a "Janis Ian" experience, dear reader, but I am referring to the song, At Seventeen written and initially sung by Ms. Ian , whose lyrics include:
These were just some of the "honors" that did not go to our gardener and your blogger. She didn't go to prom or even date in high school, but, hey that's no reason to associate us strawflowers with a select few of people, who may or may not have those features anymore, or who may have even excluded her from activities due to her legal blindness and her having Neurofibromatosis Type-One.
It sounds as if students and teachers could be kind of thoughtless — in fact down right cruel in those days, but whad-ya-gonna-do?