TIM WILDMON: Get to know your flowers while there’s time



Who doesn’t love springtime?

For sports fans so much is going on. Baseball season begins, The Masters tournament in Augusta has started and the Final Four ended a long winter of college basketball.

For the green thumbs among us, spring represents another challenge, and that is to make that lawn and garden as healthy and as pleasing to the eye as possible. It’s also the time of the year when people who know more than you about plants, trees and other vegetation begin to show off said knowledge. Big, fancy words are used to describe what most of us only know as “trees” or “flowers.” Fact is, my lovely and talented wife Alison is one of these people.

We can be driving down the road, and I can just randomly point at some plant and she can almost always tell me what it is. If not immediately, she will pause and start going through her mental Rolodex of horticulture and come up with something. Of course, she could be making up names for the plants as far as I know. I have no idea if what she is telling me is accurate, but her knowledge is really impressive, almost on a level with someone who works at a nursery. In fact, if there were an American Idol contest for amateur horticulturists from across the nation – she would make the finals.

I am a plants and trees dum-dum. I admit this. Although Alison has been working with me for 30 years, I still have the hardest time learning and remembering the names of plants and trees. It would be very frustrating if I cared anything about this subject, but I really don’t. Passion here is near impossible to fake, as much as I try with her sometimes. I know if I could improve in this area, or least show a desire to improve, it would really help our relationship.

I will now present to you a list of plants and trees that I either know for sure are in my yard or I believe are in it.

1. Monkey grass

2. Elaeagnus

3. Crepe myrtles

4. Azaleas

5. Other pretty flowers of a colorful nature

6. Pine straw

Alison also uses the word “hydrangeas” a lot. I believe these are in the “pretty flowers” category but I would be hard pressed to point them out. But I am sure we have some of those.

Now for you people who are even dumber than me about things like this I will tell you that our grass is what is called in the business “Bermuda.” It covers the entire yard. It was brought to America by settlers in 1813 from Bulgaria. It grows when it’s warm and wet and must be cut down with what is called in the business a “lawn mower.” Alison rides around on this machine every week in the summer.

There’s something else I’ve noticed this time of year. You have to spray your lawn with a certain kind of poison to kill what is called in the business “weeds.” You may not know this but even “wild onions” will begin to grow randomly if you don’t spray your yard with the poison regularly. Wild Onions would also be a great name for a country band.

In conclusion let me encourage you to get out there and start learning what is growing up around you. Life is passing you by and you wouldn’t know a Daphne shrub if it slapped you in the face! So even if, like me, you don’t care anything at all about this stuff, well, guess what? It just may be time to start thinking of others instead of just thinking of yourself.

Community columnist Tim Wildmon is a Lee County resident. He is president of the American Family Association, but the column represents his personal opinion unless otherwise noted. Contact him at twildmon@afa.net.

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