Friday, May 24, 2013


We are all familiar with the positive adjectives that Real Estate people use to make homes appealing. "Cozy" bungalow means small and cramped. "Original" architect's concept means needs a lot of work and "unique" features means that there are some weird configurations in the home, that may have to be changed to make it suit you.

I always get a laugh out of the euphemisms that garden catalogues use to obscure any negatives that a  plant may add to the garden. For example. "vigorous grower" means that it will eventually take over and destroy all your other plantings. This could be said of Mint, Lily of the Valley and a few others.

Often with roses you will see the term "repeat" bloomer. This means that the bush will bloom in Spring and again in late summer, with few if any flowers in-between. I always look for the term "continuous bloom" which means that it will bloom, though sparsely, all summer.

Sometimes trees will be described as "stately." This means that the tree will be huge. I have made this mistake in a small garden too often. I once planted a cherry tree described as "dwarf." On another planet, maybe. That tree is now 15' tall.

However, my favourite term is "rewards the patient gardener." This means that the plant will take a long time to grow or it will take a long time to bloom. I have a cedar that I planted 30 years ago and it is about 5' tall now, whereas the white pine, I planted at the same time, is as tall as the 7 story apartment building it hides. The same phrase can been said of Tree Peonies which take a long time to grow and a long time to finally bloom, but when they do, they are spectacular. These are not mine. I have Tree Peonies, but a larger more vigorous Rose of Sharon has overgrown them so they are not as profuse.

These are in the neighbourhood and I look for them every Spring. They are a welcome sight amid the bricks and concrete.

They reward the patience photographer too.

Have a wonderful day!!


  1. There was a London Estate Agent in the fifties to sixties called Roy Brooks. He was famous for being brutally honest.
    “So called garden with possibilities best solved by saturation bombing" We raced for the Sunday papers each week to read his adverts!