Just to say I have not gone away, Todd, I just can't send; 'Great article, I really appreciate it. I always have a copy of your article on my desk for collegues and students' every time your articles appear.
I moved job recently and had to endure 5 weeks without you and 'Dave's Garden' - nightmare.
Glad you are back! And as always, I'm delighted that you enjoy the articles...I think you are my greatest fan! LOL! ...and to think you are not even in North America. I will admit, I think about the European followers when I write my articles. The world does not end at the US borders despite what many Americans think!
I think is NL. is close to IRL. in climate much than geographically. Damp summers, mild winters are our blessings/curses.
As an instructor in, mainly, plant Identification, your articles are very useful for anyone who expresses an interest in a particular group of plants (short but full of info. and illustrations.
Just a thought, what do you think of the American use (or overuse) of common names in listing plants? I find it really irritating and wonder if it just me. It seems to be creeping in here as well as the U.S.
I notice that you are much more restrained with common names.
(I won't quote you)
Thank you so much for your article; I now know what the pretty plant in my shade garden is.
A couple of years ago I bought some half-dead plants at a garden center. The were fifty cents apiece and I had a desire to rescue them. None of them had tags on them so I just planted them where I had room. As it turns out, one of them was lungwort "Baby Blue."
However, it never comes back in the same place. I know it is self-seeding, but if it is a perrennial, how come it never comes back in the same spot? I have even had to dig some out of my lawn and move them.
I have learned not to touch the leaves; they seem to have some sort of spiny things in them that irritate my skin. Another plus, the deer do not go near them.
lortay, I know what you mean about us Yanks using common names more than the scientific ones. My son has a biology degree and took botany courses in school, so he uses Latin names all the time. He is a park ranger at an Army Corps of Engineers lake in western OH and leads nature hikes, conducts school programs at his nature center and schools, plants prairies and other natural areas as part of his job.
When I was converting my annual beds to perennials, he took me under his wing and helped me a lot with finding the long bloomers, color combinations, etc. When I would ask about a plant using a common name, he would ask what the Latin name is. If I said I didn't know he would say, "Then I can't tell you anything." So many flowers have similar common names and many common names can be different plants. So I've made a concerted effort to learn and use the Latin names.
What I've noticed with most other people I know is they don't care about the Latin names and think it's too hard to remember. I think they think I'm showing off when I add the Latin name during my garden tours, but then I tell them about the confusion when using only common names.
My mother-in-law gardened for years and sometimes made up names for her flowers. The plants she called buttercups were actually oenothera tetragona, or common sundrops. Buttercups are a totally different plant. She just thought they looked like butter cups.
Many people just like to look at the beauty and don't care what anything is, not keeping the ID tags/labels. It drives me crazy not to know what a plant is, lol. It's not going to change anytime soon, so I guess we'll just have to live with it.
Love pulmonaria and have a dozen or so cultivars, plus cevennensis, in my own garden. As you and the other pulmonaria lovers know, some of them are more mildew resistant than others. Have also been told another problem can be that bees can readily produce hybrids.
With you all the way. I think that with orgs. like the R.H.S. here being very influential in naming business, there is a more obvious brake on the rush to common names. I will still do my best with students to instill latin in naming, it is the only logical route, as you have pointed out.
Just piping in regarding the use of latin names vs common names. I for one don't use them when I speak with most people because I've learned that most will get a glazed look in their eyes when I use latin. However, I am learning more about the latin names because it has helped me understand more about each plant. I admit the transition to this is really tough but is helpful. Also admit that as I am learning this, there are very few people that I can share this information with in normal conversations about gardening. I have one friend who has gently tried to coax me into this mode of thought so I find that I can use her to keep me on the straight and narrow.
Hi womanonamission (great name)
You can only do what you can. I know the glazed look well (especially from my wife): e.g. conversation: 'I like the pink one', 'Which pink one', 'You know, the pink one', 'The phlox?', ' I don't know, the pink one behind the little white one.'
Common names would be a start, I suppose.
Seriously, I think we can only bang the drum so much. I don't mind it so much with gardeners, but it really annoys me when writers and catalogues give lists in alphabetical order by COMMON name. Sorry for shouting.