Thursday, May 10, 2012


ONE  feisbuk friend inquired about the popular name of some plant from those cold/template countries a few days ago. Yours truly with a typical response: No idea, is out of my ecoregion.  But being the curious character I am, I wondered since the little white hanging down flowers in the photo were familiar.

How to solve the matter?  Catalogs!  Most people buy their plants from catalogs and nurseries. I used to subscribe to quite a few until I realized beside the exposition to this or that in the north east, south, west of USA, the knowledge is useless since most or all, require that winter cold to survive and thrive.  And I live in Puerto  Rico.

Convallaria majalis. The plant is on page 53,  on Brent and Becky's Bulbs, 2009, catalog. I felt some satisfaction.The story is that she remembered this plant since her childhood in Europe, now living in Argentina. To finish the anecdote, her interest in a popular name, was not resolved. Many plants have no popular names, and it seems they have one particular name or more,  in every country it grows.

Back to the studio, we in the third, shall move now to the books review department. Not me review, but relevant. The story above created the following. After that search, the call of the printed page surged and I started looking at Fine Gardening of June 2000 and Horticulture, October 2001. 

 Carol Stocker
pages 70-71

Growing home: Stories of Ethnic Gardening  by Susan Davis Price, with photographs by John Gregor (University of Minnesota Press; 196 pages) will perhaps become a garden history reference, 
if only to illustrate  how much American gardening changed in the postwar period.  It profiles 31 Minnesotan gardeners who have imported the plants and horticultural traditions of their native or ancestral lands.  They include John Maire from the Sudan, who encourages fellow Americans to rejoin communal life through a group farm, and Minnesota native Kevin Oshima, who strengthens his link to his Japanese heritage through the art of bonsai.

An impressive diversity of ethnic backgrounds is presented, but Price has chosen to emphasize the similarities of these gardeners more than
their differences.  Most of the people Price interviewed come from lands far warmer than Minnesota, and they struggle to grow their familiar crops in a northern climate, just as they struggle with emotional displacement.  Gardening seems more intrinsic to their original cultures than their new one.  Nearly half the people in this book grow or collect  plants for medicine. Most also garden organically and are keenly aware of the nutritional value of their produce.

Although some of their techniques and crops differ, their feelings about the emotional rewards of gardening have much in common.
One Chinese-born woman said that gardening made her feel alive again after a long day of office work. Struggling to survive in our fast-paced and largely artificial culture, these people restore their sense of balance through their connection to the earth.

Not much to add. Another aspect of migration
 that not many ever think about.   

that is that

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