Re: Ah, spring...
A couple of great folks have educated me on botanical Latin. With regard to
pronunciation, one says, emphasize the 3rd syllable from the end and you'll
get it right most of the time. The other, (Allan Armitage) concurs, and
says that the only people who care are the Brits, and that they think we get
it all wrong anyhow. As he says, gardening is supposed to be fun, not
painful. I've heard him morph several pronunciations in the 15 years that
I've known him. If he changed his pronunciation along the way, does that
mean he was wrong at first and has seen the light? I think not.
I had the opportunity to swap plants with a woman yesterday. She had a
marvelous garden. Being self-taught, she mangled every plant name, and even
the word "deciduous". Did that make her any less a plantswoman? I think not.
Being self-taught, she had a number of plants that are extremely difficult
to grow here. She'd planted them because she didn't know they were supposed
to be "hard". Hers were thriving.
She was able to point out subtle differences between cultivars - not just
growth habit, leaf and flower size and shape, but hardiness, response to
micro-climates, etc, even if she didn't get their names "correct" according
to "the books".
As long as I know an Acer is an Acer, and I can email my friends around the
world about my latest plant lust, I don't give a rip. And when I speak to
them in person, if sometimes we have to resort to pen and paper because our
"correct" botanical Latin makes no sense in their language, it's less a
concern than that if I write "alba" or "lutea" they know that I'm referring
to a color.
Sorry about your snow. You'd think winter would be ready to give up by now.
We're anticipating strong storms, possible hail an twirlies. I hope the
weather guys are wrong.
Our MG plant sale was cancelled by the city ( which controls the
fairgrounds, where the giant yard sale/MG plant sale is held) because it was
supposed to storm all day. Of course, it hasn't started yet and I have a few
hundred tomato plants to dispose of. And dogwoods, Iris, Hosta, etc. :-(
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kitty" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Saturday, April 14, 2007 5:04 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Ah, spring...
I'm so disgusted w this April. It's snowing now. Almost a white-out for
a bit, now, just falling. Not sticking much, but geez. It's cold and I
wanna work in the yard. I dug and potted some shrubs last night after
work, but I need to do more. My sale is in 2 wks.
I ran over to our MG conference this afternoon for the speaker who was
giving a talk on Botanical Latin. She lost me right from the start when
she touted Hortus Third as the best resource. But I stuck in there,
thinking the rest of the talk would be good, but 40 minutes into it, no,
and I left. She's the kind of speaker that make people not want to deal w
botanical Latin. Boring, slow-speaking, dry, emphasis on - and a real
stickler for - pronunciation. In my opinion, pronunciation is a distant
second to the value of the words, and she didn't get around to that much
at all. IMO, if you say AY-sir and someone else says AH-ker, so what? You
both still know you're talking maples. This is botanical Latin, not
conversational Latin and they don't necessarily follow the same rules.
There's lots of Greek, Russian, and what-have-you involved in plant names.
A talk on this subject should strive to make it FUN or your audience will
reptans toward the door.
Oh, maybe I'm just in a bad mood.
neIN, Zone 5
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