Sunday, December 21, 2008

So Exotic!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
But in Oakland its quite delightful,
Since I'm there and you're in Co-lo-rad-o,
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

I'm in Oakland for a short vacation before the holidays . I get to have fall one more time this year. The maples here are still firey red and the temperatures are a bit warmer. I'm enjoying seeing different types of plants as I'm walking around. Some of them we have in our greenhouses. A few months ago that would have irritated me. I thought that just because it is something common to a part of the United States, or common at all, it shouldn't be in our greenhouses or our Botanical Garden. But Shirley, wise woman that she is, pointed out to me that not everyone is going to go to California or Florida or any of these places where these plants grow. She's got a point. A very good point. And it got me thinking. What is exoctic? I'm saying it is something unusual, something you don't see everyday. I looked up the term "exotic" at and out of 6 of their definitions, 5 of them referred to plants. And all referred to the fact that something is from another place.

I've been referring to some of the plants that will be going into the new native plant japanesque garden as exotic. Eventhough the plants are native to the Western Slope of Colorado, some of them are from "another place". They are not from our carefully tended gardens, the meticulously planned landscaping or even our local nurseries. And in that way it makes them exotic.

So I've lightened up on my view of what plants we should have in the greenhouses. And the rest of our gardens. Something common in California can most certainly be exotic in Colorado. And something common in the wilds of Western Colorado can be exotic in a garden in town.

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