Sunday, April 11, 2010

What's in a name?

SomeBeans, the under-gardener, has picked up a lot of knowledge about gardening and plant names, just through the process of osmosis. Years of Gardener's question Time, Gardener's World, and trawling round gardens and garden centres has led to some of it being absorbed.

Not all of it, however, is absorbed completely correctly. I suspect that it's deliberate...

So, we have Camillas instead of Camellias, Mangolias instead of Magnolias (though SomeBeans was recently vindicated in this by a single mention of Mangolia in a journal extract of Ernest 'Chinese' Wilson in a book I was reading. I maintain that it was a typing error.

This is the time of year when the flowering currant, Rabies, apparently looks its best. We also have Solomon's Seed rather than Seal. There's also Dicentrica, a rather weird mix of the correct name and an energy company.

"Dicentrica"

SomeBeans is triumphant if I occasionally make the mistake of saying any of these the wrong way (i.e. his way). So forgive me if I make reference to Dicentrica, Camillas and Mangolias when I'm in polite gardening company - it's peer pressure.

6 comments:

Julia said...

The Hubster refers to my Gunnera as a Gonorrhoea. That gets us into trouble in garden centres...

But usually I just have to put up with him sniggering at every rude-sounding plant name or anything that looks phallic. Oh, and rolling down the window and shouting "SWINGERS!!" as we drive past any house with pampas grass in the front.

HappyMouffetard said...

@Julia - ha ha!
At least SomeBeans just puts cloches on his head in garden centres - I should be thankful.

Juliet said...

R insists on referring to Leucojums as Boojums - I live in fear of softly and suddenly vanishing away.

Tim said...

My mate is enamored of anything that ends with "superbum"....He insists upon asking the clerks in every nursery center about their "Super Bums"

Dawn/LittleGreenFingers said...

I dread to think what he calls Sarcococca.

easygardener said...

The trouble is - once the wrong name gets stuck in your head it never goes away and you have to bite your lip before slowly saying the correct name to whoever you are talking to!