This month on American ‘Botanical’ are three wanna-be stars. These plants have been practicing for years and during this month of March, they finally are ready to sit in the judgement seat. Have they been rehearsing enough this winter? Will they forget the lyrics, the root and stem growth? Will they show their pitch problems and be all over the place, with no structure or beauty? Or this season will they make it their own? Showing confidence in who they are and what they do. Here they are—-the March contestants. These plants are trying to make their mark: Flowering Plum (Prunus cerasifera), Privet (Ligustrum) and Daffodil (Narcissus).
Flowering Plum seemed to appear out of nowhere. You were almost transparent, and now—poof!—you’re in the limelight. Vivid clouds of purple floating through every neighborhood. It was your time to show growth, and you nailed this performance. You know who you are and believe in yourself. You have confidence. “I am a tree!” Simple and beautiful. Well done Prunus everywhere.
Next up is the Privet, a working-class shrub used widely for hedging around town. This season Privet could have been just any shrub at Disneyland, the performance was just okay, nothing special. You’ve got to dig deeper, take some chances, it was so boring this time. In fact, I’m a little confused. Who are you? Evergreen or deciduous? You have to find out who you are. No matter that our zone is shifting downward and winters are cold. If you keep losing leaves with all that pitchiness, it’s over as an ornamental. You’ll be singing karaoke in a small-town nursery, in the discount bed all summer. Remember, you have a lot of character, just do what comes naturally. Grow green!
Ahhh, daffodils. When I look at you I want to recite poetry “a profusion of delight, gay, bewilderingly bright”. Appearing out of nowhere, you come with a full voice and an incredible tone. The clear and brilliant soft spring yellow brings me so much joy. Wherever you perform, you make it your own. Against the winter dark and dreary dirt, you show up. You pushed it out with a delicate yet distinctive form. Keep growing, keep learning and keep doing it. Somehow, with that uniquely trumpet-shaped flower, you put your own twist on it. You picked a show with the highest degree of difficulty and slayed it. Hiding out during the cold season, building up reserves, and then bursting forth with a bright and beautiful spring song. It was a close call with Flowering Plum, but you were absolutely the best performance of the night. You’re in this competition to win it! Congratulations daffodil, keep growing!
Tune in next month for another exciting episode of American ‘Botanical’!