Saturday, May 29, 2010

Golden Asters

I have a constellation of golden asters, more commonly known as golden ragwort, bursting from a flowerpot bequeathed to me by my neighbor Denise. A name change occurred at some point in their history; I imagine it happened when they became weeds instead of wild flowers. Ragwort sounds far more reprehensible than aster. I've taken to calling them by their original name, golden aster, because they do look like little golden stars sprouting up out of a sworl of feathery green frills.

I remember years ago visiting a gardener in New Orleans who lived on Eden Street. He preferred green plants to flowery plants. The simplicity of green, especially when it is sparked with dew in the early morning, is somehow more serene and breath-taking to me as well.

This older gentleman showed me his collection of plants, including a miniature jungle of bonsai trees. He had cultivated them all from local trees, including knobby-kneed cypress. He also had a variety of carrion flowers, plants that smell and even sometimes resemble, rotting flesh. I had never heard of such a thing, but I like to impress people now with my knowledge of putrid plants.

We talked for a while about gardening in general and weeds in particular. I've struggled with the weed question for several years. The struggle has become more intense now that I have my own yard. Even dandelions are beautiful to me, especially when they are large and puffed up like yellow pom poms. Who decides which flowers are weeds and which are flowers? Was there someone once upon a time who was just fed up with golden asters and began to mockingly call them little ragworts? What a horrible name! I've kept mine in their pot. They look meek and humble there, but beautiful and full of hope.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
A Mirror, A Summer, A Street by Autumn Crisp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.