Saturday, May 27, 2006

The philosophy plant

One of our young granddaughters joined me on an evening visit to M3. “Do you know what philosophy is?”, I asked as I was about to expatiate on some abstruse topic. “Is it this?” she replied, touching the pink and green flowering top of a sorrel spire with her hand. “No” I said, “that’s sorrel”, but I reflected that ‘philosophy’ did sound a bit like ‘Gypsophila’ or ‘Felicia’. A short while afterwards I asked granddaughter how many plants she could name. “Well, there’s this one called ‘philosophy’” she said pointing to the sorrel.

I shall henceforward think of sorrel as philosophy (I wondered if it was through some process like this that honesty, Lunaria annua, got its name).

The wet leaves of the philosophy and other plants are lightly spotted with round white confetti, the small petals that have blown from the nearby rowan tree.

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